They do say that we are to remember, remember the 5th November. In my house, that has always meant not only preparations for Bonfire Night but an acknowledgement that this was the date in 1969 when my adoptive parents met me for the first time.
These days there is a long process of introduction to an adopted child. In the Sixties, my adoptive parents turned up to a Catholic Adoption Agency in Leeds and I was brought into the room. I was plonked on my mum’s lap and she gave me a bottle. Apparently, ever comforted by food, I settled happily enough with her. I was never told but I imagine like most children, I was fascinated by Dad from the start.
Mum always says she was so excited but also vaguely aware of wailing somewhere in the building. It transpired that this was my birth mum who had brought me up from London where I was born because the social worker was on strike. She had wrapped me in a blanket and bought me a doll in a pink and white spotty dress.
My adoptive Mum asked if my birth mum would like to meet but the nuns would not allow it. The rules, for better or worse, were all different in those days.
Mum and Dad took me home to Dewsbury as the fireworks exploded into the air. Mum said all that colour and light just added to the sense of a momentous occasion.
I don’t know whether they were advised to do so or if it was their own idea but they always marked my adoption day and I have always called it my second birthday.
So although I am 43 years old, today I celebrate my 42nd birthday. There is inevitably a poignancy today as this is the year when I no longer have any living adoptive parents having lost Dad in September and Mum 3 years previously. I am doing OK and my husband and children have wished me a happy adoption day. They can’t ever do it in quite the same way that Mum and Dad did but I appreciate them recognising that I will always remember, remember the 5th November and just how lucky I am.
Have you ever considered adoption even just for a fleeting moment? If you have or are doing now, please visit the National Adoption Week website http://www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk/ to find out more.