Mum & Dad.
My life literally would have been so different if you hadn't adopted me.
Actually, sitting and thinking about it, its scary to think where I would be now if you hadn't.
If you hadn't of adopted me, who knows, I may have been in and out of foster homes all my life, I may not have had an education, I may have been lost and never have understood or felt real love.
The strangest thing of all, is that although we may not be blood but we actually look a like and still have that connection so it was definitely meant to be. Your strength, values and your unconditional love runs through my veins
People always wonder how my childhood was because I was adopted and I do get asked a variety of questions such as 'do you know your real parents' & would you ever want to meet them.
So, heres my story...
27/08/1990: I was taken from my birth parents pretty much straight after I was born unfortunately my birth mother had a lot of problems growing up and also suffered with serious mental health issues and she was unable to cope with looking after any of us (I have an older full sister and an older half brother and sister) my birth father also tried to get custody of me however they wouldn't grant him it either.
I was in a foster home for the first 10months of my life as they were waiting for the adoption process to go through, My mum was unable to have children after unfortunately having three miscarriages and failed attempts at IVF treatment so her and my dad decided they would adopt instead & thats where I came along :)
Its quite sad that adoption stories very rarely make the news unless its regarding a story from a celebrity figure.
It takes a hell of a lot to have a child, but even more for someone who is willing to open the doors of their homes and hearts to a child of someone else. I will be eternally grateful to my adoptive parents and to my family & I will always love them, more than they will ever know.
If you hadn't adopted me i wouldn't be so happy, I wouldn't have the freedom or understood the joys of the world, I wouldn't of travelled the world and experienced the finer things in life, I wouldn't of met the friends I talk to everyday.
You changed my life for the better.
Growing up I always knew I was adopted but I never felt like an outcast, it was as if it never actually happened. I remember you made me a photo album and I also had a book called 'Why Was I Adopted by Carole Livingston' - inside my photo album you had personally wrote and collected photos of both my birth parents and also brother & sisters.
With a story like mine comes a lot of questions, honestly most of these questions don't offend me personally as most people are genuinely just curious about a life experience they have no knowledge of.
Hopefully my answers will help you feel more comfortable if you have someone in your life who is adopted and you're curious about it, or it will educate you about adoption in general.
The only difficult thing is that I have no clue re: illnesses, allergies or diseases that run in my family, I might drop dead in 10 years from a heart attack or something.
1. Have you ever wanted to meet your real parents?!
As I was adopted from such a young age I don't really know any different, I had never formed that initial bond with them like a child would have as I was taken straight away. My parents are the ones who raised me, not the ones who birthed me.
Let me set your mind at ease though if you're reading this as someone who is interested in adopting, regardless of age your child will never resent you for not being their "real parents." Sure we will throw that out there when we are angry "You can't tell me what to do! You're not my real mum" & yeah it hurts. I did it, on more than one occasion but I didn't mean in. I was a kid, I was immature & angry that I wasn't getting my own way.
Unfortunately now though, my birth father died when I was 4, I'm not sure of the truth behind it all but the story was that he was electrocuted on the telephone lines (not sure what he was even doing up there in the first place, who knows!) & my birth mother also died in 2013 according to the child services of natural causes. I literally just got a letter through the door one day saying we thought we would inform you of the death of your birth mother... and that was it!
I have however met my full sister, it was a strange experience, growing up its always been just me so I've never really had any bond with any siblings. Jemma however was brought up with another adopted sister Laura.
I managed to find my half brother and sister on Facebook but haven't had much contact with either of them but I do know my half sister Suzy was in a serious incident that happened in Spain where she worked (which was strange as I also went to work in Spain for 4years)
2. How long have you known you were adopted?
Since I can remember! & thats exactly the way it should be. I have an issue with anyone who waits until their child is 16/18 to tell them. If you're honest from the beginning you build that trust early on. There really is nothing worse than dropping the A bomb in the most confusing time of their lives (life can be dramatic as a teen, you figure out emotions you never knew even existed) I can't imagine how I would have reacted if I was told at a later age. I had a lot of anger issues growing up as a teen.
The reaction doesn't come from there being anything 'wrong' with being adopted, its trust. Its the assumption that the child can't handle the truth, or the fear that they won't love you or whatever excuse you come up with.
I don't remember the conversation, but I have known since i can remember that i was adopted & it was never a big deal to me. I was a child with curly brown hair and big brown eyes who was adopted.
3. Why did they give you up?
Personally this question doesn't bother me, however I wouldn't advise asking this of every adopted person you meet as some people just don't want to talk about it.
Growing up my birth mother was abused by a member of the family, this then led to drug & alcohol abuse, and lets just say she didn't really have much luck with men either (seems we have that in common as i don't have much luck with them either lol)
She became mentally unstable and was unable to cope, she treated us like toys. One time she left my half brother and sister in the house at the ages of 5 & 6 and went shopping. The neighbours had to call the fire brigade to break in and get to them. When I was taken and in a foster home I believe she came to visit me and she picked me up played with me for a bit and then got bored and couldn't cope.
4. Do you have any other brothers or sisters?
Possibly! My birth father was a dodgy Irish man with multiple names so who knows! I could have loads of aunts & uncles too!!
5. Did you ever have any communication from your birth parents?
My birth mum sent me cards & letters all the time pretty much up until she died, she also still called me by my birth name and sometimes even signed cards 'love mum' which I did find slightly weird. My mum and dad used to reply until I got to an age where I could decide to myself or not. Me personally? I chose not to.
I sometimes sit and wonder, will I end up like my birth mother? Growing up I was a really angry child, sometimes I just sat and felt like I never really belonged anywhere. Like I've always known my mum & dad loved me but I really struggled with building relationships growing up as I was terrified of being left again.
My mum and dad ended up splitting up & getting a divorce when I was quite young, and suffering with severe anxiety even when I was a child things ran through my head all of the time, it was like i had a little devil sat on my shoulder shouting at me 'he wanted me so bad and now he's left me too' - sometimes I just felt like everyone just wanted to leave. And because of that my relationships with men have never really worked out. I find it so hard to trust them at all and I have a massive wall up around me to protect myself, to protect me when they decide to up and leave too.
All of the family I had been brought up around were that of the older generation so I have been brought up with good morals, sadly most of them have also passed away. It just constantly felt like everyone was forever leaving me.
I went abroad to work, to really find myself again and to get rid of my anxieties & become the happy me again! (but ill leave working abroad and travelling for another blog post)
I would however like to end this on a happy note, I would like to thank my mum & dad for choosing me. I want to thank my mum and also my nan & grandad for creating me into the woman I am today; strong willed, kind, caring, creative, interesting, honest & independent. As if you hadn't of chose me I probably would be the complete opposite.
I hope to make you the proudest parents/grand parents ever.
I love you to the moon & back