Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Waiting Game

Wyn proved surprisingly easy to find, and it was merely a few weeks until I heard that Karen, the researcher, had successfully traced her current address. Wyn had remained in the small seaside town where I was born until she got married and had another child; her and her family then moved back to the town from where she had originated, and she had a fourth child. Although the whole family had then moved to yet another seaside town, she was still married and the surname was slightly uncommon. So not only was I provided with a current address for Wyn, but I also learned that besides my older (half) sister (who had been adopted by Wyn’s husband on their marriage), I now had a younger (half) brother and (half) sister as well. And for 38 years, I’d thought I was an only child! There was no question at this point of involving any other birth family members – I was very keen not to disrupt the new life that Wyn would have made for herself, and wanted to be as considerate as possible to her feelings. Maria drafted an initial letter to Wyn and sent it to me for amendment and approval. It was a very tactfully worded letter, almost bordering on vague, so that if by any chance someone else other than Wyn opened it, they wouldn’t realise that it was referring to an adopted child of Wyn’s. It asked Wyn to make contact with Maria, either by letter or by phone.

What response was I expecting? Well again I return to my ‘instinct’. Although I had heard very much about birth mothers longing for the day when their adopted child ‘found’ them and were welcomed with open arms, I had a feeling that this might not be the case where I was concerned. I have no idea what made me feel this way, but I had been counselled to expect any eventuality – besides a possible ‘rejection’ there was also the chance that my birth mother could have died. So it really was a case of ‘wait and see’. Maria posted the letter first class on a Monday morning, so Wyn would have received it on the Tuesday. Three interminably long days and nights passed, and finally the call I’d been waiting for came on the Friday evening. I sensed it was Maria even before I picked up the phone. She said ‘I have news for you, but it’s not good.’ I knew straight away that my birth mother didn’t want contact with me.

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