Monday, 8 January 2018

Happy Adoption Day



 Happy Adoption Day to our Amazing Son





The Butterfly Effect


Ever seen it?

The film I mean?

Its a bit heavy at times....but it's a great film with an interesting message.


A  moment in your life affects not only you but everyone linked to you.


If that hadn't happened or if that did happen..... it affects not only you but everyone around you.
It's actually quite mind-blowing when you really think about it.

My son often used to say...
"Suppose someone else had adopted me?
I wonder where I would be.
I'm glad it was you."


 I still think
"Supposing I hadn't adopted you. Where would I be?
I'm glad it was you."

Here's our story.................



I always wanted children and in the 
traditional sense that was a baby.

Over time my ex-husband and I 
went through years of trying and tests.

Everywhere I looked, friends were having families.

Not just one child, it seemed, but two, three and sometimes four.

The envy I felt was like a physical pain.


I avoided those friends at times,

 so great was the void.



Seeing them bouncing their

children on their knees

only added to the pain.


Visiting hospital to see their newborns?

Just couldn't do it.

Got as far as the ward door once, turned and ran to the car park in tears.

In turmoil as I knew I should be happy for them.
But just too jealous of their growing families.


My longsuffering Mum used to phone and say,
" So and so has just had her baby."
Adding after a moment,
" Don't you want to know what it is?"

" Well, it can only be a boy or a girl" I always replied sarcastically,
 before slamming down the phone.

We so wanted a child.
Boy or girl was not an issue.
We decided to look at adoption.

But didn't know where to go.
No internet see. 
How to find out about all that.
Back in the day.
One cold wet January evening I was locked out of my house.
Long day at the office.
Forgotten my key.

Stood tired and shivering on the doorstep.

My neighbour, who I didn't know that well,  called out,

"Come and have a cup of tea until your husband gets home."


Her daughter was adopted. 

I never realised.

Why would you?

Just a normal happy family.

"Why don't you try this adoption society in Peckham? That's where we went."


The information evening was interesting.

The social worker gave the small group, 3 case histories 
....Jay's was one of them.



After the talk, when everyone was chatting and drinking coffee, 
we were looking at Jay's photo and I quietly said,

" Oh look how beautiful he is"....




" Would you like to find out more about that little boy?"

said the social worker who happened to be standing behind us


The worker assigned to our case hadn't 
met Jay at that point.

On her return from seeing him for the first time, 

she stopped off at a phone box driving back to London. 

She sounded excited.....


"You are perfect for each other, 
your temperaments match  completely."

Something happened..to this day I don't know what it was.

We had met Jay only a few times 
he had never been to our house and stayed.

Wouldn't happen today.

I felt they were trying to move 
him from his foster placement quickly, 
for some reason known only to them.
On one of my visits the social worker
 asked if I would take Jay home
 the next time I came to see him. 
the card I never thought I would receive.

This was only three days later.


I drove over in my yellow 2CV, 
which was to become such a huge part of our lives.

We would go everywhere in that little dustbin lid of a car.


On the way I stopped off for a cup of tea in Tenterden 

and found a wonderful goose lamp in a shop, on sale..
..It became his night light....I recently found an identical one online...and bought it for his own baby daughter.

When I arrived, Jay had pulled all his pictures off the wall 
He was packed and ready.

Taking my hand,
" Come on Mum, lets go"

He was 4 years old.

 I could barely see through the tears 

as he said those words.


He was small for his age.
Undernourished.
Introvert.

Life had been tough for him over his first four years.
You could see the sadness in those huge brown eyes.
Although we had read his history, I'm sure we never knew the half of it.

I vowed then to make his life the best I possibly could.
To chase away the nightmares of his past.



It  happened in such a whirl.
When I arrived home I was in shock.


I was working at a play school at the time
 and was used to children of that age.


 Arrogantly, I thought I would be brilliant.


But brilliant doesn't happen overnight.

 I expected to feel a huge surge of love immediately.


It doesn't  just happen though, does it?

It grows and like all relationships, you get out what you put in.


Suddenly, here I was with a little person 24 hours a day.

It was a shock to the system.

I felt emotional all the time.


 I wasn't making a good enough job of things.

Didn't know what he ate, his likes and dislikes.

I struggled to know what to feed him.

I never cooked convenience food,
 whole foods were my thing. 


I remember in desperation asking 
" Well, what DO you like?"
and in a quiet shy voice, almost a whisper, he replied,
" I.....I...... I do like cheesecake"






I  made cheesecake,  from scratch.

He picked at it

" I thought you said you liked cheesecake?"

" Yes, but only out of a packet!"

On that note I must tell you.
We used to go to visit friends in Annecy, France .....a lot.








Most summers.
The area is beautiful.
The friends special.

Val was renowned for her French mousse au chocolat.
Made it from the finest ingredients.
Put a lot of time and love into it.

" Oh!" Said Jay as he put the first mouthful in,
 "Aunty Val.  Your Instant Whip is lovely."
Val was speechless.

We got through the early hurdles and soon after,
 I knew I loved this little boy, 
more than I had loved anyone in my life. (Sorry Mum)

I never  thought you could have such
feeling for a child you had not given birth to.

 I still have that yellow shirt ?..can't seem to part with it.

Years passed.....

One day home from college he said,

" My mates at college are really jealous of our relationship"

"Why Jay?"

" Because it's so strong and they say they
 don't have that with their own mothers"

" How do they know?"

" Ma, they just see us together"



Over the years, like any mother
I have been so proud of  Jay's achievements.




From an early age he took an interest in clothes,

loved his skateboard, loved to travel.

by the way......turns out half Jay's  birth family had been in fashion


After studying for a menswear fashion degree,



at local Northbrook College, and graduating with flying colours,



( incidentally, the first college in Europe to offer the degree)



 he went from strength to strength.



Determined to end up in NYC..against all odds he got there.


Not the first time, when he borrowed money to fly to the US for interviews.


On his return, he said they felt he was good,

but needed more experience.


"So Jay, what are you going to do next?"

" Get more experience Ma , of course"

and he did...through hard work, determination,

and talent, he went to NYC via Ecko Unltd.

He not only gained experience.... but met the gorgeous Krista,now his wife. 





One day when Jay and Krista came back to visit 

we managed to get all four birth brothers together.


Other guests at the party were crying
birth brothers re-united


the first time the brothers  got together

Nass and I miss him terribly.


Oh! I forgot to tell you, I gained even more out of this than a wonderful son.

When by ex husband and I divorced over 20 years ago
,
I joined the school PTA to keep me busy.




We organised a  Summer Ball and as a result I
was spending more and more time at Jay's school.

So, my bonus ?

going out with the gorgeous PE teacher 





who I subsequently married and who became

 a loving stepfather,  adoring Jay as much as I do.

 Adoption Day?


Its the day you go to court to make it all official.


Jay wrote a note to sway the judge to let him stay.

I still have that note and to this day it still makes emotional.


I swear I spotted a tear in the corner of that judge's eye.


Adoption Day

has been celebrated every year since.

As important to us, as a birthday.


Since that first Adoption Day when we all went home euphoric.


We cracked opened the champagne to share with the neighbours 

who had told us about the adoption society in London.


They always called it Doppy Day from when their daughter Katy was young.

That stuck with us for years.


Katy adored Jay.
She used to come in most days after school and play or read to him.



If you are considering adoption...do go and find out.


Be patient, though, it's a lot of interviews 
and social workers poking into all areas of your life.

But...a million times over..its worth it



and if you get the chance...
do watch
The Butterfly Effect


If I hadn't got locked out that day........not just my life but....

You'll see what I mean......








Jay designed his wedding suit...every attention to detail was considered...even the cuff links were vintage UK sixpences





The wedding of the year 5 years ago.

Jay and Krista now have the most beautiful daughter.









Who is something of a fashionista already


We look forward to seeing 
them all in Arundel
this summer.




have a great day

Www.arundeleccentrics.com