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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Adoption Day, French Story, Ardingly and Decorated buckets.

Good Morning
Arundel Eccentrics

Today is a very special day
 in our calender.

It's Adoption Day.
A day even more special to us than a birthday.

This is my son Jay
He now lives in California. 

It will be an even more wonderful day this year.
The first as a father himself.

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

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

Over the years my ex husband and I 
went through all the normal stuff to achieve that, 
but it just never happened.

We so wanted a child and
 decided we would look at adoption.

Funnily enough my neighbour of the time

Just reminded me.

They had a lovely adopted daughter, Katy.

I locked myself out and went to theirs for help.

We had a cup of tea and chatted.

"Why don't you find out about adoption?"

They gave me the details of the society they had gone through.

Funny how things evolve hey?

We went to an adoption society
in Camberwell, London,
for an information evening.

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

He was four and a half.

By  chance...or maybe not...after the talk, 
when everyone was chatting and drinking coffee, 
we were looking at Jay's photo 
and I made a comment such as
" Oh look how beautiful he is"....

The social worker just happened to be behind us.
" Would you like to find out more about that little boy?"
" Oh yes we really would."

The social worker assigned to our case hadn't 
met Jay herself at that point, 
and on her return from seeing him for the first time, 

she stopped at a phone box...

yes.. we did use them, then,
to excitedly inform me
"You are perfect for each other, 
your temperaments match each other completely."

Something this day I don't know what it was,
whereby, although we had met Jay a few times 
he had never been to the house and 

I felt they were trying to move 
him from his foster placement quickly, 
for some reason known only to them 
and on one of my visits the social worker
asked if I would take Jay home
the next time I came to see him. 

This was only a few days later.

I drove over in my yellow 2cv, 
which was to later become
 such a huge part of our lives,
out and about all over the place.

When I arrived he had pulled
 all his pictures off the wall 
and was packed and ready.
Taking my hand he said
" Come on Mum, lets go."

He was 4 years old at the time.

Things happened in such a whirl and when 
I arrived home I was almost in shock.

I hadn't had time to adjust.
This little girl adored Jay.
katy was also adopted. She lived near us and our families became firm friends.
Her parents put us on to the adoption society we met Jay through.
Katy used to come to our home after school and play and read to Jay.

Micky Mouse was the one item Jay still had from his birth mother.
He still has it, to this day,and Micky now resides in California LOL

I was working at a play school at the time
 and rather arrogantly
I thought I would be brilliant.
Used to 4 year olds, imagined it'd be a breeze.

But brilliant doesn't happen overnight
 and I am now a firm believer 
that post natal depression
 isn't entirely a physical thing.

Also, you expect, I expected,
to feel a huge surge of love immediately.

It doesn't just happen,like a bolt from the blue.
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 quite a shock to the system.
I felt emotional all the time.

Lost and dazed in this new world
 that was so exciting,
but that I was having trouble with managing.

I wanted it to be perfect and 
I wasn't making a good enough job of things.

I didn't really know what Jay ate,his likes and dislikes.

I struggled to feed him...I had never cooked convenience food,
veggie whole foods were my forte.

His foster family cooked in a very different way. 
He was used to meals coming out of tins and boxes.

In desperation I asked him
" What do you really, really like?"
and in a quiet little voice he replied,
" I like cheesecake"

"Thanks be."
I proceeded to make
 the whole thing,from scratch.

Jay didn't like it and barely touched it.

" I thought you liked cheesecake?"

" Yes, but out of a packet!"

We got through those
 early hurdles  
 very soon after.

I realised within a very short time,
 I loved this little boy, 
more than I had loved
 anyone in my life.

And that's the point I wanted to make....
I never in a million years thought you could
 have such strength of feeling for a child
 that you had not produced yourself.

Prior to that,I had spent years 
feeling such intense jealousy
for all my friends who seemed
 to be having babies with ease.

Ha Ha I've still got that shirt.
Cant bear to throw it away.

Jay and I went from strength to strength.
Our relationship so strong that when he was at college 
he came home one day and proclaimed,

"My mates at college are so jealous of our relationship."

"Why Jay?"

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

Potential fashion designer
He had such style even then!

" How do they know?"

" Ma, they just see us together."

Over the years, I have almost burst
 with pride over Jay's achievements.

From an early age he took a huge interest in clothes,

loved his skateboard, loved to travel.

After working for a menswear fashion degree,

at the local Worthing Northbrook College,

 and graduating with flying colours,

( incidentally, one of the first colleges

 in Europe to offer this 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 get out there 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 , of course"

So that's what he did and

through sheer hard work, gritty determination and talent, he went to NYC via Ecko Unltd.

He not only gained experience there, 

he met the gorgeous Krista, his wife .

Look at him now, a successful menswear designer in California.

When he first arrived in the US he was designing for

...a skateboard company..funny hey?

After all the childhood and teenage

 years he hurtled

 round on his own board.

Now I think of it,
it's still stored in our loft.

I never know what to get my lovely son for gifts.

He's a menswear designer and a good one.
So what can you buy someone who
 is very specific about clothes.
He has a sneakers collection to die for.
It's probably into the hundreds.

It must be as he now won't admit to the number.

This year for his birthday
 I found the perfect gift....

When I collected my lovely boy,
 all those years ago,
I drove to Ashford in Kent. 

Stopping off for a cup of tea
 and a freshen up on the way,
I found I was in a small delightful
 town called Tenterden.

I parked the car and as I got out
there in the window of the shop in front of me
 I spotted the most wonderful

Goose Lamp.

I just had to buy it.

It became Jay's night light.
In later years it sat in our window in our house in Tarrant Street, Arundel.
When the light was on friends knew we were around
 and meant they could drop by for a glass of wine!
So the lamp and my new son came home together.
For many years it was his night light. 
We both adored it.

Eventually, when we moved it got broken in transit.
"Oh Ma throw it away"
I couldn't.
It meant so much.
I spent hours sticking it all together.
It didn't exactly look like a work of art when I'd finished,
 but it stood up by itself, at least. LOL

It kept the goose going for a bit longer.
Eventually, it was knocked over and beyond repair.
" Ma....NOW chuck it out."

Funny how everything changes when you have a child isn't it?
A few months back he asked if I knew where he could get 
one for his new baby's room.

The joy of the internet.

They stopped making them years ago,
but the company still had a few of the goose figures
 and make them as and when needed.

                                         A few years ago, when Jay
 came to Arundel for a holiday
we had a party for he and Krista.
We managed to re-unite all the birth brothers.
All together for the first time ever.

Very emotional day.
birth brothers re-united
the first time they had all got together

Nass and I miss him terribly.

Oh! I forgot to tell you, 

I gained even more

 than a wonderful child.

When by ex husband and I

 divorced about 20 years ago,

I joined the school PTA to keep me busy.

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

So, my bonus was.....

Dating the gorgeous PE teacher 

who I subsequently married and who became

a loving stepfather adoring Jay as much as I do.

and Adoption Day?

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

Jay wrote a note to the judge saying he wanted to stay with us.

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

Adoption Day

has been celebrated every year since.

As important to us, as a birthday.

If you are considering adoption.

Really, really, go and find out about it.

Be patient, its not an easy journey.

You'll have interviews and social

 workers poking into all areas of your life.

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

Jay and his lovely wife

gorgeous boy.. now a gorgeous young man


Happy Adoption Day

to our wonderful son

Creative Writing Group

I've been going to a creative
 writing group 
for a while now.

Run by an ex
Sunday Times journalist
we affectionately refer to as
" The Guvnor."

It's grown to be a really tight knit, trusting group,
I guess as a lot of personal 
stuff comes out in the writing exercises.

We always wind up having a laugh
 over something or other.

I had forgotten this story,
but Peter asked me to re-count it last night.

A short while ago
Nass drove to Toulouse in France,
 with an extremely eccentric,
occasionally volatile,
 antique dealer. 

They were in the van almost 3 days together.

By the end they were almost killing each other, 
but Nass said he was taken to some
 wonderful, wonderful antique places.
Beautiful chateaux stuffed full of antiques, 
that were way, way, out of our league.

Interesting to see though.

By the time they got back on the ferry, 
Nass was relieved to be on his way home.

Neither of them spoke much French
 and Nass said by then
he couldn't seem to help himself 
speak English but with an 
French accent.

He said maybe subconsciously, 
he thought the French would understand him better.

At the bar, he went to get some cigarettes, 
 cheaper on the boat, 
at the bar.
More expensive in duty free.

  Now...imagine if you will a really appalling, 
exaggerated, French accent.

Nass:   " Bonjour Monsieur, pleeeze can I av  5 packs 
                                                            of 20 Benson and edges"

 Grumpy French Barman: 
" Oh non monsieur you are only 
allowed one packet per personne.

Nass: thinks for a minute.
" Ah monsieur, wot eef you do not recognaz me?"

The grumpy French barman, paused for a second before the euro dropped.
" Oh monsieur Ah see wot you are saying"

Five minutes later Nass appeared
 at another side of the small bar.
" Bonjeur Monsieur"

The now not so grumpy French barman.
" Oh monsieur , 
Ah do not believe we ave met. 
Ah hope you are aving a good trip.    
ow can I elp you?"

"Twenty Benson and Edges pleeze monsieur."

The Chuckling French barman
"Certainly sir"

" Pardon Monsieur, 20 Benson and Edges"

The Laughing French Barman  
with an over exaggerated jump in the air.
" Alors, pardon monsieur, ah did not see you there"

This continued throughout the entire trip, 
Nass popping up all over the bar and with the barman
 laughing eeez little French socks off by the time they hit Portsmouth.

Ardingly Antiques Fair today and tomorrow.

Well worth a visit.
I took a friend from Arundel last time who had never been.
She said she thought she was in heaven.

Decorating Galvanised Metal.

I'm not going to Ardingly today as I have items to finish.

We source, along with our furniture, 
galvanised metal and paint and decorate them.
Buckets, boxes and other old metal objects
 take on a whole new stylish persona.

You will find our latest items on The Hoarde

so items like this,
which are fine......

in the right place.....

but when they become......

you can put them in any room.....

old deed boxes.

Have a great day

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