Friday, November 07, 2014


I had learned, for sure, that my birth mother had loved me and now I had to wait for a letter from my half-sister, Jill, who had been looking for me for 15 years. It wasn't going to be an easy letter for Jill to write, so I understood that it might take some time. It came surprisingly quickly, during another Sicilian siesta hour, with a covering email from the lady in the Norfolk Adoption Department.

"Are you ready for this?" she  wrote. "It's very emotional."

I was as ready as I would ever be. I had an afternoon appointment within minutes, but I had to look. First, I opened Jill's letter, in which she told me about her search for me, her family and our half-brother in America. It was so kind and affectionate in tone that I felt close to Jill immediately, as I had known I would. There was a photo of her as well and I liked the pretty, gentle-looking woman I saw. Jill had enclosed my birth mother's last letter and several photos labelled "photos of birth mother, etc." I  was  already crying, so I realised I would have to leave the letter till I got back, but I couldn't resist opening the photos.

Suddenly, before me, was a woman whose features I recognised because - and this dawned slowly - they were also mine and she was smiling out at me. This was the first time I had seen a photo of any birth relative and I cannot describe what it was like. The overwhelming feeling was one of, "So there you are, with me at last" and I kept wanting to reach out and touch her. I think I did. 

Of  the second photo, Jill had written, 

"This is a photo of mum with an American soldier called *****, in London in 1949. Could this be your natural father, Pat?"

My birth mum and natural father,
London, 1949

I knew that he was, from the name  [which I won't give here] on the adoption documents, so after 64 years, I was sitting in Sicily looking at a picture of my natural father, too!  I certainly hadn't expected that....

Still feeling I was dreaming, I walked to my appointment, but my mind, as you can imagine, wasn't in Modica at all. I was thinking of a young couple in London in 1949 - it was even possible that my birth mum was pregnant with me when the picture was taken - and of another couple who were happy in London at around the same time:

My adoptive parents,
London, 1940s

Later that day, I came home and opened my birth mum's letter. I caught my breath as I saw her handwriting with the same upward slope as mine had when I was younger. After explaining that my natural father had died in America and that she had been under a lot of pressure to have me adopted, my birth mum writes, of me,

"I can't go into it all now and all I can say is that she was beautiful."

Then I put my head down on the desk and wept.

To be continued.

Post scriptum:
I can now tell you that when I posted this sabato musicale at the end of May, it was for my birth mum.


CherryPie said...

You have me crying with you. For some reason I particularly feel the pain of your natural mother.

annechung said...

Just know that you gave a lot of joy to your adoptive parents.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Cherie and Anne. Much appreciated.

Trubes said...

My heart weeps with you Pat and your birth mother , your sister and your brother.
War is merciless and unkind. Those who perpetrate it should be made to feel the pain, of those who have loved and lost too..
Particularly on the eve of Remembrance Sunday I think of you and your family,
much love,

Laruchka said...

It may be the onions but...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Trubes. War did not directly affect this situation but I agree with you.xx
Sorry I made you cry, Laruchka! x

Liz Hinds said...

What a wonderful story and such a happy ending. And to have a photo of both birth parents looking so happy together.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Liz. xx


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