Ray had lovingly accepted Carla's birth - why else would he have given me flowers on the 19th October each year? Somehow, with living overseas followed by different states of Australia, I was unaware of the changes to adoption laws which were different in Victoria and NSW. Having done nothing to prevent my daughter making contact, I believed it was simply that she did not wish to. Shortly after Ray's passing the NSW adoption laws changed. I registered with the Reunion Information Register and was advised that Carla was also registered. Our names were exchanged by the New South Wales Department of Community Services. I was excited at the prospect of meeting the daughter that had been given up at birth. Nothing happened! I could not believe it. Surely my daughter knew I wanted her? I had been advised her name was Carla, I had been given a copy of her Birth Certificate.
In reality, my daughter Carla was working through the issues that had been confusing her for many years. Not being renowned for my patience, I waited as long as I could before picking up the phone to call the number I had been given. Carla and I began chatting and it continues to this day.
As we celebrate Carla's birthday today, I am using her words to complete this post:
'I was about 11 when my mum and dad first told me that i was adopted. At the time i didn't really understand so i just let it go. When i was 15 i asked mum why i was adopted, she said because i was special, that my birth mother couldn't look after me and that her and dad really wanted a baby. At 16 i asked them could they help me find my birth mother, mum was 100% supportive, dad didn't think it was a good idea, as far as he was concerned i was his daughter, so the journey began. Mum showed me my adoption papers, next we put my name on the adoption register and waited, we visited the hospital where i was born to try to obtain any sort of information, unfortunately the hospital had closed and the records had been moved, by the time i was 19 i gave up with the thought it is her loss not mine, she obviously hadn't told anyone about me. When i had my first son at 22 it all came flooding back, the unanswered questions who was i where did i belong, i couldn't understand how any mother could give her baby up, did she feel i wasn't worth it, i had to know so the search began again, to no avail, i was told that my birth mothers name was not on the register therefore she did not want to be conntacted, by this stage i really didn't care if i ever met her, i can remember though looking up all the townsends in the sydney phone book and ringing each number asking if cheryl lived there, so i guess deep down i wanted some answers. Then the phone call came 3 days before my 30th birthday, the adoption agency rang and told me that my mother wanted to make contact, i just cried, i drove straight to mum and dads and told them they both cried with me. i was so excited to finally know what happened and why i was given up. I still remember the first time she rang like it was yesterday, it was true i had another mother, we talked and talked and talked, it was always comfortable from day one, we finally decided to meet the following march at the sydney train station, me and my son and cheryl and her son. jeremy picked me straight away and from that moment i became his big sister, it was so overwhelming, i was nervous, happy, scared and so full of questions, but i needn't have worried because as soon as we saw eachother it all fell into place, we had the best day, i didn't ask many questions mainly because i just wanted this moment to last and knew that we would have plenty of time to ask and answer questions. It has been 15 years since we first made contact and i am so glad that cheryl decided to take the step in finding me, not only have i met my best friend, my mother but a person that i am proud to call mum, we have a wonderful relationship and yes just for the record cheryl does nag and tell me how it is just like a typical mother but i wouldn't have it any other way.'Thank you for coming into our lives Carla.