Never say never: How I met my mother

I first found out I was adopted at about the age of 30, when Mum and Dad were compelled to tell me by circumstance. Hence, I didn’t feel I could pursue my original birth story until both had passed away. It was the mid-1990s when I found the good people at VANISH, who quickly discovered my birth mother and sent her a message I was looking for her.

Unfortunately, my birth all those years prior had created a rift in her family, with little support and a ghastly outlook for a frightened 19-year-old girl. My birth father never knew of the pregnancy. So, for me to pop back onto the scene after all this time was not a welcomed surprise. Indeed, my mother’s then-husband had no idea of this story and she had no intention of raising it. So, after one brief, secret and tense phone call, we would not speak again for over 25 years.

Every time we moved, I sent her a discreet note to let her know where we were going, just in case she ever felt like she could engage with me. I never heard anything. Finally, in 2022, my wife and I saw the SBS Insight program about adoption and I made contact with VANISH once more to see what they would counsel. One of their saintly support workers, SallyRose, saw my email and called me to share her story. She gave me the courage and advice to try once more. Without her help, I probably wouldn’t have been emboldened.

I nervously composed a small card to my mother and just a few days later, got the shock of my life when she phoned me. Immediately, the dam was broken. A few weeks later, at 66, I finally met my mother and, subsequently, two of my half-brothers. The two lessons I’ve learned are: you can’t enter a situation like this fixated only on your own hopes and emotional needs; and, if you employ gentleness, love, hope and humility, there is always a chance of reunion. Always. Thank you, VANISH. From PJS.