When the counselling lady sent her letters out she was very ambiguous in her wording, but both my grandmothers knew straight away what and who the letters were about. They passed them on straight away and within days my birth father wrote back. A few weeks later my birth mother replied too. Both responses were positive and letters soon started dashing back and forth.
My birth father had gone on to marry, though hadn’t had any more children and he and his wife offered to come down to my neck of the woods so that we could meet. They booked a week’s holiday and we arranged to meet up the second day.
Although I had got to know him very well through our letters there were still nerves on both sides. We knew what each other looked like from photos but actually seeing and speaking to someone in the flesh is a whole other level.
Would he like me? Just because I was technically his daughter didn’t automatically mean he would. Would I be what he was expecting? Would I have any of his traits?
I can’t tell you much about the first time we met as it was a blur of emotions, hugs and huge smiles. I know I was there, he was there and his wife and my boyfriend (didn’t last) was there. There was a pub and a meal. But that is about all I can recall. When we said our goodnights I had to rely on my boyfriend to retell the whole evening to me. I then cried, a lot. Not tears of upset or anger, just tears streaming down my face.
The rest of their week with me rushed passed. We did all the touristy things but I think both of us could have visited Mars and we probably wouldn’t have noticed. We clicked straight away. We didn’t look alike but our sense of humour was the same, we liked and disliked the same things. We both had had the same sports injuries. There was also an unsaid understanding. I didn’t want to know why nor did I ask why I had been adopted and he respectfully didn’t rush to give his side of the events.
Throughout my search for my birth parents my adoptive parents knew I had started to look. At the very beginning I had sat and explained that I was going to start searching. I can’t say they were ecstatic about the idea but they supported me, they were naturally protective of me and didn’t want to see me hurt. They would ask how things were going and when my birth father came down they respectfully kept their distance. It was difficult at times as there were occasions when I was bursting to talk to them about my birth father, but also I had to understand that my adoptive parents were going through their own emotional rollercoaster too.
All those letters and the week together was the start of our father and daughter relationship. We are still in contact to this day and he and his wife come down to see me every year. Sometimes it’s just for 24 hours sometimes longer. We’re not in each other’s pockets all the time, but I know he and his wife are there if ever I need them. Our yearly ‘meet ups’ are like old friends meeting up and having a good time.