Being Appreciated – A New Search

This is just a quickie..no pun intended…I’m embarking on yet another journey…the current one in full swing of course and I will document that one when the time is right…

As is my way I need to add to my life load with more extra curricular so alongside being a Mummy to a tiny tot again (that in itself proving a full time role) I’ve decided I actually can offer a fair amount to my fellow Adoptees…That said my objective here is not entirely selfless…I do get a buzz from helping others realise their right to knowledge and if my tenacity and bullish attitude helps a handful of folk find their history I will be satisfied.

So a friend and neighbour and fellow Adoptee has felt the need to find his BM more pressing since the passing of his Adoptive Mum and since meeting my adorable small person, as he attempts to call out to him from the doorstep. He asked me recently to assist in his own trip down history lane and I’ve jumped at the chance. Of course, why not…we are friends, he’s lovely and I get the need entirely, so I set to work.

A few weeks ago and without further a do, I tripped up the lane with laptop in hand and my research head on high alert.

First step was the Birth Certificate. He had a short adoption certificate but not the full document and although helpful we needed to find the original birth certificate for the relevant information on his BM ( maiden name , occupation etc) It seemed he had only had the short one for a couple of years which in itself made me a bit cross. It was his for christsakes, no one had the right to withhold it from him! This is exactly why I need to get out there and help people find their history. Grrrr…..:-/

Its fair to say this seemed an easy task but boy did the gov.org office make it hard work…given they charge good money when the documents are on record waiting to be printed off, you would think the process would be way easier. Nope. We process the order for his full birth certificate and send it off….two weeks go by before a message to say its due in the next 3 days. This follows a message to say its been refunded as the record cannot be located.

Now two things happen here..1) we both get mightily frustrated and 2) One of us thinks they don’t actually exist!

So back on to the Gov.org office (which as it happens reminds me I will be doing same in near future as Small Person needs his full Adoption Certificate in order to obtain his first passport)

It appears that someone devoid of a single brain cell has fucked up…amaze-balls right?…Confusing my friends birth name with his current name and all hell breaks loose..of course he wont exist!!!..plankton has more nouse than some of these gov.org bods I tell you…

So again we pay for fast delivery of Full Birth Certificate. Hurrah.

A week later what should land on the door mat? The full Adoption certificate (Which we already have as a short version) OK so another hissy fit on my part and we reorder yet again. All I want is the bloody first name of his Birth Mother to confirm my findings already…

So today it arrives. At last. Now I can confirm I was on the right track.

Or not.

The name is completely bloody different from my first thoughts. Again , if you refer back to my first book you will know at this point I had convinced myself to the point of obsession. I learned from that lesson that you cant be too certain. Until you know for sure and I was proved right in my self advice today.

A new name entirely…

However, a few hours with my friend and further research tonight and I can tell you I seem to have found her….fingers crossed…

So I text my neighbour the exciting news and he rang me just now..He told me he really appreciated all I was doing to help him and he sounded a bit emotional and I truly get it.

This is Huge for him, and big for me too as I invest my time willingly and love to help find answers as I know how hard life is without them. Anyone who isn’t adopted cant quite understand how we feel on this one person island of ours , akin to being set adrift on a raft without a plan.

On an island

He said something to me this afternoon, whilst my little lad happily pushed past the table and climbed up onto his knee.

It was honestly as though he felt a kindred link to this good natured , jovial man in his home who until now had been a wave away up the lane.

He turned to me and said matter of fact, without irony or edge ” You know what, we three all have something in common….we are all adopted!! ”

He’s right! My little person has no clue but we both knew that in that moment we cemented our three way friendship , we three Adoptees. Its quite a profound feeling for me to be able to realise exactly how his sense of self feels right now. He will lie awake tonight covering every possible scenario in his head…Will she like me? Am I a secret? Will she want to be found? Has she wondered about me ? etc etc

Here lies the argument of many in that perhaps she wont want to accept her past has come to bite her on the arse.

However , as we all know nothing can stop Black Sheep when she gets her teeth into something

..So, rightly or wrongly she will get found and as Earth Angel was for me, I am that essential emotional buffer for my friend as we travel this rocky road into his past together…

I know for a fact his uncertainty will grow the nearer we get to finding out if this target is the right one…but I will metaphorically hold his hand

reality

Next step: we draft a letter , send it RECORDED delivery direct to our target…and find out for sure…………

Watch this space…

Thanks for Reading..

Much Love Black Sheep xxx

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ps. If you are considering searching for a Birth relative for yourself or someone close to you please get in touch blacksheepsweetdreams@gmail.com

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Two Men, One tiny , One tall

So firstly apologies for going AWOL but I really do have the best ever excuse! Our little man is full on and now hes on the move and confidently walking he is even more time consuming…in the best sense of the word but still…hes bloody hard work. I expected him to be and if his first real word isn’t NO I will be amazed!…It seems to me that although from just 10 months old he became ours , its like hes always been ours ….he runs the household and is a real spirited character…I will document our Adoption journey in due course but touching base to say hi and share a poem I was moved to write last night…

You see the thing that gives me the most pleasure is actually watching how my small person interacts so happily with the others I love in my world. Be it my wonderful supportive friends, my own siblings…and particularly his sister and big brothers who all adore him.

The bond he has developed with all my family is fabulous and even though he is unable to say a lot, my dearest Father shows his love for my little man in small but tangible ways…I am constantly thankful that life has allowed us these precious moments and I can watch these two men, one old and one young, tease each other and enjoy these times as one day they will fade away….

Time stands still when we let it…..hence this poem..I hope you like it….

Time

GRAND-DAD

A kick of a ball…to a much smaller foot. A giggle and a smile and a sideways look. One small gesture of love from a Grand-dad .

The younger learning early not to feel sad.

For his Grand-dad was once a keen player but now he is ill and fate dealt a card that was to steal his skill.

This youngster will never know the joy my dad earned from a ball. He told me that as a boy a kick about on his road was a treat.

I listened to his tales of footy fun after school ..and I couldn’t help but wonder how life could be so cruel

Here’s a spouse, a daddy and Grandad , whose dedicated life to his family , never sad
Worked all of his life to provide for his kin, and hoped for retirement of travel, fun and relaxin’

Instead he’s endured illness , hardship and pain..and you know I’ve never once heard him complain

Two faces gazed at each other today…one young with wide eyes pouring love on the other… the other enduring and wise with dignity , a smile of amusement at the little face before him.

I wanted to cry….to scream how unfair it is that this man will never kick a ball for real to the small person so desperate to play with him

How cruel Mother Nature is to inflict disease on one so kind

But instead I am grateful my little man gets to meet this great man at all. To know him is to love him and he clearly does. I know forever he will be in my baby boys heart as someone he could respect, and in more ways than one, look up to.

My dad is my hero and he will be that to my brave little boy .

That is a promise ❤️

Thanks for reading, much love

Black Sheep xx

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Awarded Best Adoptee Blogs of 2017!!

Yay!! Well hard work pays off!! We have been selected as one of The Best Adoptee Blogs of the Year

The Best Adoptee Blogs of the Year
Healthline

Pretty happy about this given I just write from the heart…if it helps people its a huge bonus. Thanks to all who are patient with me as I know I am erratic but as you can imagine hands are pretty full with a small person keeping me busy…updates on Little Man soon I promise but for today I am just gonna brag!! Ha! 🙂

Only issue I have is they say I am African American, which I am not but hey coffee is coffee to me!

Thanks for following me peeps

Much Love , I’m off for a cuppa

Black Sheep

Drinking Tea

 

Forgiveness is not about forgetting

So recently I have had limited time to sit and think…as I told you a new focus is crawling about in my home and as such his sleeping hours are the only time I get to blog….eat, sleep, use the loo etc etc.

Anyway loving every minute of it, rapidly running out of memory on every gadget I own that can take a photograph and tired …..realise this sounds odd given he sleeps like clockwork…12 hours a night and 2 during the day from 10.30 almost to the minute

Someone told me recently raise a boy like a dog….running them hard, feed and water and they will sleep as they need..this is very true..

I honestly have never met a more predictable and contented baby. However the downside of this is complacency. He woke from a nap crying recently! Yes I know this is almost the most normal expectation but for us as it has literally NEVER happened!. Even on the day we met face to face when he awoke to 3 pairs of eyes staring at him! So I have to say it was quite a scary thing. Heart racing and legs pacing as I consoled this bundle of fun (aka 23lb solid beefcake- said goodbye to my bingo wings already) I reminded myself that this was normal. Phew! He looks around his Blue and Yellow Winnie the Pooh bedroom and always glances at the same things before ready to press on with poking into all he shouldn’t.

He looks at this window, the sill holding giant Tigger and Rabbit toys, with even bigger Winnie and Eyeore resting on a mini Winnie chair. He glances above him at his pendant light bearing Winnie holding a balloon and lastly has to see his Pooh clock with its pendulum swinging legs. At his point he is satisfied to be where he should be and where he knows hes safe and loved. Now I can hoist him out and dry his face…..

I will of course work you through the process of adding to our family in due course but for now bear with me as I revel and bask in the lovely new bond we are all building with a small person who could not be a better fit for this mad-cap family.

So I find myself at a cross roads in my life, a chosen path many might view as sheer madness but the pleasure I get from those cute dimples, cheeky smile and huge saucer eyes cannot be described with simple text…at the risk of gushing about my two beautiful children I will just say they really are TOTALLY scrumptious and a wave of emotion takes hold every time I see them playing together. She is a constant source of amusement to him, He is a small person needing her protection and constant introduction to all things..naughty mainly but hey, that’s where I come in.

The most understood words so far seem to be NO!, Light , Gently and Mama (Ha!!) The gently is a moot point when he grabs Daddy by the chest hair…I suspect this to be his own fault for showing him how to pull up grass!?!

I noted two women today enchanted by my baby boy. They stopped their conversation and all their focus turned to my little man as if drawn into his spell. I will over the next few months challenge all my girlfriends not to fall madly deeply in love with this mini man ! Ha! Trust me there will be a steady stream of broken hearts when he hits puberty..But for now I can privately revel in his company as he really is the greatest waste of time! Just watching him dart around knowing I have to preempt his every move already as the minx in him is showing itself before he’s even a year old!

A new thing is stronger attachment. Its likely no coincidence that top teeth are trying to come in. Certainly could explain an increase in his clingy behaviour of late.  I was previously marvelling at the fact he usually woke from a sleep and rarely did more than a sing song until he got the attention he was after. Following recent sleeps he is waking and crying? Sounds perfectly acceptable but given its actually a new thing it was slightly alarming. However, ever the positive optimist I have concluded that it is in fact an excellent sign of a a developing strong attachment with me. I am the main caregiver so the one most likely to hear him as he demands to be rescued from his cot. I figure he trusts that I will make it all better. As soon as he hears me calling out to announce my approach he clams up and kind of sobs with relief. This I do see as a good sign if a little disconcerting. Positive changes are seen almost daily and his confidence in all the family is growing hugely.

Anyway enough of that for now….

I got thinking recently,  reading a thread on Facebook about forgiveness. I am generally the person who seeks to understand the other point of view but occasionally there is no reasoning with people so I move on and consider myself excused from the friendship and congratulate myself for simply recognising a prize prick when I see one!?

However, there are other times I realise that ignorance is not always the fault of the other person , however hurt they make me feel and I have room for compassion and can shelve a desire to a) bear a grudge, which we all know serves no positive purpose (but boy do I know someone who treats it as an Olympic sport) or b) punch that person so hard in the tits they pass through their body and end up as mini humps on their back…I generally fantasise about option b of course and have never put it into practice…I promise!

So I have a current situation where I am once again the forgiver of someone else’s shitty behaviour, and despite never seeing myself trusting that person this side of hell freezing over, I know that my energy is best spent on nurturing my little prince and giving him the best of myself as a mummy and as a woman he can respect and look up to. He is going to be the most handsome young man and proved his flirting skills are already pretty honed this morning. Grinning his gums and batting his enviably long lashes at two business women in Costa, who were previously deep in serious discussion.

I came across this great piece of writing which summed up almost precisely my thoughts on forgiving someone who really deserves far less….

Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat……Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behaviour, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgement, but without true change, no real relationship can be established………Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation………Forgiveness does not excuse anything………You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realise that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness……
William Paul Young, The Shack
life4
And so on wards and upwards to another day of ……laundry, nappies, mushed food , play….nappies……nappies  oh …and cuddles! 🙂
Thanks for reading
Much Love
Black Sheep xxx

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And So It Came to Pass….A New Life

So I have been more than a little preoccupied recently and in a short while you will get a hint of why. Firstly I want to wish all of you a very Happy Easter and secondly I want to share a secret..intimate details of which will have to wait for me to come back down to earth.

It is often said that we are given only what we can handle. Well that’s not strictly true in my life. I believe we reach out for what we need and if the planets are on course we will get it in time. For ten years I have nurtured and adored my girl and with every breath in my body I will continue to do so. For 13 years I have loved and raised two strapping lads born of another mother. I actually have it in writing that they love and respect me as a mother as much as they do their own biological mum . I take great pride in knowing they see me this way as the wicked step mum image never suited me in my view. I have a different kind of broomstick? Ha!

It is fair to say my girly is a real mini- me and never fails to inspire me . Her creativity and her kindness are unlimited. Her beauty a source of wonder. Her wish every Christmas and with every blow of her 10 years worth of Birthday candles has always been the same.

I told her fairly recently that I always knew what that wish was. She said ‘But how, I never told you because you said it wouldn’t come true’. I agreed and said ‘Well, sometimes I just know stuff, its maybe Mummy intuition? Or maybe a wish we share so I could easily guess. This pacified her and we changed the subject . In the back of my mind I knew because as I said before my child and I share such a strong bond that I feel her mind in my mind as well as hold her heart in my heart.

My daughter will always be my treasured prize … awarded to me for being a child bearing woman. Have the stretch marks to prove it too!

My womb was blessed the day she was conceived and every day since. I look into her beautiful face and my heart swells with pride at the perfection she is.

So if you cannot guess yet what I am getting at I will have to spell it out…..

Her wish to be a big sister has been granted . Her coverted baby brother has arrived. The adoption journey continues for Black Sheep and new chapters in my life are unfolding at a rapid pace. As if the planets took 10 years to position themselves so this could happen..

So for these last 6 or so years her wish for a baby brother has been not only a source of amusement but also of great pain. Sharing the same wish carries a burden of guilt . Guilt for not being able to grant it but also guilt for wanting to add someone else to our bubble of love in which we are already more than comfortable. If that sounds as if I expect our mutual adoration to change in any way should that wish be granted , then you get me all wrong.

I honestly couldn’t love her more than I do and certainly will never ever love her less . A friend told me today that he thinks I have enough love in my heart to love many children. And I do in fact do just that. They don’t have to all be my own of course. I have many special children in my life, those of the special grown ups in my life. I think I am quite good with kids, maybe because I see things through childlike eyes. By this I mean I remember being a child clearly and maybe as an adopted child I can feel and understand the future uncertainties my own adopted child will undoubtedly feel too.

In his face now I see a look of curiosity , yes curiosity , not anything like fear . It is clear to me with every new face that peers into his. Maybe as an adoptee I am more watchful for signs of an issue than anyone else in the room. Its possible I guess. I don’t worry for him right now, as he has only known one foster placement since birth so the much warned experiences of trauma are unlikely. We are in fact his first experience of trauma and being showered with love and care is as bad as its ever gonna get 🙂

It is natural to be initially wary of new people , adopted or otherwise. And actually testimony to how strongly attached he has already become with his new forever family. Within only a few minutes of meeting a new face, an adorable gummy smile with two tiny bottom pegs, lights up the face of this small person and his wide brown eyes shine like chocolate buttons in porcelain.

People are usually ( and rightfully) mindful of a baby who may at any second kick off and have a screaming hissy fit, so I figure my excited neighbour who immediately snatched him from my arms into hers, was a very brave woman indeed.

Given he reached back towards me on first bounce was a good sign I reckon.  Funny how she is my new best friend and claimed to ‘want him!’ ..rarely speaks until now that I have him home, but hey babies should bring the best out in people and bring them together shouldn’t they?.

* Make a mental note of this point for later chapters in this new book of my life

She also gave him some lush trousers so she may  in fact prove to be a good neighbour one day!

Just for a second, imagine being taken from everything you know and plonked into a new place the other end of the country, with new smells, new clothes and new people to get to know. Surely it must be terrifying to a baby. However, that part of my own childhood I don’t recall and neither will he.

He really is beautiful and I do know how lucky we are. Trust me on that one. None of this amazing blessing is taken for granted in any way. You don’t try to conceive for around 9 years and take anything for granted. He truly is a miracle and as soon as I saw his little chubby face I knew he had waited to be born for when the time was right for all of us.

In fact he was being born pretty much at the exact same time as I celebrated a small hurdle with good friends over dinner some 10 months ago. Dining with two of my dearest friends and one remarked how odd it was to think that my son could be being born that very day. And oddly it was true enough give or take a day or two…

Already many have marvelled at how alike my two children look facially. Also how uncanny it is that he could easily be our own. Our neighbour , who claimed to be almost as excited about his arrival than I am (er nope I don’t think so love!) said to us OMG I cannot believe how they look so alike! Hubby asked me later what he was meant to say in response… I said you say ‘Thank you, yes they are aren’t they!? and leave it at that. Who would say Oh,  well they shouldn’t , that ones adopted blah blah….Imagine it! Talk about giving a child a complex. I said even my mother had people say Isn’t she like you?! They clearly meant in terms of mannerisms and learned characteristics…given I am the colour of molten dairy milk chocolate and she’s the colour of the milk that went into making it!

Point is, it is imperative to ensure my boy feels as much ours as his sister. Until the time is right he will know he is wanted, loved and chosen. When he wants to travel the often rocky road of discovery, as I did, he is safe in the knowledge that he is 100% ours and of us by nurture if not by nature.

During our week of introductions another mum commented in a cafe how gorgeous this baby boy was…I felt a bit bad as I should probably have said a simple Thank you. Instead and before I could check myself,  I replied Yes he is isnt he!!Ha! But truly he is remarkably so and its fair to say there are some fairly epic genes in there, even though we know very little about them!

Many might say Oh that’s risky but lets take you back some 47 years (shit! how many years!….*deep sigh*) to a time in the late 60’s when the risk was all my parents’. I came with little more than a gift tag saying ‘ Please look after this child!’ Sound familiar? Anyway as I said the risk lay with the adopters and still does even with a hundred pages of carefully dictated text. When I was wrapped in a blanket and handed over to my parents they took a massive leap of faith that all would be well and that the promised screenings had actually resulted in negative outcomes. Luckily this was the case but it didn’t make it easier when as an adult I was regularly asked such questions as ‘ Are you allergic to aspirin? Do you have a history of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and all manner of nasty ailments?….My BM filled in the blanks of course once I found her, but up until that point I was living in hope that I was in fact healthy. Thankfully I am pretty much untouched by anything to give me cause for concern. It makes me laugh how my BM told me recently that a routine check up for her dodgy knee cartilage had a nurse ask her if she had been screened for sickle cell?..shes over 60! I said ‘ Why would they ask you that now? clearly you haven’t had it and don’t have it now! She replied ‘ Well they probably had about 2 black women with sickle cell in the past 20 years and figure we all must carry it and be able to hide it from the screening tests, like drugs mules??! She does make me laugh! 🙂

So the risk is ours and looking at him sleeping soundly with a cute snuffly snore I am pretty sure this robust and stocky little man with pudgy hands would fight off anything that stood between him and a happy healthy life.

Just the way his little fat hands grasp round my fingers as he chugs on his night time bottle and I am reminded how much he needs me and how much love I can give this little life.

He was definitely written in the stars for me and that’s the truth. Warnings from my own mum of how bonding might take time and to be brave if its not right away…well for me I bonded from the second I opened my iPad to see his face on Dec 27th 2016. That bond grew daily as I watched his image and video come to life on the plasma screen of my laptop. He was never two-dimensional to me. He was warm and soft and needed me. His eyes told me he had to know me and have me as his mummy. I feel passionate that this is his destiny and despite all the angst of adoption for all concerned, it feels right . His needs are exactly as any other baby:  love, health, warmth , safety, security and family. These will be met in bucket loads. His little soul will be nurtured and he will be reaching his full potential before our eyes.

The match is remarkable and I know in my heart its something pretty powerful that brought us to this child. You see we planned to adopt whilst enjoying a romantic mini break in Poland in January 2016 . This December,  only a month after approval he popped into my search feed on the ‘social service family finding system’. The second child to which we had been drawn (first was introduced to us but turned out not to be right for various reasons)

Again we happened to be in Poland. This time with my girl too. So one look and I just knew. Yep, it was that simple. His eyes said ‘ Take me home Mummy’ and that was it..the seed was sown . Even the lovely Social workers working on his behalf couldn’t do a home visit quick enough. I am proud to quote one as saying ‘ The feeling of a family home filled with clear signs of love swung it for them. It was confirmed that they approved the link and wanted to proceed with us….within an hour of their 6 hour journey back to the home town of my son.

Other signs are clear to me now but to be honest its run like clockwork and I couldn’t imagine any other baby being my son. A few administrative hoops to jump through yet but I can safely say he is settled and content and charming the birds from the trees at every turn. No one leaves my home without that warm fuzzy feeling as if touched by an angel in the form or a small person in tiny socks!

 

Suffice it to say its been a long year but the road to our future  is a shining gleaming path of golden light and our little smiley and contented baby boy is all I dreamed he would be.

To say his Sister is smitten doesn’t cover it . There is of course much more of this journey to document and I will tell you more as and when my new manic lifestyle allows…please be patient with me but rest assured this journey is as entertaining as my own…

Thanks in advance for being patient with me!

Much love and Happy Easter

Easter Sheep

Black Sheep x

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