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Friday, 5 November 2010

National Adoption Week - a tribute to my adoptive Mum

I don't call her my adoptive Mum. I call her my Mum. She is my real Mum and that did not change when she died last September.

My mum was amazing although I don't think she ever knew it. She took me on when her sons were grown up and she could have had a well-earned rest. She used to say she cherished me and that is a really good word for how I was treated by her and my Dad.

She had to take it when people said daft things about her adopting me, both relatives and so-called friends. She had to stand at the school-gates with the children of her friends, now grown up and parents themselves.

What sort of Mum was she?

Certainly loving, warm and funny. A story-teller, a historian, a forever learner. A big woman in every way, perhaps particularly in the heart department.

She nurtured both emotionally and with her wonderful cookery and baking.

I had everything I wanted and only worked out in adulthood that probably cost my parents dear financially.

Sometimes I frustrated her because I was not a girly-girl and she would have loved to have persuaded me of the benefits of make-up, bras, handbags and shoes.

I chose the wrong fellas in her book too but then she admitted nobody would have being good enough for me.

She was so proud when I got into Cambridge University. It was outside her experience and it scared her a bit. All credit to her for letting me go and for putting in the building blocks that made that possible in the first place.

She did not understand why I turned my back on a legal career and went off to work in charities. Yet by doing so I was proving myself very much her daughter.

Mum was not a perfect Mum. She made mistakes. She was a hard taskmaster but that drove me to some pretty impressive achievements and some amazing experiences. If anything, she may have been guilty of loving me too much so that she found it very hard to let me grow up and make all my incredibly silly mistakes.

Mum and I would clash painfully at times. Two strong personalites both thinking we knew best. It sounds a strange thing to say but I am glad we knew she was dying because it gave us time to revisit the past together and to unpick it.

I always wanted to impress my Mum. I think I actually did and absolutely hit the jackpot on that one in the way I brought up my children. She told me they were the happiest children she has ever come across. They are her legacy.

When she was dying, she made Dad write important dates in his diary so he would remember them when she was not there to remind him. Today, I am looking at a card on my mantlepiece from my lovely Dad wishing me a Happy Adoption Day. My mum knew what she was doing and is still pulling strings from beyond the grave.

So Happy Adoption Day Dad and I guess Mum you will be indulging in some Bell'S Whisky up in heaven.

To all adoptive parents out there, you make a huge difference.

And for anyone considering adoption, please enquire rather than ruling yourself out without sending that email or making that telephone call.

2 comments:

  1. Very touching. Must have been awful for you when you lost her.

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  2. As adoptive Mum to four this brought a tear to my eye. They drive me mad but I love them to bits. Your Mum was lucky to have you.

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