Regular readers will know that I have had my big battles with depression over the years. In the last couple of weeks or so, I have felt the dark clouds hovering again. I am pleased I see them early these days so I can do something to prevent hurtling headlong into full depression.

First there were the anniversaries of my brother’s death followed in the same week by my late Mum’s anniversary. Also I know that my Dad’s anniversary is close too. They all died in the same month which makes this a heavy time of year if I don’t take care.

Then my other brother had a huge crisis which is his business but I felt so bad for him as a  long-held dream crashed leaving him in quite a precarious and undeserved position.

As the children get older, they have differing needs including where they want to live, how they wish to be educated and so much more. It all gets a bit overwhelming for a mum who struggles to be good enough at the best of times.

Tonight I feel lighter. I am searching for my birth father and it is taking its toll. Like with everything, I have gone at it like a bull in a china shop and committed hours to a search that is so far proving fruitless. I have stayed up into the early hours contacting people with his surname tiring  myself out when I already have a busy schedule juggling things. Most people have ignored me, some have responded amazingly generously and  one person was rude and negative.

I cannot explain what it feels like to stare at profiles and photographs trying to see a family resemblance or a clear link to my roots. Soul-destroying probably sums it up but equally you retain that glimmer of hope.

Anyway, my highlights of the week will help build on an already more positive mood.

  1. I have a new Aunt or rather I am in touch with one for the first time from my birth mother’s side. She seems really sassy and someone I would like if I met them anywhere. She is intelligent, warn  and a bit of a campaigner. Right up my street! We are unpicking out way through a relationship really well considering.
  2. I have a good relationship online with 2 half-sisters one adopted and one who remained in the birth family.
  3. My family have worried about me this week which shows they love me. I have had my daughter and husband  telling me over and over to get some sleep and to take better care of myself.
  4. I have returned to the marital bed – that’s a whole other story but it is helping me sleep well.
  5. I have managed to read a book. I always struggle to allow myself the luxury to just read.
  6. I have a home education “contract” with my son very much based on what he wants to learn but also covering key topics so that I am happy too. We did some really good thinking and feeling about the events of 9/11.
  7. I had a social life on Friday and Saturday. Saturday was particularly great as I was also treated to a free meal and a special cocktail.
  8. On Sunday I was really happy with a cheeky coffee morning that went just as I wished.
  9. I have had some free clothing offered and have ordered some distressed jeans and a leopard skin top to keep my mid-life crisis going nicely. Oh and I have a bra and pants coming soon too. Love the perks of blogging sometimes!
  10. Tomorrow, I will be out and about again celebrating one year of finding a very special place.

So I guess I am saying that sometimes keeping on keeping on is a great reason to be cheerful and I am reminded that I am far stronger than I sometimes feel.

And finally, if I don’t find my birth Dad, I can always celebrate my “real Dad” whose anniversary I will mark on 23rd September quite possibly with a tot o rum.

How is your week going?

The Ordinary Moments


R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

My Random Musings

A moving house checklist can save so much hassle. Did you know relocating is one of the main stressors people face in life? If it is stressful for you as an adult, imagine the impact on your little ones and your pets too. A checklist can reduce your stress levels which also has a positive impact on those around you. Yes you may have chosen the best of removal companies but there are other matters to consider for a happy family move.

Inject some fun

If moving involves laughter rather than arguing and tantrums, it can become a pleasant memory. Have fun things for the children to do throughout the day. Do a little research about play parks or bowling alleys so you can promise a celebration when you are finally at your new place. Not only can you all let off steam but you might make some new family friends too.

Listen to your kids

It is so easy at busy times to file our children  in front of a screen. You need to be there to listen to their concerns. Take those concerns seriously because they are real to your children even if they appear minor to you. I find admitting you have your own worries too helps you bond with your child so long as you don’t over do it.  Think about books about moving home which can help children make sense of it all and make it that  bit less scary for them.

Decide where the children will be on moving day

Will your children join in with the practical tasks of the move? This will depend on their age and personalities. Would it be better for them to be with family members and for you to reunite when the  move is complete? Grandparents can come into their own on such occasions. They also will know what it is like to go through a move and so are a great support to you. If you are lucky, they might even cook for you all at the end of moving day.

Pets

Once your children are past the baby and toddler stage, you can explain things very clearly to them which helps. That is not so easy when it comes to your beloved pets. Do not try to move yourselves with pets as part of that process. It just adds to stress levels. Again if you have family or friends who can take your pet until the move is done, so much the better. There are also some great pet sitter services out there these days.

After the move

Don’t start off adding  more stress to your lives by spending too much after the move. It’s not just about getting affordable removal quotes before the move, it is about managing money from day one in your new place. Do you need to eat takeaways for the whole week after the move? Do you need brand new furniture just because you have changed houses? Yes it is nice to treat ourselves but it is all vital not to pile up debts.

What tips do you have for moving home with children and pets?

 

 

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Pink Pear Bear

Tracing my birth family has not happened all at once. In my twenties I got found out the basic information. This basically meant I found out I had Irish parents who were not married and who had already had one child who they had adopted out to Ireland. I also found out other children were put up for adoption by my birth mother afterwards. There seems to be some confusion as to whether there were four or five of us in all.

With the help of Social Services, I wrote to my birth mum and she wrote back. She had returned to Ireland, married and had four more children. I am in touch with some of these and they are amazing people and very generous in putting up with the sister they knew nothing about for so many years.

For me it was always about tracing my birth mum but for some reason recently I find myself wanting to know more about my birth father. For various reasons, I do not think Social Services could help too much with this. Their focus was on mother and baby back then. I have shared a post on what I know about my birth father before.

To date, I have messaged people with his full name or his surname on Facebook. I don’t want to cause hassle to anyone but equally I feel I have a right to claim my identity in some way. I would also like him to know that it all worked out alright in the end for me and to know it did for him too. There may of course be a whole new family of half-siblings to discover too.

Due to the number of people I have contacted and the lack of so many responses I do wonder if my birth father does not wish to be found. I know he could be dead or even in prison. Who knows? It is best to prepare myself for everything as best I can.

Some people have responded to me. We have ruled out some people with his name as the dates of his birthday and so on do not match. Some people are really trying to help as best they can and that amazes me considering that they are strangers. Having said that I suspect the Irish are quite used to babies turning up decades later laying some sort of claim as so many Irish babies were adopted in what an Aunt of mine refers to as “very different times”

I have contacted the local newspaper for the area he came from and they have offered advertising rates if I want to go down that route either in the paper or via social media.

I am wondering if the Salvation Army or Missing People could help.

The search is of course taking hours of my time. It is exhausting sometimes but also addictive. I need to look after myself better in all of this. Last week, I felt so tired and emotional. This is not good as it impacts on family life here too.

I don’t know quite why but I suddenly had a realisation which is new and I think important. I know that I come by birth from the Joyce and Codd families. That remains the case whether I was rejected/adopted or not. As I look at the longer-term history of these fascinating families, there is so much to like and these are my people just as much as the Thornton and Holmes families that became mine via adoption. Not only that but my three children have Joyce and Codd within them from my birth family and their children will too.

So I will continue the search for my birth family with a little more balance and with the knowledge that I know my birth family already via history and more vitally by the three amazing personalities that live right here with me totally in my line of sight.

Cuddle Fairy
Mum Muddling Through

Strays and Relations is a book about an adopted woman tracing her birth family. As an adopted person myself I was interested to read it and finished the whole book in just two sittings.

This book was inevitably very close to home for me particularly as the birth mother was an Irish Roman Catholic. The birth family had different strands to it too much as my own birth family did. Even in less momentous ways, I felt a link to the main character from the fact that her birth mum was based in Yorkshire where I was brought up right down to the description of her baby’s “upturned nose”. I had literally read the same description in my own adoption file only a week before reading this book. Life moves in very mysterious and meaningful ways sometimes.

Of course the story in this book is not mine. Every adoption story is an individual one. It is my belief being adopted is not a tragedy just a fresh start. Having said that I think adoption has a huge impact emotionally for all those involved including birth parents, adoptive parents, the adopted person, siblings, partners and friends.

Just as in my situation, there are different stages to locating the birth family in this story. At one point, the main character believes her mother to be deceased. I can remember being warned of such a potential eventuality when I first looked into my birth family in my twenties. I was pleased that she has support from a dear friend, her adoptive mum, her partner and her child.

Later the birth father surfaces and to me acts in a very strange way eventually bringing the birth mother and various siblings into the mix. I can see how this would be overwhelming emotionally. Adopted people often feel that they are not good enough. However logic says this is not the case, it is that feeling that comes from an early rejection whatever the sensible reasons for that letting go of a child.

I enjoyed this book a lot and found it to be a real page-turner partly because there really were so many strays and relations along the way both human and animal. The characters are well-drawn and I found myself particularly attracted to the birth mother and her daughters. I was less impressed with the birth father who I should point out does not stay with the birth mother. I would have liked to know the adoptive mother a little better too as I did not get a firm sense of her.

I have never seen myself as a stray but I can see the analogy drawn with animals in the book and the quirky Tuesday/Merlin dog in particular. There are angels masquerading as human beings out there who take on personalities who may be challenging but who ultimately deserve a second chance. You know some of us strays are quite special in our own right and add loads to the places and people we end up with. Not so long ago I would not have seen this so clearly.

The author comments;

“My novel is a fictional insight into what happens when birth and adoptive families meet – and when those families are from very different backgrounds.”

My adoptive family and birth family have never met. It is too late now. I am OK with that. I know my adoptive family were supportive of my search but did not really wish to meet my birth parents. As far as they were concerned, I was their child so I can see how meeting my birth parents would have been too much for them.

In conclusion, I highly recommend tis book. I hope the author will forgive me that I have referenced my own story in this review partly because I am right in the middle of searching actively for my birth father and establishing contact with new members of my birth mother’s family.

If you are intrigued by adoption or have experience of it, I think you will enjoy this book. In any event, I think it is a jigsaw puzzle of life as many of our stories are and worth a read adopted or not.

ISBN: 9781788039345 Price: £10.99

https://www.amazon.com/Strays-Relations-Hours-Decades-Greenfield/dp/1788039343

div align=”center”>Family Fever

Cuddle Fairy

Co-working is something I think works well for so many individuals and organisations. As the word suggests it is about working together rather than hiding in an ivory tower of your own office. Instead of seeing people isolated in cubicles or behind  screens, it brings people together in an open workspace. In a very troubled world, I think the more we come together for work and play the better.

Who can really benefit from co-working?

I think any worker can benefit from co-working to be honest. However as a freelancer myself, it really appeals as working from home or making a makeshift office at a coffee shop table can be isolating and inefficient. I can see how co-working means you would have someone to pass the time of day with and we all need that for our mental wellbeing. Co-working is great for any entrepreneur and could lead to some powerful networking opportunities.

Partnership working

Partnership working used to be a real buzzword when I was employed some time ago. This was largely as I worked in the charity sector and funding from Government bodies often depended on showing how you were working with other organisations. That led to a few quite cynical partnerships but I still think the idea of sharing is a very good thing and that money does not have to be the currency involved. People in a co-working space will have different backgrounds, educations, training records, knowledge and clients. I think it is possible that with the right attitude everyone in the co-working scenario could benefit seeing their businesses advance that much  quicker as a result.

Confession time

I have to admit that I do not always work productively when at home. There is the housework which stares me in the face asking me when I am going to wash up or hang washing out. There are floors and surfaces to clean on what seems an almost permanent basis. I have animals and children both of which can distract me from what I am trying to achieve work wise. OK let’s really admit the awful truth that I also watch way  too much daytime television having sworn as a child that I would not be like my mum in doing so.

Affordable

Co-working is usually a more affordable option that renting office space of your own. In fact by sharing the costs effectively, you can end up with some really classy locations designed with business in mind. You are not tied into long legal arrangements and you don’t need to invest in desks, chairs and other equipment of your own.

Are you a fan of co-working?

 

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