The Next Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, which has to be one of my least liked days of every year.

I posted a 10 slide mini-essay on Instagram, sharing my feelings about the day and how being an adopted person impacts the pinkest day of dotage on on the calendar. You can find my Instagram account here.

The first thing I did after posting was send a message to my sisters, assuring them of my love and telling them I’d posted something about MD and that the post was not about our family.
Thank everything good in the world, they get it, to the degree that than can. They both sent back messages of love and support, which meant so, so much to me. Their words of affirmation made me cry.

I was a little concerned about backlash, so I didn’t tweet the mini-essay, as Twitter can turn nasty fast. I was glad that the people I know on Instagram were supportive of me; I received lovely comments, and a few people shared their own familial connections to relinquishment and adoption.
To each of you, I send my heartfelt thanks.

Speaking or writing about adoption isn’t easy, especially on social media where things can be so easily misconstrued. I did pause before I hit OK, and then I hit it. They were my words, my thoughts and I wanted to share them.

After feeling relieved and buoyed by the response to my post, especially the words from my sisters, I watched MasterChef then binged more of my latest fave series, Power, which is on Stan. (Get on to that, FYI.)

Yesterday wasn’t an awful day, it was a (mildly) difficult day, as it is for lots of people.

Took myself off to bed and fell asleep without any issues. My brain clearly wasn’t finished pondering mothers and adoption though, as I had an incredibly vivid dream in which my family moved out of our family home of over four decades, without telling me. They just left.

In the dream, I was somehow at their new house, which had none of the family’s furniture or belongings, and literally no room for me, even though it was a big house. I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone on why they left without telling me. It was horrible. Horrible. Absolutely real, and gutting.

I woke up, sprang out of bed and had a brilliant day.


Actually, I woke up feeling literally wrenched out of the dream. I felt the emotions of the dream, abandonment and fear, coursing through me, like liquid neon.

I sat on my bed for more than an hour, trying to will myself to get going, get in the shower, get ready for work. I couldn’t do it.

Finally, I sent a text to my boss and let him know that I was having a difficult mental health day. I don’t sugar coat why I can’t function. No ‘I’m feeling a bit sick’ excuses. Just because pain is mental not physical, doesn’t make it any less real or valid. I was not capable of concentrating enough to work. I now know myself well enough to stay within my limits.

So, straight to the yoga mat, followed by 45 minutes of silent meditation? Sorry, no. Straight into my fluffy pink dressy-gown and then to the coffee machine. I ordered fresh bread on UberEats, thinking eggs on toast would be good, then popped myself on the couch. I finished watching Power (wow!) and just vegged out for a good few hours. No eggs on toast. Shrug.

A couple of people checked in after I posted on Facey and Insta, which was brilliant. I’m glad nobody called, I didn’t want to expend my limited energy on big emotions. I just let myself be in my vulnerable state, and didn’t give a second thought to missing work. I am more important than my productivity, so I chose myself today.

One of the main reasons I find it easy to choose myself is because I have broken the tape that loops in most of our heads shouting ‘compare yourself to others and find yourself lacking’. I don’t play that rigged game anymore.

I needed space and quiet time to let the after affects of that awful dream dissipate. It worked. I even managed a reviving shower by 5pm.

That’s how I got through the next day.

(Re-watching Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana helped too. Thanks TayTay.)

I guess I type all of that, to say this: Choose yourself.
The more often you choose yourself, the easier it gets.
It is within your power.

Annette xx

Peace Talks, For One

Not being an international diplomat of any ranking, I’ve never attended a round table peace summit. I’ve watched President Bartlet broker a peace deal on The West Wing, and over the years I’ve tried to talk a few friends down from dissolving a friendship over a misunderstanding, but peace talks aren’t really in my skill set. Or so I thought.

A while ago, I think it was in a conversation on Facebook, I was chatting with some people about self-esteem and I was saying that I’m not a slave to negative self-talk. Someone in the conversation said they’d like to hear more about how I got from where I was – fearful, full of angst, and struggling against crushing negativity and diatribes of worthlessness reverberating around my skull – to where I am today – no longer really bothered by a negative internal narrator.

Could I explain the way things changed? Do I even know how or when it happened?

It’s been the subject of much reflection, not because I think there’s a six-step e-book on overcoming negativity in my future, but because I believe it is absolutely VITAL for our well-being, individually and collectively, that we shake off the crippling doubts and self-loathing a lot of us seem to battle with.

Here’s the one thing I know for sure about it – it is a long process. For me, the road has been winding and often arduous. I didn’t go to bed one night berating myself and wake up the next day an entirely different creature. Anyone who promises you that is bullshitting you. And themselves.

As I’ve reflected on getting from there to here, I have been genuinely surprised by remembering some of the signposts and milestones along the way. It seems so strange to really have to dig around to unearth things that seemed so epic and life changing when I was going through them. There’s good news there – things that feel huge and insurmountable in your life now may one day be all but forgotten.

So, how did I change?





peace talks

I held peace talks, for one.

This was no well-catered weekend at Camp David – my peace talks were ongoing, undignified, dehydrating, and scary as hell.

Honestly, I cannot articulate the sheer terror I felt as my greatest fears demanded my attention. It was primal, guttural and something I couldn’t speak about at the time, or for a long time afterwards.

The key thing that I believe allowed me to come through this season, which lasted for several years (there go my quick fix six-step e-book sales down the toilet), was that I gave myself permission to bring the dark unspeakable “truths” I’d been tormented by into the light. I wouldn’t say I rolled out the red carpet for them, because there was still a shitload of resistance as I came undone, but somehow I was ready to question things I’d always believed.

I was prepared, tremblingly, to entertain the idea that perhaps I’d been wrong about the life sentence I’d convinced myself I was under – a sentence which I believed I “deserved”.

I guess in the simplest terms, I allowed myself to ask “what if?”.

What if I was wrong about the harsh, demanding expectations I had of myself?

What if I was someone who wasn’t broken beyond repair?

What if I could think differently about my experience? Could I redeem any of it?

What if I didn’t need to get over it, but to embrace it?

What if I could stop feeling lost, or like damaged goods?

What would that look like?

What might that feel like?


My name tag for the peace talks says Annette/Sara, Adoptee.

I was born to an unmarried teenager in the late 1960s. I was put up for adoption under circumstances I know little about. Strike that, I know nothing about them. Not a thing.

Until I was in my late 20s I didn’t even know my mother’s name. I still don’t know my father’s.

Being an adoptee isn’t rare; thousands upon thousands of other people share that fate, especially in the era I was born in. Being an adoptee isn’t something I have ever been ashamed of, though I know it feels shameful to others. I have always known, it’s not a secret in my family.

I grew up in easy breezy 70s suburbia, so I have no complaints there. Actually having to write “no complaints there” is the kind of thing that pisses me off most about writing about adoption. Saying anything other than that I’m grateful or that adoption is such a selfless gift or any of the myriad of ‘always look on the bright side’ clichés people espouse, often isn’t well received. I feel like I need to defend my position from the get go. I don’t, I know. But I want to be understood.

Adoption is the Ground Zero of my wounds.


We all have our own obstacles to overcome. The things I have faced (and continue to face) may not be the same as the things you’re facing, but I believe the root of most of our struggles are variations on some common themes. We feel damaged. Broken. Stained. Unworthy.

People we love and trust may tell us these things are true of us.

We may tell ourselves they’re true.

More insidiously, we may receive these messages without anyone ever saying a word.

Some of us can’t recall ever feeling anything but a sense of not measuring up, or the pressure of nagging perfectionism, which can never be satisfied, no matter what we do.

For some, there’s a moment in time where things shifted, and the battle began.

We can’t become what we imagine is acceptable. We try. We fail. We berate ourselves. We try again. We fall down. It’s a vicious, exhausting, demoralising hamster wheel.

When that struggle begins with questions about who you are, and whether you deserve to be here at all, well, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re fucked.


By the time I was willing to pin on my name tag and sit down to ongoing peace talks with myself, I had been keeping company of people who were showing me what an examined life looked like, and I didn’t even realise it.

Until that Facebook conversation I mentioned earlier started me thinking about how I got from there to here, I had completely forgotten that my initial and excruciatingly painful forays into examining my wounds happened in the same building where I’d been shown what living a radically honest life looked like – in AA/recovery meetings.

Funnily enough, those meetings were held in the church I attended at the time, but they had a totally different candour about them than anything I’d ever known. I loved them.

I can count the number of times I have felt truly at home with a group of people on one hand, and those meetings were one of those times.

Something about that ethos of recovery, of fearless and frank self-examination, must have sunk in, because what I do remember is a shockingly seismic shift in my thinking about how adoption had marked my life.

Looking back, I can see now that the pain of that season was as much about reframing my mindset, as it was about dealing with the tentacles of adoption. I was lost and overwhelmed by the conflict I was in. I oscillated between feeling grateful, broken, chosen, and rejected. I was in hell.

I had been absolutely, steadfastly determined to “get over it”. I mean, I was an adult, adoption was something that happened to me so long ago – there was no way I should still feel all the things I felt about it. It was kind of pathetic wasn’t it? At the same time, I felt broken in half by it, and totally incapable of recovering. My mantra was: suck it up, get over yourself, move on. Don’t cause (more) trouble. I was horrendously insensitive, even cruel, to myself.

I slowly, slowly came to understand that I didn’t have to “get over it”, I didn’t need to move on or suck it up. I needed to embrace that adoption had marked me, but it couldn’t  define or destroy me without my permission. It happened to me. It is a fact of my life that I cannot change, that I didn’t choose or cause and which I don’t have to shy away from or sugar coat the impact of.

So how did I overcome my obstacles?

I started by giving myself permission to feel whatever came up.

Slowly.       So very slowly.




Then I started responding to my feelings. Out loud.

Whenever I would berate myself, or demand something ridiculous of myself, I got into the habit of rebutting whatever accusation or insult was being hurled. Out loud.

I would say something like “I am allowed to feel sad/angry/bruised by this. I am allowed to express that. I choose to show myself kindness. That’s okay.”

Whether I felt angry, sad, misunderstood, or heartbroken – I told myself that was permissible. I didn’t believe myself for a while, but I just kept saying it.

Sometimes that felt utterly ridiculous, and it was two steps forward, two steps back in the early days. Reprogramming a critical narrator takes a lot of time and energy.

So I practiced – I practiced compassion and kindness towards myself. It’s sad that it took me so long to discover that compassion can be directed internally as well as outwardly, but what a gift that discovery has been.

Life changing, perhaps even life saving.

I also realised I was grieving. That one took a while to swallow. Quite a while.

I would (and still) often tell myself “You’re alright. You’ll be okay Nettie. Be kind to yourself.”

And I will. I am.


I don’t know what obstacles you are facing, what burdens you’re carrying, or how they got there.

I do know they are heavy and exhausting.

Your lot in life is not to spend your days apologising for the space you take up, or trying to make yourself invisible. There’s no external, standardised measure of being “good enough” for the inner critic, and there’s certainly no such thing as perfection.

What there is, for all of us, is compassion.

You’re probably already someone who practices compassion for others. That’s a generous choice.

The truly radical choice is to offer that same compassion to yourself.





Can you see your name tag?

Are you ready to attend your own peace talks, for one?

I hope so.

Good luck, friend.


Annette xx

I’m no expert in any of this, I’m just telling my story. If this post raises difficult issues for you, please, talk to a trusted friend, your GP or call one of the many services that exists to help people through difficult circumstances. LifeLine 13 11 14. 


Because I’m happy…

Hello, my name is Annette and I’m happy.

I’m usually a pretty happy soul, but something about today has me feeling extra happy.

I did wake up with utterly awesome bed hair this morning. That started my day off with a chuckle. So much so that I did an impromptu photo shoot of my rockabilly quiff and recorded a silly little video which I posted on social media.

Rockin’ the Rockabilly


Can I tell you something?

I like myself. I truly enjoy the person I see in the mirror each morning.

More days than not, I’ll give myself a wink and a smile as I’m brushing my teeth.

I like my emotional smarts, my intelligence, my ability to make other people smile by engaging in a bit of silliness. I like my face. I like my choices. Most of all, I like liking myself, just as I am.

It’s so good to like yourself, and it seems that a lot of people struggle with this.

Perhaps, and I’m just reflecting on what I see, hear and think here, somewhere along the line, messages about liking ourselves have gotten entangled with liking our physical attributes.

So, to the physical – I have great boobs (particularly when they’re well supported!). I have shazamy blue eyes. I have a great laugh. I like my height, my hands and my short haircut. And I am overweight. Being overweight doesn’t make me like my eyes less or worse yet, hate myself. My knees would probably like me more if I weighed less, it’s true, but when I was a ‘normal’ sized teenager and young woman, I didn’t think more of my slimmer body. In fact, I didn’t really think of it at all. I never have.

I haven’t worked out if that’s a 1 in 100,000 anomaly or a deeper disconnected from the body thing – which is quite common in adoptees – but either way, this skin I’m in has never determined my happiness, or lack thereof.

I am not my body.

You are not your body either.

I’m willing to bet, sadly, that some of you reading this can pretty easily rattle off a litany of supposed faults you see in the mirror – you may not like your thighs, or your nose, or some aspect of your face… and I have to tell you, that breaks my heart.

Where did we, particularly as women, decide to measure ourselves in this way? Who tricked us into buying into the absolute power of this external measuring stick?

Why are we sometimes so viciously hard on ourselves?

And what is this teaching the girls in our lives?

I was out shopping with my sister and my niece, maybe a year or so ago, and Little Miss Five wanted to hang in the change rooms with me. I was fine with that, and as I took my tee off to try on some tops, she made a comment about my size – her mother and I have vastly different physiques – and I knew it was an opportunity to show her that I accepted myself and was not embarrassed for her to see me in my bra and jeans. I can’t remember what I said, something to the effect that we all come in different shapes, but I do remember thinking of that moment as a small victory. I didn’t push her out of the room or hide my ‘fat’ body from her. I didn’t feel ashamed of myself. I was hanging out with a little girl I adore. A girl I desperately hope will not fall victim to the incredibly narrow, judgemental messages young girls are bombarded with about beauty and self-worth.

Don’t worry though – I won’t be lighting up Instagram with any half dressed images of myself! I like myself, but I’m still vain. I’ll still crop a photo if I catch myself at an angle that highlights my chins, but I don’t hate myself because of them.

This may seem a strange path for a post that started out about happiness, but for me, the way that I like myself, and CELEBRATE myself, is a fundamental aspect of my happiness.

I have climbed out of some deep, deep places of feeling worthless and broken, of being convinced I was unloved and unloveable, but those places of pain were never about my weight or skin or freckles or thighs. I spent so many years in a head space that was anything but loving and accepting of the girl in the mirror. Years and years. I’m sad it took so long, but it did.

I have some long time friends who could tell you about the tears and anguish along the way. So many tears. So much doubt and anger and fear and rejection.

I had to go through the fire. It was an excruciatingly slow burn at times, but I made it.

What the long road away from those destructive places has taught me is that I’m the only me I’ve got. I’m responsible for my happiness, for the tone of my inner dialogue. I do have power over the inner critic, and I can, and have, learned how to shut that voice down. Does it still pipe up every now and then? Yep. Particularly when I’m learning new things or am out of my comfort zone, BUT I can talk myself off the ledge pretty quickly. I often speak to myself, kindly and logically, and recalibrate my expectations to a more reasonable scale.

Wherever you are at with what I’ve described as the furnace of coming into genuine self-acceptance, I want to tell you two things from the depth of my soul:

you can look at yourself in the mirror with love, and

coming to that place is an inside job.


The only detox we really need is from is the poison we allow ourselves to believe about the things that stand between us and “I like myself”.

There’s no magical quick fix formula, but I reckon a really good place to start is tonight when you’re brushing your teeth.

Hold your own gaze.

Hold it with compassion, and kindness. Hold it without critiquing what you see.

Do that again in the morning, and tomorrow night, and the next morning. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

My deepest wish for you is that one day, you’ll give that girl in the mirror a wink and a smile.

I do, and when she smiles back… there’s nothing better.

With love,

Annette xx

What’s in a name?

I have been dipping in and out of Claire Hewitt’s daily May blogging challenge and today’s prompt caught my eye – First Names.

For most people, their baby’s name is discussed over a long period, and during pregnancy. There are favourites. And names that are immediately discarded as too common, too strange, too much a reminder of that annoying kid from school and the list ebbs and flows. Opinions are sought and discarded and sometimes the poor kid causes arguments before they even come into the world.

I don’t really have any idea about how I got either of my names.

I have had two first names.

One was given to me by my 17 year old mother, prior to my adoption, and one was given to me upon my adoption. So which one am I? Does a name define a person?

Am I Sara, daughter of Andrea, my teenaged mother, who I know precious little about? (I don’t know anything identifying about my father.)

Or am I Annette, daughter of Brian and Dale, who didn’t have their own biological children until after they adopted two babies?

I don’t usually use different terms for my mothers and fathers, because I don’t want to – and I think labels have the tendency to compartmentalise or diminish significant roles in my life. This will confuse, or even rile some folks. Tough luck. These are my people, and the language I use about them is my choice. I have two mothers, and I have two fathers. I will not allow anyone’s discomfort with that to impact me. It’s the truth about who I am.

The interesting thing is that both my names have something in common.

Sara is a diminutive of Sarah, which has Hebrew origins and means lady or princess. Sarah was the wife of Abraham, the Old Testament prophet. She became a mother at 90. No thank you.

Annette is a diminutive of Anne if you prefer the French lineage, or Hannah for the Greek fans. Either way, the meaning is gracious, merciful or favour, grace. And Hannah was the mother of an Old Testament prophet.

So, which one am I? Who am I? According to my names, I’m a merciful lady, and on a good day I might brush past these characteristics. A very good day!

I can tell you that my thoughts about my names have changed over the years. I actually really like both my names, and in recent years I have toyed with the notion of making Sara more a part of who I am now. Perhaps a small tattoo? It’s only four letters. I hold the world record for weakest stomach/lowest threshold of pain, so no tattoo yet – it’s not something I need to rush into.

Inevitably, some of you will be thinking, “but how will that make your parents feel?” You may find the notion of me wanting to honour my first first name disloyal or even wrong. Adoptees spend a lot of time answering questions about how everyone else feels – their adoptive parents, their ‘birth/biological’ family, their siblings. Tip: ask adoptees how they feel please.

It’s so strange to be telling someone your story and have them seem more interested in the other characters in it than in the person standing in front of them. As an adoptee, often the role people see us in is of the grateful “orphan” or rescued wretch. This isn’t a musical! There are a million posts I could write about being an adoptee – I’ll try and stay on track with first names for today.

So, I’m Annette – one of five children that share family history, parents and our surname, yet we don’t all share physical characteristics or DNA. Most importantly, “they” all love vanilla slices and I find then gross!! Ergo, vanilla slice loving is 80% genetic.

My dad calls me Nett – you may not. My good friends call me Nettie – you may become someone who shares that level of friendship. I’ll tell you if you overstep. I’ve done it before! Mostly, people know me as Annette. That’s who I am.

I am also Sara, a woman with no idea about my origins, or family history. I have no clue whose blue eyes I have, who I might laugh like, or frown like, or LOOK like. I don’t look like my favourite aunt or my gorgeous sisters (I’m still super cute!). I know my mother’s name, and her mother’s name. I know that Andrea’s birthday almost coincides with my parents’ wedding anniversary.

And whatever you call me, I know myself pretty well.

So, what’s in a name? Plenty. Echoes of my mothers’ desires for my life perhaps, or their feelings about and hopes for me.

Names don’t belong to our parents for long, they may choose them, but we grow into them. I intend to keep growing into both of mine for a good while yet.

Thanks for reading. If you’ve got a question about adoption, please feel free to ask!


Annette, and Sara xx

Sorry seems to be the sweetest word – a year on from the Forced Adoption Apology

Here’s what I wrote at the end of this week last year, I spent the week in Canberra, a trip planned around attending the National Apology for Forced Adoptions ceremony at Parliament house on 21 March 2013.


Last day in Canberra today (Saturday 23/3/13), it has been a great break.

Being at Thursday’s national apology for forced adoptions was something really special.

I don’t know that I can deftly describe the feeling of being with a large group of people who have a variation of your own journey written on their souls… it was amazing. At home amongst all those sister strangers. There were tears, snatches of conversations about unique lives all somehow marked by the same wounds murmuring all around, a few jeers (nice work Tone), heartfelt applause, and lots of moments of relief and maybe even a few heavy, heavy loads being laid down as people were told by the PM, we finally hear you, we see you, we are sorry we abandoned you in your most vulnerable moment, we will help you to gain some semblance of healing… breathtaking stuff.

And Canberra may have more than the usual population of power-hungry loons, but the city is beautiful, elegantly laid out and offers more than you could possibly imbibe, enjoy and marvel at in five days.

I’ll definitely be back.

And Julia, when history records your time as Prime Minister, Thursday 21/3/13 won’t be remembered by those present in the Great Hall as the attempted spilling of political power – but as a day when we came together, spilled tears and stories over a shameful past, tears over losses unknown, tears with the power to heal as they fall, and that makes it a day I will never forget.

Bringing things into the light… never too late, and so powerful.

For Andrea.


Why I can’t feel the love for LoveChild

We Aussies love a TV series, especially a home-grown one. This year’s breakout smash seems to be LoveChild – and it’s the stuff of a television producer’s dreams. I can almost hear the pitch now ‘Imagine this, a show set in an era that evokes nostalgia for more than one key demographic of our audience, with awesome music and vibrant fashions, it will be a visual feast. We’ll have a really sexy cast – we might even lure that Rafters girl back from the US. And there will be romance and drama played out in an iconic Australian location, all set against the backdrop of huge social upheaval – and the cherry on top, evolving storylines surrounding unbelievable adoption practices. People will lap it up! It will be a smash, a ratings bonanza.’

And so it is. It is also my story, and the story of thousands and thousands of other Australians, those who were adopted, or who relinquished their babies, those who gratefully became parents via adoption, and those who had their potential parenthood ripped away from them, and of the people who allowed these things to happen.

Since the teasers started last year, I’d been wondering what LoveChild would be like – would it be true to the times, would it show the reality of what happened, would people want to watch that…. and I think it’s doing a pretty good job of being great television, which nods towards some of the ugly reality of what happened, but keeps the audience from feeling it too deeply – with great costumes, a feel-good soundtrack and other story lines that bring relief to the heaviness of the adoption aspects of the show.

I watched the first two episodes, and I really wanted to like it. I thought it might be a great way to bring the topic of adoption to a wider audience and give people opportunities to talk about their experiences – perhaps for the first time in decades, or ever.

I coped pretty well with it, until Annie was giving birth and they put that sheet up so she wouldn’t be able to see her baby. When that nurse rushed out of the room with Annie’s baby girl, and she couldn’t even catch a glimpse of her – well, I don’t mind telling you – I broke out in an instantaneous, head to toe, hot and cold sweat. I don’t expect people to understand that reaction fully, heck I don’t understand it fully, but what it proved to me, again, is that my adoption, which happened almost 46 years ago, still has a profound impact on me, at a cellular level. So much for the ‘clean break’ theory, or ‘getting over it’.

Sometimes when adoptees speak about adoption, people are quick to rush to the defence (perhaps unwittingly) of everyone but the adoptee – I can’t tell you how many adopted people have recounted stories about being asked how their desire to discuss their adoption openly, or search for their families, or express anger at past practices, is met with ‘oh but how will your (adoptive) parents feel about that?’ Then there’s the old ‘well darling, there was no single mother’s pension at the time, so your mother did the best she could for you and gave you up’. How the fuck would you know what my 17-year-old mother was feeling at the time? Seriously. The knee-jerk cliché thing is NOT HELPING anyone. If you don’t know what to say, say that – simply say, ‘I don’t know what to say’, and keep listening. And I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for those teenage girls, now in their sixties, to open up about having their babies taken, to be listened to and not shooshed or told ‘it’s all in the past’. It isn’t, it can’t be left behind.

Here’s what they didn’t know about adoption then, that is being realised and felt across the country, and the world – adoption has life-long ramifications. These are felt by adoptees, natural/birth/original parents and their extended families, adoptive parents, siblings, partners and children of adoptees. Perhaps one of the saddest, most heartbreaking revelations is that sincere, deep love for adoptive children actually hasn’t been enough to make adoption a once-in-time, impact free event.

It pains me to say it, but love isn’t all we need. We need to accept reality, we need to face up to the impact that the past has had, and is still having, on hundreds of thousands of lives here in Australia. We need to have a frank, open, continuing dialogue about adoption, and the commodifying of children, which is ongoing. We need not to be swayed by movie stars who have made intercountry adoption ‘trendy’, nor by politicians who will do anything to make themselves appealing to the electorate. We need to listen to the stories of adoptees, of those mini-skirted teenagers of the 1960s (and their counterparts from surrounding decades), we need to undo the myths around adoption and open our eyes to the ways in which similar mistakes are still being made.


This is the extent of my family tree. This document wasn’t even typed until I was almost 10 years old. I guess the authorities hoped they’d never need to type it. All babies have families of origin, to deny that is utterly destructive.

For my then 17-year-old mother, who is now 62, I wonder if you’re watching LoveChild and thinking of me….. I wonder if I will ever muster the courage to search for you, and if you would welcome that, or if it would be too heartbreaking for you to face it….  I wonder.

I won’t be watching LoveChild anymore, I don’t need to watch it, I’m living it.


For anyone tempted to comment about how I haven’t told the full story, to take me to task because not all adoptees feel the same way, of course I haven’t, and I know that, but this is part of my story, and nobody can ‘shoosh’ me or judge my experience. Nothing I’ve written here makes me ‘ungrateful’ or disloyal to my family. This happened to me, and if that makes you uncomfortable, there’s nothing I can do about that. I welcome your thoughtful questions and comments. 

If this post raises any issues for you, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14.