Mar 03 2008
It is one year since beginning the process to find out who my Biomammy is. Indeed, it’s a full year since I ticked the boxes and registered with the Adoption Board‘s Preference Register. And since then, it’s been one of the most hectic, stressful and fun-filled years of my life.
I have found a whole new group of friends (the best I’ve ever known), an entire family who have made me feel so very welcome; I have a working life I enjoy and a social life that’s wearing me out, but I’ve no intention of giving it up.
I find myself taking a figurative breath for the first time in a long while, and I’m looking back at how I arrived here. And yes, I do mean right here……sitting on a DART, writing a blog (a what?) on my lovely Pocket PC. It’s a far cry from sitting in Business Studies class in the De La Salle ten years ago, beside my only friend Fergal, listening to the teacher drivel on about the weekend’s football results, all the while being stabbed in the back (literally) with a compass. I don’t recall any strong desire or ambition beyond one day getting out of that cess pit. I certainly couldn’t in my most fantastical dreams see myself settled in my own home, with a beautiful, amazing girlfriend, surrounded by a large group of friends whom I trust, and yes, love. But that nerdish little teen was in existence ten years ago. Right now I’m trying to recall only one year ago.
It all began in Paris a year and three weeks ago and has been a year of journeys, both physical and mental. I have met piggies in Galway; drunkenly conducted a ‘traditional Irish folk group’ consisting of a Romanian and a Latvian in Sligo; played football (for three minutes before suffering some kind of attack, reserved only for the unfit fool who stupidly believes that a little kick-around can do him no harm) in Navan; discovered that everyone in Clare knew all about me before I had even arrived to meet my brand new familial branch; fell head over heels for Sushi in Sotogrande, Spain (before taking a 220km per hour taxi journey back to the apartment in 20 minutes when it should have taken an hour); I bought an eight thousand euro bathroom in Greystones, and came to the realisation that I had become an adult. But one of the longest journeys I undertook began in the Burlington Hotel (a twenty minute walk from my workplace), where I met Teresa, the Biomammy, for the first time (well, the first time that i can remember – she recalls a time when i was a damn sight smaller and far less talkative).
I’m not sure exactly when I began jokingly referring to my biological mother as the Biomammy (actually, i would imagine in was in a drunken conversation with a friend of mine, Gary, during which he devised all the best ways to take the piss out of me, after i told him i was adopted – “So, what was it like when you found out you were abandoned on a doorstep?” – Honestly, this is humour for him Update: Apparently it was my Otter Half and not Gary, as they have both now informed me), but Biomammy always seemed far less serious and clinical that biological mother. Biological mother! It sounds like I was designed in a lab.
From what I’ve heard, read, been told, the process of linking with a Biomammy (or any other long lost biological parent) can take a very long time. Even when both partieds are on the preference register, the process can still be quite drawn out. The generous side of me wants to say it’s because many people need time to emmotionally prepare for the meeting, and the adoption board is aware of this. But I think it’s fairer to say that the board is another state body that is underfunded, inefficient and painfully beurocratic. The reason I say that I want to give themn the benefit of the doubt, is that my story was so very different to all the horror stories, the failed meetings, the tears, the sorrows. Mine was a simple process. Mine was quick, easy and straightforward.
I was lucky enough to register at a time when the Board was undergoing some changes. Barnadoes, who usually handle the mediation (I think that’s the correct word) were overworked and unavailable and the Adoption Board’s administrator, Grainne (to whom I’m eternally grateful) saw my file, saw Teresa’s file, put them together and made two phonecalls. Within two weeks, Teresa and I had exchanged letters and less than two weeks after that, we found ourselves in the Burlo Berkley Court.
So, was it difficult? Not in the least! In minutes, Teresa and I were chatting like two people who had known each other for many years. We exchanged photos, stories of our lives; I met her husband and we hit it off too. It was all very comfortable, very simple and, of course, highly emoptional. However, both of us managed to maintain our cool and held back the blubbering tears (in front of each other, at least).
In no time whatsoever, we were exchanging emails and I was Bebo-ing my little brother. Indeed, I have gone from having just one sister to having three (Teresa has twin daughters aged 12 now) and from zero brothers to two (a teen and a ridiculously cute 10 year old). And they are all wonderful. The eldest (of my new siblings) has just turned 16 and I was very worried that he might have a problem with me. But no, he made it all very easy for me. On Bebo we discovered how very similar we are in our likes and behaviours. It was very surprising.
It was wonderful then meeting the entire family for the first time. We (the Otter Half and I) drove to Clare and had an amazing (and drunken) weekend. Since then, things have just gotten better and better. We’ve all become very close and I am looking forward to going down to Clare again for the twins Confirmation this weekend.
Well, I’m very glad to share my success story. I hope to expand on it and gloat a bit more about my great life and if you have any comments, questions or gripes, please let me know. I’m an absolute open book and I hope people enjoy what they read.