Archive for the 'A Year in my Life' Category

Aug 07 2009

Life Is The Name Of The Game

Published by under A Year in my Life,Blog

As I turn 28, I still act like a child. As I turn 28, I still enjoy silly games and childish pranks. As I turn 28, I still watch cartoons, laugh at juvenile comedies and look forward to watching the latest mindless Summer blockbuster.

At As I turn 28, I drink with my friends and go out regularly. As I turn 28, I don’t feel tied down or restrcited. As I turn 28, I still believe the world is my oyster and I can do or be anything.

But as I turn 28, I am proud of my responsible side. As I turn 28, I look around at my beautiful longterm girlfriend, my wonderful home, my good job and my meowing cat. As I turn 28, I have a mortgage, loans, credit cards and a savings account and I’m proud of what I have achieved.

I realise life is art, but always a work in progress. As I turn 28, I’m happy to say – I like how mine is looking so far.

 

A friend of mine from my school days is getting married soon. I received the invitation last week and I was surprised by how overcome with emotion I was. I’m so happy for him. I look back at lunchtimes in 5th year, when we would sit out on the grass verge talking about music or the leaving cert or whatever teacher was irritating us that day. 10 years later, we have full lives and responsibilities. It’s mind blowing. It’s brilliant.


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May 13 2009

2008

Published by under A Year in my Life,Blog

I had a dream last night. It was one of those vivid dreams where you awaken and wonder if it really happened, was it real. It was so preposterous that it couldn’t possibly be real.

 

It begins in a hotel bar in Dublin, where a friend has convinced me to go to some bizarre event.

One moment we are having a pint as I nervously discuss the possibility of leaving, and suddenly we are transported to the registration desk where a big woman with a warm smile greets us. I look to one side and see an unusual man with a Mohawk beside his cheerful friend with the chirpy Kilkenny accent. Then we are cheering winners of an award introduced by the DJ, Rick O’Shea. Then we are dancing with all the new strangers.

In a flash, I am on the bus home, eagerly writing about the strange events of the night. Another flash and I’m sitting in another Dublin bar, talking to a wild woman who talked to me like we had been friends for years. I sit talking with a quiet man who leaves an incredible and indelible impression on me and a far-from-quiet man who tells me he is a binman. The dream is becoming very surreal and I find myself writing again – about my adoption and other personal moments in my life and I am receiving kind words and encouragement for my musings. Before the dream began, I couldn’t have imagined being this open to complete strangers, to the world.

Another flash. I’m alone in an old fashioned bar. I’m about to go to a Jay-Z concert. Now I know this is a dream. The DJ from the start of the dream walks in. We sit and drink lucozade and talk like old friends. The room is filled with more strangers and one friend of mine from school. Most of my dreams end up having elements of my past in them, so it’s not too unusual. I dance to Jay-Z’s rap stylings while a quirky tall woman tussles my hair repeatedly.

I’m in a house in Blackrock with Lottie. We are surrounded by more strangers. We talk of life and love and play with an Indiana Jones hat and whip. There are shots and I am massaging the head of a girl I just met. This dream just keeps getting stranger and stranger.

I’m at a music festival. I had never in my life been to a music festival. There’s a tornado and I see tents and chairs fly over my head. I talk with that DJ again. He seems to be guiding me through the dream. He speaks of parallels in our lives, of friendship and fate, and though I’m not sure I understand, I know what he is saying is important.

My brother is there. And I am standing in a circle of teenagers watching REM on the main stage. I wonder if I am getting too old, or conversely am I getting younger. Am I a teenager now too? Living the life I couldn’t ten years previous?

I don’t get my answer, for in another flash I am watching Tom Waits thunder across a stage in a tent in Phoenix Park. I’m in awe. A man behind me is crying.

I’m at another gig. It’s Duke Special, then Jack L, then Juliet Turner, then Cathy Davey, then Neil Hannon. I’m in the box at the Olympia, watching Stephen Lynch. I’m at more comedy gigs. The dreaming is moving fast and jumping back and forth. I see Jason Byrne’s nose bleeding…and we all laugh. I hug Des Bishop and he sings Léim Thart. There’s comedians all around me. Stranger and stranger.

I am at home. Lottie is there. Things are calm and easy. We are drinking wine as our friends arrive. Great friends. People I did not know before the dream started, but who have now become a vital part of my life. We laugh and drink. We break bread together. As we talk, one of my new friends brings tears to our eyes and he speaks of the love he has found. He likens it to swinging on a star. As midnight tolls, we ring in a new year. It is one of the greatest moments of anyone’s life. And it is happening to me. I am dreaming.

I had this dream last night and wish it had been real. It spanned a year of my life. It couldn’t have been real. No one could have a year filled with so much life and love and people and events and eye-opening moments. I wish it was real – it would have been the greatest year of my life.


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May 24 2008

Adoption – One Year Later

Published by under A Year in my Life,Adoption,Blog

Click for larger imageIt is exactly a year to the day since I met my birth mother, and yesterday we met again and looked over one of the most eventful years in both our lives.

Lunch seemed like a good idea, except I really wasn’t feeling well, but we gave it a go in Davy Byrne’s on Duke Street. Soup and brown bread is all I could manage. One year ago in the Berkeley Court in Ballsbridge, around the same time of day, we had a glass of wine together and began to ask questions, as we both tried to hold back emotions and nerves. Well, any nervousness or apprehensions that may have been there then, have now all completely disintegrated, as we hug and immediate begin chatting about our respective lives.

We both have been very busy of late; I’ve joined the Blogosphere and as a result have gained an extra branch to my already hectic social life. She has been on holiday after holiday this year already, has had the twins confirmation, has been dealing with the kids breaking up for the summer holidays, worrying about her husband’s burgeoning music career (he’s joined a band as a drummer), on top of her already exhaustive mothering duties, and her own job. So, sadly, we have not had as much time to sit down and talk as we would have liked.

Click for larger imageAllow me to recap: 26½ years ago, I was given up for adoption and gained a great home and a new name (my original birth certificate calls me Dominic). Early last year, I finally got up off my lazy arse and registered with the Adoption Preference register. Almost immediately there was a match, Teresa having been on the register since its launch three years earlier. After exchanging letter and emails we quickly arranged to meet and instantly hit it off. No awkwardness, no discomfort, no tension at all. On the same day, I met her brilliant husband (not my birth father) and not too long after that, I went down to Clare (the opposite side of the country to me) where I met my half-brothers and -sisters. I have two brothers now and two additional sisters (twins) to add to my own sister.

This last year has been fantastic. I have been down to Clare a number of times (the last time was for the twins confirmation and I wrote about it here and here), and they have visited us in Greystones. Towards the end of last year, the eldest of the four, Sean, who is now 16 (10 years my junior – oh God I feel old), stayed with us for a week and did Transition Year work experience with Lottie. It was wonderful having him up and being part of his life as well a the lives of my other new siblings.

So, one year on, conversation flows freely and easily and range from my reaction to meeting Teresa’s mother to Indiana Jones, from metaphysical discussions about fate to the final episode of Desperate Housewives. I only wish I was feeling a little less under the weather, but it was lovely seeing her again and I am happy things are still going so well.

Previous Posts

Adoption – In Search Of My Biomammy

Adoption Worries

Weekend In Clare – Saturday

How To Lose Your Good Mood In Three Easy Steps Hours

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Mar 03 2008

Adoption – In Search Of My Biomammy

Published by under A Year in my Life,Adoption,Blog

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.


Sligo Picture

 

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.

 

Teresa First Meeting

 

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.

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