The Search

03 October 2016

With six days to go before my 21st birthday, I decided to begin my search for finding my biological family. It was something I had wanted to do for many years. After having my daughters, Gabriella and Ava I decided that it was time to start learning about my past and my biological family as I was now a parent and raising my own children.

All that I had been told at this point was;

  • I was adopted when I was 20 months old
  • I was born in Sanmartin
  • I had three siblings
  • My parents were no longer together

I found a group on Facebook founded by the wonderful Ileana Cunniffe Băiescu called ‘The never forgotten Romanian children – Copiii niciodată uitați ai României.’ and sent her a message introducing myself and asking if she would be able to help me.

13 October 2016

Ileana got back to me and asked for a little more information about myself and if I knew anything that could be useful in my search. I gave her all of the information that I had, where I was born, my parents names and where I was staying at the time that I was adopted. She asked me to include a picture, of me when I was adopted and one of me then.

14 October 2016

I sent Ileana the two pictures, one of me when I was adopted and one of me at the time of the search alongside a draft of a post that she could share in the community Facebook page where other adoptees and people that may have some information would be able to see and hopefully help in my search.

 

After speaking to her college in Romania, it was discovered that I wasn’t born in the place that I had believed to have been at all. That was blow number one, the place I thought I was born and came from wasn’t even correct. That’s when the reality of the search began to kick in, and I realised that I might be hearing things that I hadn’t prepared myself for.

I was told that in the records that they were able to find, I had been abandoned in the hospital at birth by my parents. There were no records in Sanmartin of my biological parents, and they were told to ring Covasna (another town) instead but the team had difficulty in the past trying to get information from there. At least we then had a better idea of where to look which left me feeling hopeful, yet confused.

17 October 2016

Journalist and humanitarian worker Lukács Csaba shared a post on his Facebook asking if anyone had any information or may know someone that could give an insight into my search. To my amazement, the post was shared over 400 times and was filled with comments of encouragement and some people had information about my family. At this point, I had not known about the post so hadn’t been able to read any of the information yet.

18 October 2016

Lukács got in touch to tell me about what he had learned from his Facebook post. I was so overwhelmed by the support from everyone who had shared the post and left comments. I was so pleased that people were behind me in my search.

I was told my father had left the village a long time ago and was known to a lot of people however no one knew much about my mother.

A half-sibling of mine my father’s side had contacted him with some information. I wasn’t even aware that I even I had half brother and sister, so I was really excited when Lukács told me.

I messaged them both on facebook and was very nervous in case they felt angry at me for bringing up the past. I know a lot of people think that adoption should be left closed, and don’t believe that people should search for their family. They were both so kind and loving; naturally, we both had a lot of questions for each other. I was surprised at how much I had in common with them both. My half-sister had a little girl who is adorable, and we seemed to have a lot in common. My half brother was into the same music, likes the same things I liked and seemed like someone that if I had known here, would have likely hung out with. Their English is quite limited and my Hungarian in non-existent so I have to use Google Translate to keep in contact with them.

As mentioned, out of respect for everyone involved, I’ll skip over the specific details, but its a complicated situation with a lot of history that is still quite raw for a lot of people.

Lukács confirmed that I was born in Covasna and said that I was given new papers a couple of months before I was adopted from Sanmartin to say that I was abandoned. This bit left me somewhat confused and still is an area that I want to look into as the dates and the timeline seem to have some gaps that I would like to fill in.

He also said that he had collected some more information on my father and found where he was from which was a great step, and one I was very excited about.

19 October 2016

Lukács messaged to me say that he was able to track down my father and said he was pleased to hear that I was looking for him and was interested in getting in contact. However, he didn’t speak English or have internet, although I was given a phone number for him.

Lucasz told me that 3 out of 4 of us were adopted, however, sadly our brother died in a tragic incident. This was incredibly hard to take in. I had prepared myself for the likelihood that some of them would no longer be alive however actually hearing it was difficult. It’s a strange feeling, being sad about the loss of someone that you have never met.

He also was able to track down my sister which was exciting, and she was living in the UK which came as a massive shock to me as I just expected everyone to still live in Romania. I was given her Facebook page and began to talk to her. To say it was nerve-racking is an understatement. I was worried she would feel angry, or upset that I was trying to find her, but once we got talking, we began to realise that we were quite similar. She was able to provide me with some more information that I had been looking for, but I didn’t want to ask too many questions. We now have a great relationship and get on well and hope to meet up someday.

16 Days

That was it. 16 days. That’s how long it took from my initial message to Ileana to finding my sister, half-siblings and learning about my father, and the death of our brother. In all honesty, it has taken until recently to process things to the point where I have been able to talk openly about the search. My search would not have been possible without both Ileana and Lukács. I would like to thank them both again for all that they have done for me. They helped me out of the kindness of their hearts. It’s not often that you find individuals that go above and beyond to help someone else and ask for nothing in return. Finding my biological family was something that I had thought about for years, and they both played a massive part in my search and I will forever be grateful for all that they have done for me. I would also like to thank everyone that commented on the posts and Facebook and to those that took the time to share the posts. Ileana, alongside the volunteers that work with her at ‘The never forgotten Romanian children – Copiii niciodată uitați ai României’ have reunited over 500 families to date. The work that they do is invaluable to someone like me. I understand that a lot of adoptees have no desire to find out more about their past, but for me and those who feel strongly about finding their families, their work is able to give us the ability to begin to delve further into our past and get some of the closure, and information we have been looking for. Ileana is truly one of the most inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She has been working incredibly hard to organise a fantastic project in the village of Scutelnici, Romania, her birthplace. She has been fundraising to provide the local children with a playground and provide the children with their first ever school sports equipment. The playground will be opening at the end of August. If anyone would like to find out more, donate, or follow the progress of the playground I have left the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/406424433161813/

Thank you again to everyone that has helped in my search. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

*Disclaimer – due to the sensitive nature of this topic I will not be giving specific details of my biological family and their individual situations*

Running from Silence

For years I tried to mask the negative thoughts that I have been left with after my past and my adoption. Rationally, I know that my feelings are justified and are valid and I shouldn’t feel guilty or wrong for having them. I feel guilty because adoption is such a fantastic thing, as I have been given a second chance at a life with a family that genuinely loves and cares for me. I have an amazing family that has been able to provide me with everything I needed and more, my family are my rock. One of the negative thoughts or feelings that I experience is the fear of losing those around me.

My youngest memories of this, are the dreams that I used to have. I would have terrible dreams over and over that people would come through my front door, in a convertible, and try and steal my parents. I can remember the dream as if it were a film I’ve watched a hundred times. I hated it, and the dreams would always terrify me.
Growing up I lived in a small rural village, so if there were any cars, you would always hear the sound of the car driving past. I would have a recurring nightmare, which began with that sound. It probably sounds ridiculous to anyone else reading, but I would hear that noise in my dream and be so scared to turn around. Once I found the courage to look around, I would see ‘aliens’ on my sister’s bed, and they would taunt me about taking her away. This dream, in particular, was awful, and I had it repeatedly for years. When I grew older, the dreams would get progressively darker.

I remember always having the feeling of someone being outside my house or my room when I went to bed. I would panic that there were people there when sensibly, I knew that was not true at all. I remember asking my dad if he was outside walking in the garden because I thought I’d heard a noise. It’s complicated to talk about without sounding completely crazy. When I’m going about my daily life, and I’m busy, or when I was younger, when I was at school or with friends, these thoughts are not present at all. During the day, for the most part, my girls keep me so busy that I don’t have the opportunity to have time to myself which has been somewhat of a blessing.

The mind seems to have a funny way of dealing with trauma and emotions that we try to hide. No matter how much I would attempt to portray the image of coping, every night when I go to bed and silence kicks in I am unable to escape my thoughts and dreams. I used to feel like I was going mad sometimes because my mind just refused to switch off. Even now, I hate silence; I always have to have music, or Youtube in the background because I can’t stand allowing the silence to come and my thoughts to take over. The best way to describe the feeling would be if you had a browser open with multiple tabs and having them all running at once and the moment life around me stops they all take over. Part of the reason for starting my blog was to be able to write about my feelings and thoughts when these moments occur as a way to help process them.

It can feel very overwhelming and sometimes quite scary to appear unable to control the negative thoughts that come into your head. It makes me angry that 20 years after being adopted I am still finding difficulty in processing my emotions about it. Then again, what else is to be expected, its the same as any traumatic event that takes part in a child’s life. It will no doubt leave wounds, leaving scars that will never fade. I will not ever be able to know what happened in the first two years of my life (I have a blog post ‘The Unknown’ which talks a bit more in-depth about this) but unfortunately I will never be able to escape what it leaves behind when the silence takes over.

 

8 Things not to say to parents of Irish Twins

I have two daughters, Gabriella who is 3 and Ava who is 2. They were born 11 months apart which makes then ‘Irish Twins’. Going out with the girls can sometimes generate some interesting comments. Here are eight things that parents of Irish Twins hear on a regular basis.

1 ‘You’ve got your hands full.’

*sigh* Any fellow Irish twin parents will no doubt have had multiple strangers feel the need to tell them that they have their hands full every time they set foot out of the house. I don’t know whether people say it because they can’t think of anything more insightful to say, but trust me, after hearing it over and over it gets a bit tedious. I would much rather hear ‘they are so well behaved’ or ‘they are cute’, a smile can be nice too.

2 ‘You have been busy.’

Seriously, When else would a person feel it appropriate to comment on someone else’s sex life? It’s such an unnecessary thing for people to say. It is always really awkward when people tell me that I have ‘been busy’, but you would be surprised how often I hear it. In the beginning, I heard it almost daily. I even once heard it from a doctor at a hospital appointment, which was delightful.

 

3 ‘You are crazy.’

As someone that spent all of their life desperate to have a family of their own this one really annoys me. I can completely understand that having two or more kids so close together might seem overwhelming to some people but for my family, it made perfect sense. Although there are many aspects of having the girls close together that have been difficult, there have been way more good than bad days.

 

4 ‘Was it planned?’

I can’t understand why people feel the need to ask this, it’s absolutely nothing to do with anyone other than my partner and me. However, people seem to take a keen interest in your sex life when you have Irish Twins. But yes, I was aware that having unprotected sex makes babies thank you. I actually was asked after having Gabriella if I wanted to go onto any contraception, but I chose not to and let nature determine if I was going to have another and I was blessed with Ava.

 

5 ‘I know exactly what that’s like, mine are two/three years apart.’

Having a toddler and a newborn, and an 11-month-old and a newborn have both completely different dynamics. I can appreciate that people are trying to find common ground, but the two couldn’t be more different. I literally had two babies, Gabriella wasn’t walking, she could say a few words but was nowhere near talking. When you have a toddler they can walk, talk and will a lot more independent than an 11-month-old. I’m assuming that people usually say a thing to help find common ground or find a way to connect with you but it is frustrating when people say this because they are so different.

 

6 ‘You’re brave.’

Its honestly like people think that having Irish Twins is the end of the world. It’s not as scary as people think. It can get quite disheartening when you hear comments like this and it feels like everyone is making assumptions without knowing your situation. I absolutely love having the girls close together. Of course, it takes a lot of adjusting in the beginning but it has worked out amazingly for us. Soldiers are brave. Survivors are brave. I am a mum with two kids close together. If someone wanted to comment, it would be much nicer to hear ‘you are doing a great job’,

 

7 ‘You will have a football team soon.’

Just because I chose to have two babies close together, it doesn’t mean that I want to have loads of children. It simply means that I decided to have two close together. It’s not the same thing. There is nothing more annoying than having strangers dictating what they think will happen with your body. If someone were curious if I wanted more, I would rather they just asked if I wanted to have more kids.

 

8  ‘How is that even possible.’

It’s quite alarming the number of adults that I have had to explain how you can have two babies in less than a year and that they are both mine. Its as if people think that there is a set waiting period after having a baby. I understand that the first few months with a baby can be stressful. Sex or having more babies is the last thing that some people can think of in the early days but it is possible to have two in under a year.

 

 

 

(Disclaimer; this isn’t meant to cause any offence. I know how sensitive the internet can be)