Meeting my Mumdrah

Tidying up CHT’s room this weekend I found a bombshell, written neatly on a piece of paper. She is happy for Mumdrah to share it with you:

Life.

I was 5 years old when Mumdrah wanted to adopt me. When she went into the foster carer kids home me and my friend were thinking how are you going to be. When i walked in i was sort of envestergating Mumdrah from the other room nearly going in and out. At last i stood in the room with Mumdrah in it.

I stared at her for long as i cld and then ran out with my friend we look back through the crak in the door and look some more in sekret and my friend said ‘I think that is your mum’ and i said ‘i know’ and our eyes were wiyde. An hour later we stayed in the room with Mumdrah in it for a long time and dayred to look riyt at her. She went bye bye and i new i shold hold her hand but i shakd at wat was hapening.

The next day we played trafic and cars with Mumdrah me and my friend who mite be my brothr thort that was great fun and then we made braslets and drew picturs.

And then later This was the moment of truth I was go to living with Mumdrah. We went so far in the car I never been so far I did not know that scary place. I waved gobye to my foster carers and my lovely brothr friend with tears down my eyes with a bag of my only stuff. They all drove away from me and left me sat on the floor cryng. Me and mum were thinking this is a new beging but it was as well a big horid end.

That is the beging or our story. The End.

She has never showed me this piece of paper. It describes perfectly the first day/s we met.

I still treasure the button bracelets we made. The picture she drew is now framed, and fills me with love every day. But my experience of those precious firsts did not make for straightforward, happy memories. There were strikingly beautiful and touching moments, full of profound humanity and hope. But I mostly recall her intense confusion, her fear, and her bravery in the face of an unknown stranger she’d been told was called ‘mum’. I remember the shock that gripped her as the ties with everything and everyone she had ever known were – one by one – cut away, without consent.

So you can see why – for me – there is no congratulation on the days we are matched, meet, or welcome our children home.  I recognize the joy we find in those landmark days, but my heart is bittersweet with recognition of the raw grief and loss they carry.

Hot tears fall reflecting on those days through her words. And once again I am in awe of this amazing, brave and tiny girl who can still find a smile for a world that never really gave her a chance.