I took down the blog I wrote following my visit to Adoption Services. Raw and full of emotion. But I’ve kept it, and friends and family are welcome to read it if they want, because it’s an important record of this journey. Priscilla, the caseworker I saw was very kind, and really wanted to help me, and I do not want to jeopardise her position in any way. Supportive readers were already starting to share the post and so it seems wise to unpost it. I had a real sense of Priscilla wanting to help me, more than the Chinese Privacy Laws allowed. And I know she will also try to do the same for other adoptees in the future. Best not to jeopardise others’ chances. As the days go by I realise I am one of thousands. This is so much bigger than me. And this is just in Hong Kong. Orphans who were placed in orphanages and not adopted, just leaving when they reached young adulthood. Babies and children informally adopted by other Chinese families, with no records. Some may not even know they were ‘adopted’. Others, like me adopted internationally as part of the United Nations Refugee Programme in the 1960s. So many of us. All orphans but with very different stories.
Today I got an email from Priscilla. There was so much to take in during our two and a half hour meeting, that maybe I misunderstood, but it appears I had 6 half siblings, not 5. Two died in infancy, so at the time of my birth I had two brothers, and two sisters. One of the brothers had already been given up for adoption, like me, but there are no records of his adoption.
The idea that I have another big half brother, also ‘presented away’ leaves me open mouthed, a stupid dumbfounded look upon my face, ‘You could have knocked me down with a feather’ is a saying that takes on a real meaning for me today.
So today, eating fresh slices of orange and drinking green tea, I have mostly been pondering upon families. My birth family, my adopted family, and my own dear little family that I’ve left back in the UK. Family matters. Yes. Family matters.