Thursday, August 17, 2006

Reclaiming a part of my heritage

About 3 weeks ago now I had some news about T5. I received a call to inform me that my donor's name was now safe with the ITA. That in itself made me really happy. If legislation ever does become retrospective at least there is a name for me to search with, much more than other older DC people have. Some DC people's records have been destroyed, which is a downright crime against them!

Anyway, the conversation was a blur in my mind. I was sitting at a tram stop waiting to go home after my first day back at uni. I was scanning the counselor's words, waiting for the good bits. I knew this was a different conversation to others i had had in the past.

She knows how much i have wanted to know the nationality of my father and his family.... It's something I have fantisised about since i found out. I always imagined he was from the UK, that my paternal heritage was perhaps Scottish. Over time this idea has stuck with me, and I only realised it after i got this news.

Apparently his surname is distinctly Maltese. When she said this i burst into tears. I didn't care who was around or what they thought. I was in a trance like state, replaying the words over again and again, reminding myself that i was awake and that this directly impacted me, myself.. my identity.

My mother was born in Malta and travelled here when she was 16 years old. My dad's family is also from Malta. I am fortunate that I have been surrounded by Maltese people and culture since i was little, for now it means a lot more to me. Of course T5 having a Maltese surname does not mean that he is necessarily completely Maltese himself, however it is a definate part of who he is, who his father is, and who i am. Maybe there is still a UK connection on my paternal grandmother's side?

The news is still sinking in. Now and then i remember the weight of such information and have to really stop and process it again. It's really amazing how grounding this information has been for me. I feel a little closer to him, a little closer to knowing myself better. I don't feel complete in any way, but i do feel a sense of calm. A sense that this is right.

It also shatters my previous fantasies, as i mentioned earlier. It is so bizzaire how easy it is to conjur up a image of someone you have never met, never known. He is no longer a UK/Australian with a pot belly! Also, there is now certain fear that he has not told his family. Knowing my own Maltese family and the community in Melbourne at least, I don't think that he would have told his parents or anyone really. His parents would not understand.... He would face a lot of stereotypical cop-outs about this. It makes me think he is less likely to come forward, and that sucks. And perhaps more likely that he just did it for some extra cash. But who knows? I shouldn't generalise, but it's hard not to when i know it's most likely the case.

But this is another piece of information that I am certainly thrilled about. As a friend said I am getting closer!

In thinking about this whole process however i have thought that it might be compared to slow torture... this bit by bit revealing of information. I find out when i am 15, get a few non-identifying bits of information... wait a few more years find out a donor code... another year and i find out i have many more siblings than i had ever imagined... find out their years of birth and gender a few months later... now this. There is a voice inside of me screaming like an impatient child "I want it all and i want it NOW!" Patience is not one of my strong points generally speaking, but in reality i have no choice but to be patient with this.

I am happy that I know all of this information, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to sing the grateful child song. I deserve this information, it is mine, i know this. The universe has a funny way of working sometimes. I guess i just have to wait and see what happens next.

Well actually i did get some other news with relation to all of this, but i will save that for the next post. It's another whole can of worms!


Sinking into my skin... slowly moving down the rope to the Earth. I can see people through the clouds, but i can't make out their faces. Still disconnected, but somehow very changed.