Monday, May 19, 2008

A Letter From my Father, by Me.

Over the past weekend I went on a camp with some kids who are in care through my work.  It was a great experience and on Saturday night we did an interesting activity.  We had to write letters from people who we have lost in our lives.  We may have lost them through death, through parting ways or by choice.  We had to write the letters as though we were them, writing letters to us.  I thought about many people whom I could have written about, but thought it might be interesting to write a letter from my father/T5 to me.  Although I have never met him, I miss him a lot.  It's really hard for most people to understand this I think.  I've been met with many questions as to how this can be.  "How can you miss someone you have never met?".  I think it's partly that I miss him and my paternal family and partly that I miss a part of myself.  There are things that I can't understand, things that would assist me in knowing myself better.  So I wrote this letter and it was as though I was channelling a greater force, or perhaps I was just writing what I'd hope that he would write to me if he felt that he could not come forward.  Something for me to go on...

"Dear Narelle,

I've never met you or known you, but I am a part of you and you are a part of me.  When I donated all those years ago at Prince Henry's I was young and wasn't thinking too far into the future.  I thought that some extra money would help me and my new wife.  No one told me that one day you might want and need to know me.

I'm sorry for the pain that I've caused you by my actions and absence.  I should've known that any children created from my donations might be curious and want answers.  

I've missed so many years and can imagine that you've grown into a lovely young woman.  

I've been too scared to approach the ITA and come forward because I don't want to disturb the life you have with your family, and your dad.  And I don't know how it would effect my wife and children...

I think about you and I wish only happiness for you.  One day we will meet, if not on earth, then after life in spirit.  I realise you're hurting and missing me even though we've never met.

I am sorry and I love you.

We will always be connected."

It seems so silly to type out, but this exercise was really therapeutic. 

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Sister!

Yesterday it was one of my little (half, donor conceived) sister's birthday.  I was very fortunate in getting my 9 half DC sibling's dates of births and genders.  This is how I know and it's nice to have at least that information.  I want to make en effort this year to try to think of my siblings this year and celebrate their birthdays, even if in a small way.  I couldn't really though yesterday as it was mother's day and I didn't want to upset mum.  I think she would have been ok with it, but still, I know that she harbours some guilt around my situation and it just wouldn't have been appropriate.  Anyway, my little sister, born 11th May 1985 would have turned 22.  I hope that wherever she is that she is happy.  Maybe one day I can meet her, who knows?  I need to do more to try and find my siblings... it's just all so emotionally exhausting.  But one day soon I must get back into searching.

I guess lately I have become more accepting of my situation, that's not to say that I'm not still wanting answers, or curious.  I'll always be curious to know more, always be searching, I'm just not angry anymore, I'm active.  Lobbying and public speaking is meaning making for me, pulling a positive out of all of this for my own sanity and also to help other DC people.  It's rewarding and helps me to feel as though my conception, DC status can mean something greater.

I've now been working as a foster care worker for 5 months and loving it.  I love the children and trying to make a difference for them.  Working in foster care has been a real eye opener and I guess the stark differences for children in foster care vs DC people is very apparent.  The courts usually work towards reunification of children and their birth families... And where reunification is not possible links with birth family are encouraged, i.e. access visits.  It is seen as a vital element of foster care that workers and carers allow for this contact.  Yet in DC we are told our birth families are not important and those of us who do want to know our birth families are often met with questions as to why, opposition and some times, like in my situation, flat out refusal.  I should be content with what I have, is what they say, get on with things.... For the most part I do, however I just think that all children should have the opportunity to know their family of origin, it should be there choice and not a right that is fought for.