Do You Want to be Adopted?

Normally on a Saturday I do a round up of what’s been going on in the OMG household the previous week. Like this one from last week. Tonight however my mind is elsewhere. Way back in the 80’s to be precise.

I read this wonderful post by Ali and it got me thinking about the day that my sister and I went to court to have our adoption finalised.

I don’t have many memories from this period of my life

I’m not sure if this applies to everyone, but this day is one I remember vividly.

We’d been told this day was coming for a while so it wasn’t a shock. From what I can remember we had been living with our adoptive parents for a couple of years by this point.

I could write a paragraph or two here about having breakfast, going up to the bedroom I shared with my sister to get dressed. Then heading to the court in my mother’s Sky Blue Volkswagen Beetle. It would all be made up though. With the exception of the Beetle.

I remember the car journey. Watching out the window as the Cotswold scenery gave way to the Oxford suburbs. Rolling fields of barley and sheep being replaced by town houses and shops.

There was probably a conversation about what was going to happen, as well as instructions to behave. Again this isn’t from memory of that day, more from memories of other trips and knowing what my Mother is like.

The secretary would take us into the hallway to play.

The court walls were white and the hallways were narrow, we were led upstairs to one of the Judges rooms. There were some toys for us to play with. The Judge told us what would happen and what this meant. Then told us he needed to talk to our “new” Mummy and Daddy alone so his secretary would take us into the hallway to play.

Out we went. I had a toy aeroplane I was playing with. There was a bright green carpet, obviously bought for it’s hard wearing properties over softness. A white radiator, one of those big old fashioned ones. The secretary made chit chat with us then asked the following question.

 Do you want to be adopted?

Not her fault I know, she was a secretary after all not a child psychologist. So didn’t realise what she was asking and the implications. Probably assumed that we would be happy we were getting new parents.

I was sitting in the window, flying my little aeroplane and I remember saying “No!”

I’ve thought about this moment and my answer many, many times since. Still I can’t give a reason why I would say no.

Surely it was better than the alternative? Staying in the orphanage with the Nuns.

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