The first time my adoptive parents came to see me in my foster home, I was sitting at the dinner table.
As they walked in, I ran over to my new dad and hugged him around the legs.
He was 6’2 and felt like a giant because I was a tiny little six-year-old. I remember saying something like, ‘are you going to be my forever dad?’
We still laugh about it to this day.
It was interactions like these that allowed me to feel at ease and made me feel excited about going to live with my new family.
Recollections of my childhood are more like flashbacks rather than memories, blurry mini clips – and those of my biological mother are fond ones.
I remember her and I going for walks with the dog to the top of the Berwyn mountain and just looking out over everything. She used to take me to swimming classes.
I felt happy during this time and like any other child. Nothing felt out of the ordinary.
But I did have a sense at the time there was something serious happening because there was a lot of change in my life.
I moved from my biological mother to foster parents who also had two other children. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I moved into this new home – but when I got there, it was great as my foster family made me feel like I had always been a member of the family.
I was then adopted when I was just under seven years old.
Before I moved in, I had contact with my adoption family who sent me pictures of them, my new room, and the garden, which felt reassuring.
On one occasion when we met in court, they handed me a necklace, which I keep to this day. It was like a welcoming present to the family, and it felt special.
I moved in with my new family in 1999, in a little village, and they made me feel so welcome and filled me with so much love.
I often missed my biological mum and whenever we looked back at pictures, I asked lots of questions, like ‘why am I here?’. But I was raised so well and with so much care that it helped me feel at ease.
We maintained letterbox contact with my birth mum and received letters on certain occasions such as Christmas and Easter.
Whenever I had any questions, my family were honest and always maintained an open dialogue about my past.
I asked about my biological brother and sister a lot because we had that typical sibling bond.
I also asked a lot about my time in my childhood home, the house I lived in with my mum, and we would reminisce about my childhood memories.
We had a memory box, which I still have to this day. We would go through it together and look back at old pictures.
It’s still in my cupboard and it’s nice to have as I know I’m able to open it up and relive some of my childhood.
I had the chance to meet my birth mum when I was eight, but at the time I wasn’t ready. I don’t remember why, but instead I told my adoptive parents to visit her.
I must have felt it was important for them both to meet once the adoption process was complete. It was great for them to meet and when they got back, they told me how lovely and pretty she was.
By the time I was 15, I hadn’t really spoken to my birth mum for a few years. I was enjoying my life as a teenager. My life became about experiences like having my first pint, going out with my mates or playing Xbox.
I was happy. I felt as if I had been a part of my family for a lifetime. This was my decision and it felt right for me at the time.
When I turned 18, I was aware that I could make direct contact with my biological mum but I still decided against it.
I didn’t want to open that part of my life and was happy at that stage in my life to move on and enjoy my life and my surroundings. It was a decision that was comfortable for me and still is. I’m unsure if I will contact her in the future.
Being adopted has allowed me to fulfil my potential and do things I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish if I hadn’t been adopted. It’s allowed me to have a solid education, get a good job and have a good group of friends.
There’s a quote that sticks with me since I was a child, which is ‘show me your friends and I’ll show you your future’.
That’s what I think is most important, having a good group of friends around you who understand your background and aren’t judgemental.
I’m a positive person and if I had constantly looked into the past and looked at negative aspects in my life, it would’ve held me back and distracted me from my focus on life.
The negative energy would perhaps have stopped me from achieving some of the great things I have managed to do in my life. I’m a big believer in positive energy and spreading good vibes.
The best thing I did is embrace my situation and look forward, but I don’t think that would have been possible had it not been for my amazing adoptive parents.
For more information on adoption in Wales, visit adoptcymru.com.
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