Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Moment of Truth ~ An Update

So kiddies, last time we met I was digging in for a long old wait for my birth records to be sent by the home from which I was adopted, I was warned that 3-6 months is normal and I thought "OK, that gives me a bit more thinking time, which I need".

So the phone call this morning from the lovely Social Worker to say my records had been traced and could I nip round and sign a release form came as quite a shock. Counting back, that was 2 days, barely enough time to settle the vortex in my head, let alone come to terms with it all.

Anyway, I've signed the form and so now it is down to St F... Home down south to send the records. Then my Social Worker writes a report and then.. well.. then the real fun and games begin.

My brain hurts at the moment, and in the words of Anthony Newley "Stop The World, I Want To Get Off".. But we all know THAT aint happening!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Moment of Truth

So, 2 Blogs in 2 days.. who knew..

I think it's only fair to tell the story of today ~ having built this up it seems rude to just leave it hanging.. As the Actress said to the Bishop!

So I went to the meeting with Social Services this morning, my lovely friend Pam (ask me about her books and then rush out and buy them) came with me ~ she was EXACTLY the right person to have with me, I found I suddenly needed her unique mix of caring and humour as for some ridiculous reason I felt not nervous, not excited, but ~ well, you know that feeling the morning of a big exam when you worry you haven't studies enough? ~ that..

The Social Worker was terribly nice, which in itself was a shock, Social Workers never having ranked high in my opinion before (which is a bit rich coming from an Estate Agent I know) and she explained that the purpose of today was simply to get me basic facts and to find out how far I wanted to take this journey. I explained that I didn't really know, I just thought I wanted to find out something about my history. 

This seemed to be a good answer and I was just mentally congratulating myself on handling this whole thing in such a grown up fashion when she produced a piece of paper and I suddenly fell apart. "Dear Jesus" I thought, "She knows more about me than I do". That piece of paper contained the name I was given at birth and the name of my birth mother, and it was as though time stopped and the only sound I could hear was the rustle of this paper being unfolded. I think I was actually holding my breath while she read out the name I had been given.. And then she delivered the name of my birth mother ~ whose first name was the same as my Mum. Christ I cried then.. it seemed so strange to hear my Mums name with a different surname and to have her described as my Mother ~ I'm not sure that makes sense, but these are MY thoughts you know!

Anyway, the upshot is that I can now apply for my original Birth Certificate and the file kept by the home from which I was adopted ~ the details of which I already, unwittingly, held. This will take time, but because of my age they tend to fast track ~ that always makes you feel old!

So I am left in limbo, my life has change inexorably today whether I choose to go any further or not. All my life I have been Nicki, or Nicola, and yet (maybe) to at least one other person out there I am... well, let's just say not Nicki. She gave me quite beautiful names, which would lead me to think she did feel some connection to me, and this in itself touches a tiny place in my soul that I never knew existed.

So I think we all know by now that I will go on with this.. It doesn't seem as though I have a choice in the matter, some unseen unknown force is whispering that I simply MUST see this through to the end ~ so that a girl who, 45 years ago, had to give me up might just have the opportunity the see the woman I have become.

Monday, 28 May 2012

And more of the Adoption Stuff..

I know, you're all on the edge of your seats aren't you?? Oh, just me then, well OK ~ here we go.

I phoned them ~ and phoned them, and phoned them again. Finally they called me back, to tell me they hadn't received the documents! You could hear the crash of my stomach plummeting, it could only happen to me, papers getting lost in the post ~ Ah well, maybe it just wasn't meant to be.

Five minutes later she rang back, they had found them, so would I like to make an appointment to go in? I knew that there would be a long waiting list for this so presumed I had misheard when she said "Could you manage tomorrow morning?" Cue a major flap on my part.. I mean it was NOT supposed to be this quick. Anyway, I agreed a time and happily came home knowing that the fact I had to find my Birth Certificate and Adoption Certificate would mean there wasn't a hope in hell of me making the appointment.. I mean I am just not that organised am I??

Well, yes I bloody well am as it goes.. I got home and lo and behold they were in the file exactly where they should be ~ it's like a conspiracy isn't it? Some higher power is determined that I will go to this meeting tomorrow morning..

So, I'll.. er.. go to the meeting and then I'll tell you all about it afterwards shall I?? If you're still with me that is, I'm not sure I am..

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

That Old Adoption Malarky..

Harking back, as you do, to my Blog about Adoption I thought someone might care for an update.. No?? Well you're getting it anyway..

Showing my true ADHD colours, I downloaded the form for requesting information, filled it in, posted it and THEN thought "Oh Bugger, I'm not sure I wanted to have done that". So I then spent a couple of weeks switching between hoping my request had got lost in the post and wondering why I had received no reply ~ there really is no pleasing me sometimes!

Anyway, I came home today to find a letter for me from the General Register Office. What to do? Apparently the answer is hop up and down as though in dire need of the toilet SNIFF the envelope a few times.. And THEN I opened it.

It is a simple letter ~ Apparently my birth details have been forwarded to my local Social Services and will be available for me to see, once I have had "counselling" (For God's Sake). So, that's that really.. All I have to do is make the appointment and forty mumble years of not knowing will be over.

Well, therein lies the rub.. I'm STILL not sure I want to know ~ but knowing the records are accessible is as maddening as seeing the perfect pair of shoes for sale when you just happen to have the food shopping money in your wallet..

The sensible me (yes there IS actually) says there is no harm in waiting a little longer, being completely sure before I make the call, but the emotional side wants to run down to the office tomorrow and DEMAND they show them to me instantly.. and neither side has the upper hand as yet.

So if anyone else has any words of wisdom, please PLEASE feel free to share ~ I am in a positive lather of indecision here and a word or two of wisdom would be much appreciated.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

One of those days ~ It's Estate Agency Innit?

I am about to tread some uncharted waters here ~ in telling you about some of the things that happen in the course of my work. Some are funny, some tragic and some downright unsanitary, but all are true and the only thing I change are identifying details of the people involved ~ mainly because some of them are big and scary and might beat me up!

I am fairly certain you all know what I do for a living ~ I am a Estate Agent. Now before anyone starts pelting me with rotten fruit and blaming me for everything from World War II to Global Warming  would like to point out, in my defense, I am not that sort of Estate Agent ~ I am actually quite a nice person who happens to love the job I do!

I've been doing this job on and off for over 10 years now ~ when I started I worked in the Home Counties and knocked out Million pound gaffs to wealthy bankers (with a silent w mainly) and it was all lovely and easy and I couldn't believe that I got paid to nose around other peoples houses.. Fast forward 10 years and I'm valuing rental properties where the suspect stain on the Dining Room carpet is actually a result of the previous tenant having expired on there and not being found for a few days.

My days are punctuated with people wandering into the office and mumbling "D'you deal wiv DSS?" and then listing the exact attributes they require in the house that they wont be paying for "'S'Alright, the Social are paying innit". I've learned to smile in a neutral fashion and not actively grind my teeth while they talk.

The downside of this job is that you quickly become one of the most cynical people on Gods good earth ~ I have people sitting in front of me crying as they tell me their tales of abuse, domestic violence, homelessness and despair and all I can think is "Well, if your ex partner is threatening you with a chainsaw I don't want you in one of my properties Thanks". Peoples lives become a series of events that catagorises them into "Nice tenants" and "No Thank You tenants". And I don't believe a bloody word any of them say ~ mainly because most of them lie like a cheap NAAFI watch, they will swear they're working because the Landlord doesn't want Housing Benefit tenants, then miraculously "lose" their jobs as they move in, they tick the "No pets" box and when you go round you fight your way through a menagerie of dogs, cats and normally some kind of reptile in a glass case..

But despite all this, an the occasional client who is so earth shatteringly stupid they have to bring a friend along to help them fill in the fiendishly difficult questions on the Application Form ~Full Name, Current Address, all that tricky stuff ~ I do still love my job. The satisfaction of matching a person with a house is something I never tire of, the faces of a young couple when they get the keys for their first home together soothes my ravaged old soul and reminds me that there are worse jobs I could be doing.. I could be one of those poor bastards in the Housing Benefits Office.

So I go on, and when I have to tell a Landlord that not only has the rent not been paid, but the tenants have also done a runner with the keys, I comfort myself with the fact that maybe tomorrow I will be responsible for helping someone to find their dream home and there really will be a happily ever after... Well, maybe not tomorrow, but next week for sure.