It felt strange talking about Anthony with my cousin as I didn’t say much about him when sending letters to my parents who rarely mentioned him. Of course my mum was extremely annoyed about Anthony wanted me and my family in his life but the extent of this came out over the next year or so. My sister and I hadn’t had any contact for six years by this time and it would another five years and our mum dying before we did.
Rick had joined the site that Anthony had set up and he had included Rick’s family tree on the site, we were administrators of that side. When I thought about the early days it was difficult as Rick had his issues to deal with and Anthony had problems accepting him. Rick wasn’t his father who wouldn’t accept Anthony but it got easier.
Anthony and I started chatting on msn messenger as we had fallen out over the adoption papers a few weeks previously although we have been sending the occasional email. We could both be stubborn at the best of times but I was relieved we talking again. The fall out with Anthony at that time was due to Anthony wanting to ask questions about the adoption papers but as I had never seen them I couldn’t answer him. When I tried to talk to him about the papers he kicked off so I sent him an email stating why certain things had been crossed out and replaced with other words. I also let him know what was true and what wasn’t.
*This was a period when life was good with the occasional hiccup. I was getting used to the occasional bad times from my son and was just letting it go over my head. At times I would be bewildered why he would suddenly be angry. I also knew I wouldn’t get a reasonable response back if I asked as I was expected to be psychic and just know. Eventually I found out he had been as bad with my family although by 2006 I saw it as understandable with my mum as she had lied to him. Me knowing my parents could have been honest to both of us since late 2001 contributed to this. My dad was forgiven much quicker as he knew exactly what my mum was like so it was easier than dealing with her wrath.
At this time I couldn’t stop thinking about why I couldn’t remember signing the Consent to Relinquish form. A friend from an online group, Empty Arms, seemed to think we possibly signed the form at a magistrate’s home rather than at court but I was sure I hadn’t done either. If I did go to a magistrate’s home or court then I certainly had a big whole in my memory – it was almost scary.
*As it turned out I didn’t get the Consent to Relinquish form and eventually I just gave up. I kept trying periodically but was constantly given the run around so in the end I got tired and fed up of the stress it was causing.
I remember when I first received a copy of the adoption papers which I should have received when my son was adopted. On reading them it was no surprise to realize that I had a ‘hole’ in my memory I hadn’t given information on them. It was still a bit irritating to read half-truths and lies though, the only absolute truth was descriptions of myself and my ex. The only other bit of truth was about my mum being asthmatic and that she had been in contact with Rubella so I’m partially deaf and a hardly noticeable speech defect. The only thing that really disappointed me was that I thought there would be a copy of the consent to relinquish form and nobody told me that it wouldn’t be included even though I had mentioned not remembering signing the form so wanted to see a copy.
When I saw my counsellor, from After Adoption, for the last time which was the same day as I got the copy of the adoption paperwork I mentioned this. All she could do was mumble was something about the consent to relinquish form being at the court that dealt with the adoption. I left it that as she had never been very helpful about explaining my rights so just didn’t know what to say but it has been on my mind since then.
The subject was brought up in another online group I belonged to specifically for women who have had a child adopted but haven’t had any more children. Some of the others said they have copies of the consent form so it has got the rest of us thinking about this so we are going to try and get copies as well. Yesterday I emailed my contact at the Adoption Resource Centre thanking her again for being so helpful before over the other paperwork then went on to explain what I was after this time.
I hated this feeling of having holes in my memory from that time and I couldn’t ask my parents as it had never been open to debate to discuss Anthony’s adoption. The only person I discussed Anthony with was my dad, post reunion, and then it was stilted, he only mentioned Anthony when they had spoken to each other – I hated that so much. I got more support from my in-laws and they openly admitted they didn’t understand what I have been through. Rick’s eldest sister and brother in law were fine about meeting Anthony the last time we saw him and they often asked after him. One thing that cheered me up is that Rick had second thoughts about viewing the flat of the lady who wanted to do a mutual exchange with us. I wanted to get back down south but I didn’t really want to give up a house for a flat as we had dogs and it wouldn’t be fair on the cat even though she was a ‘house’ cat as she liked sunning herself outside.