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It Could Go Either Way

16 June 2014, 06:30

Many adopted children often wonder about their biological parents and may want to meet them to discover their roots and reasons for their adoption. Should you decide to pursue this, put aside your fantasies and be prepared for any eventualities.

My brother, CK, found his parents serendipitously. My discovery was a soap opera.

My mother, Thelma, said she would love to meet me, but disliked me on sight. According to her, my birth had given her breast cancer and was I not aware that I would pass this on to my two daughters?

Thelma had contacted the Mater Dei Hospital and was told by a nun that I had died three years previously. I was registered as Theresa when she specifically asked for Bernadette. And, why did I take so long to contact her?

My father, a friend of her grandfather, seduced her when she was a 17 year old virgin. he was 51 years older than her and he died when I was 12 years old.

Thelma died less than a year after we met. Unrelated to this story is that she smoked a pack of 30 a day. As cancer ravaged her body, her oncologist was amazed that her lungs were not affected.

Child Welfare had given me a letter from my father in which he had written that Thelma had promised to marry him, but he wanted to offer me a home. He was 'a man of means', supporting his son financially at a university in Pennsylvania.

I contacted the university and serendipitously discovered that my brother, HT, 25 years older than I, had a week earlier updated his contact details, 'in case anybody was looking for him.' He and his wife flew over to meet me.

HT was a very sincere, kind and gentle man with an odd, domineering American wife who forbid him to watch television or read newspapers. She laid out his clothing every morning and allocated a certain amount of toothpaste which was placed on his toothbrush after meals.

Our father, HT Snr, always up to no good, also seduced HT's mother, who was deaf and dumb. HT Snr, on hearing that he had a son, snatched him from his mother's arms. He was married at the time and was given his young wife's full co-operation.

HT Snr, was in all likelihood, married to another woman at the time he wanted me. HT and I also have a sister, Anna, whom we have never met, living in England.

HT also told me that our father had created a dubious political party and canvassed door to door at mealtimes. He spat at Jan Smuts and was incarcerated at Coffee Bay Prison. HT Snr also boasted that he had had a book published, titled, 'My Contribution to the Boer War,' and owned two original Turner landscapes.

After HT matriculated from Paul Roos Gymnasium, he was awarded a bursary to study theology.  Before he set sail he worked on a mine, on the East Rand, to save for his passage to America.  Our father insisted that he send him his wages that he would save for him.  Another lie, so the Baptist Church stepped in and HT's future was secured.

My brother, after hearing my story, contacted Child Welfare, mainly out of curiosity.  During this time, his wife Millie made a weekend booking at Cintsa Bay.  This was incorrect and they moved onto Haga Haga,

They met an older couple with whom they enjoyed a relaxing weekend.  The subject of adoption came up, and yes, you've guessed it.  They were parents and son.  CK's mother fell pregnant in high school and was forced to give him up for adoption, later married his father and they had three more sons.

And, that's not all.  CK's daughter became friends with Cindy from their Grade 1 class.  They used to play at each other's homes and when the parents came to collect their daughters, CK found that he had a lot in common with Cindy's father.  You are right again.  They are brothers.

So, good luck.  Remember - 'Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get.' - (Forrest Gump)


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