WHAT IS YOUR ADOPTION EXPERIENCE?
I am a wife, mum, and gran aged 65 who was adopted as a baby in 1948. In those years adoptees did not have much information. I had spent a very short time in a Dr Barnados home (orphanage) about which I can’t remember much. My adoption was entirely successful and I cannot remember when I was told I was adopted.
Margaret “as a youngster, I still have the teddy bear!!!”
As I grew older, married and had a family of my own, feelings emerged about where I had come from, why my own children had certain characteristics. Eventually I decided to try and trace my birth mother. This was not easy, took eleven years. By the time I had located the family (with a third party contact) my birth mother had died. I found I had seven brothers and two sisters, who I have been in contact with for the past twenty one years. We are so alike!!! My adoptive parents had died before I did my search—I was not looking for replacement parents but had a great yearning to find 'my place'.
HOW HAS THE ADOPTION EXPERIENCE AFFECTED YOUR POETRY?
Much of my poetry reflects the yearning to belong, to find my place and to challenge others' opinions of adoption who have no first hand experience. Below are samples of my poetry, it was difficult to choose one, there are so many!!!
PLEASE SHARE A SAMPLE POEM(S) ADDRESSING (INPART) ADOPTION:
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
My tribe is the 'handed over'
not for us the rituals
of a joyous mother at childbirth
she is to spend her life
forever looking back.
My arrival was secret
people took decisions, made plans
legal matters were attended to
but who asked me.
I cost four shillings
paid at the court hearing
when I married the license
was seven shillings and sixpence!
Am I commodity rising in value?
or will society pay more
these days for a soul who arrived
Reading this you might think
what a bitter, cynical soul
we have here
you would be sadly mistaken.
For all those rules and regulations
worked to some extent,
I belong to a wonderful family
and have no regrets.
But there was a perpetual longing,
what about my genes
why am I like I am
I have a right to know.
Do you look like anybody?
are you sick of being told you closely
resemble Great Aunt Ethel,
Are you prepared that you might
inherit your grandmother’s medical condition
well my friend be grateful
for the knowledge.
What about all those stories passed on
from generation to generation
gold, pure gold, do not discard them
that is not your right.
1st February 2010
ABOUT THE POET:
Margaret Carruthers: “I have been writing poetry for nearly 15 years now, it is influenced by nature, my faith, social justice and last but not least my experience as an adopted person. I live in south west Scotland and am at present working on a collection of poems related to my experience as an adopted person. Several of my poems have been published here in the UK.”