THE SEARCH FOR JAMIE

THE SEARCH FOR JAMIE

Well, here goes girls. Kathy has been at me for some time to put this on the blog, and I have finally decided to do so.

Almost exactly two years after I graduated from Emma, still full of the glory of the year and very full of myself, I was introduced to a guy of about 30 (I was 19), who in reality was really rather a pathetic drunk. I thought that I was his knight in shining armour and I was going to save him from himself. The long and the short of it was, I did not see the light, and went round to his house, where he filled me with booze and did the dirty deed. When I left his apartment, I believed I was still a virgin, not having a clue what had happened, and when some few months later I went for an xray for tuberculosis (yes, TB), I was told that I did not have TB but was four months pregnant. Too late for an abortion, an outraged family made me change my name and disappear from the face of the earth for the remaining five months. The last month was spent in an unmarried mothers home (yes, in England in 1968, we were still pariahs) and the baby was born on 28 April 1968. I nursed him for 10 days and then he was taken away for adoption.

I signed the adoption papers on 2 August 1968 (remember this date), which stated baldly that ‘by signing the document, I would never be entitled to see my infant again. I wept then and have continued to weep for the last nearly 40 years. My family never mentioned it again it was as if it had never happened, and I was schooled never to admit to what had happened, although as I grew older and society changed, I did allow my secret to be shared with a few dear friends, Kathy being one of them.

The authorities who held Jamies papers had a policy of non-disclosure and despite one or two efforts to see if they would help me find my son, the answer was always no. And as my friends’ children grew up, so my own pain and longing grew. Then, in 2003, the law in Britain changed, and I as a birth mother, was given the legal right to seek out my son and let him know that I would like to meet him. So, in July 2003, I travelled to London and for the first time in 35 years, met with someone who wanted to help and support me. The search for Jamie was started in January 2004, and soon after I received an answer – he was not interested in meeting me, but his wife let me know that he was very successful, and that I had two grandchildren. OH MY GOD!!!!

So, I waited patiently for two and a half years, until Thursday, 27 July 2006 (to be exact) when I found an email from my social worker saying that Jamie had changed his mind about meeting me and would I call her urgently at home that evening in London. Filled with emotions that you simply cannot imagine, I called and she told me that I must immediately call Jamies wife, and could I cope with the fact that the meeting would be almost immediately. Yes, I said.

I called his wife, Elizabeth and after a couple of initial difficulties “No, he is not called Jamie; he is called Seth,” and “No, I am not his mother; he has a mother called Susan,” – we arranged the rendezvous for Wednesday 2 August, 2006 (coincidentally, exactly 48 years to the day I gave him up). I was to bring a friend with me in case the meeting was fraught with tension.

August 2nd dawned, and I dont think I have ever been so terrified in my life. We were due to meet for a drink first, and if it worked out, go on for dinner. I booked the table for 8:00 and when Elizabeth and Seth arrived at the local hotel (they had flown from Marbella to Barcelona and then driven for five hours), Elizabeth called and we arranged to meet at a local bar. My friend, Nina, and I got there only to find it was closed! So we went directly to the restaurant, called and gave Elizabeth directions, described what we were wearing, and waited for the half hour it would take them to get to us.

It was windy and warm a typical Provencal summer evening and the square which Seth and Elizabeth had to walk across to meet us was huge and devoid of the usual tourists and locals. They came around the corner he just over 6 feet tall and she just coming up to halfway his arm. I got up to go and meet them, all our shoulders around our ears with tension. And then I saw her smile, and he relaxed a little. And we came face to face. He and I shook hands and Elizabeth and I embraced. She looked at me and laughed. “You walk exactly like him,” she said.

seth%20julia.jpg

seth%20julia%20headshot.jpg

It was stunning, not only for the fact that we could be twins.

JSB%20and%20grand%20daughter.jpg

Clearly, the Scott-Barrett genes are very strong photos of my granddaughter and me at the same age.

JSB%20and%20son.jpg

We have become incredibly good friends he came to my 60th here this summer.

IMG_0076.jpg

I spent New Years Eve this year with him, his family and his friends, and had real quality time with my grandchildren, particularly my grandson, Alex, aged 13. (Forgive the dreadful hair colour it will go back to normal shortly!)

Eh voila, mes amies, that is the story. And it continues!!!

Happy New Year.

Lots of love,

Julia

GRANDCHILDREN ARE A DELIGHT

GRANDCHILDREN ARE A DELIGHT

Anne Todd shows us what we have to look forward to (for those of us who may be waiting with great anticipation!)…….

at%20family.jpg

Family get-together…we know how hard it is getting these photos.

at%20reading.jpg

Snuggling up with a good book. There is no better time.

atpicnic.jpg

Well, perhaps a picnic on the Hudson…

at%20boat.jpg

…or boating.

at%20chicks.jpg

Hmmmm….heat lamp? Box? What could be in there?

at%20girls.jpg

Too cute.

As an update to Anne and her husband’s trip last sumemr, Anne writes,

“We didn’t find a boat to sail home so we chartered for a week in French Polynesia.

The snorkeling was super. The French (and English translated) Cruising Guides were hilarious but totally USELESS.Is there a sailor’s obligation, humanitarian justification in returning to write as useful one?Perhaps the existing guides by promoting mild boating accidentsprovide needed local employment and we shouldn’t mess with that…

Annie O.

PS We had a challenging but safe week visiting three islands and finding picnic and overnight anchorages in tricky places.Oh and a long total lunar eclipse! Wow!”

Life is indeed good. Thanks for sharing these, Anne.