Sunset over a grassy beach

Cozby's Story

Cozby’s* baby girl was adopted during the 1970s and she recently sought help and support from SFCS to trace and meet her birth daughter. She tells her story in her own words below.

*All names have been changed

Our amazing reunion has made me feel complete!

I always knew one day I would want to find the baby girl I gave up for adoption, I just didn’t know when.

The hardest thing any woman can ever do is it to part with the baby that’s been growing and bonding inside of her for nine months, but I knew I had no choice.

Some will say how could you but others will say how brave! When at 16yrs old I was faced with the reality of finding out I was pregnant without any prospects I knew what I had to do.

My relationship with her birth father was toxic, he was controlling, coercive and jealous, I was adamant that I did not want marry him.

I knew the only chance she’d have of having a happy and secure childhood was to have her adopted to a Christian family, a decision I’ve never regretted.

So my perfect little baby girl was born, we were together in the hospital for8 days. I was allowed to feed her a few times, but I never got to bathe her or change her nappy. I guess they were fearful that I would bond with her and decide to not go ahead with the adoption.

Then finally the lady from the adoption agency came to collect her, I had such mixed feelings wondering if I’d ever see her again and hoping she’d have a good life. A family with 4 boys was chosen, my mother felt this was an excellent choice for my baby and she was right. We were so happy to know she’d have 4 older brothers to look after her.

My mother loved knitting and my baby was sent with several cardigans and a gold bracelet that was mine when I was a baby and then she disappeared out of my life.

I went on to have a very happy marriage and two further children, but I’m sure all women will agree you never forget, especially milestone birthdays.

My husband always knew about my baby and was aware that one day I would try to find her, but life overtakes and the years roll on.

It was during lockdown that I found myself watching an episode of Long Lost Families where a mother was looking for her daughter. The daughter was found and admitted that she’d been watching her mother on Facebook for 3 yrs but was afraid to make contact for fear of rejection.

That got my attention, as someone who is also regularly posting on Facebook I wondered if she too was watching me.

As a Christian I decided to commit it to prayer and to see how God would guide me. I could not stop thinking about her and began to sense that now was the time to look for her.

My baby was adopted through the Catholic Adoption Society and I remember going to London with my mother for an interview. So my search started there, I spoke to a very helpful lady called Irena, but much to my surprise we drew a blank.

However I did have one crucial piece of paper that was given to me by my brother several years ago. My mother who died 23yrs ago had kept it safely and my brother found it amongst her papers. It was my baby’s adoption certificate from Northampton County Court. Upon showing this to Irena she put me in touch with Kate at St. Francis Children’s Society in Milton Keynes.

My heart skipped a beat when Kate finally told me she had found my baby, who by now was happily married with 3 children.

I’m a grandmother I inwardly screamed with joy, wow that’s absolutely fantastic as neither of my other children had any kids.

Would she want to meet me was my next question and thankfully the answer was unequivocally YES.

Kate said she’s on Facebook and you will not mistake her as she looks so much like you and she was right.

My husband & I agreed to come to The Adoption Agency to meet her, it was much easier especially as she only lived a few miles away from it.

The reunion was amazing she does look like me in fact I saw more of my mother in her than me, genetics is so amazing.

However we are so alike and love so much of the same things, she’s sporty like me and plays tennis competitively, just like I used to.

In fact because of her I have taken Tennis back up again and really loving it. She loves walking her dogs and calls it her happy place, I too have a dog and love being out with him.

We talked for hours, 6 in fact, it was so easy and natural. Even though I did not shed a tear I had an intense bubbling feeling inside of pride. My beautiful daughter whom I had to be parted with was now sitting in front of me, I was one very happy and proud mother.

My next question to her was did she want an ongoing relationship or was she just content to have finally met her birth mother.

At the beginning of meeting me she said maybe meet up once or twice a year, but by the end we knew we wanted to see as much of each other as we could.

Now her adoptive parents deserve great praise for the way they brought her up. They showered her with love and nurtured her to be the wonderful person I saw before me. My gratitude to them is huge, they took on the role of parent when I was unable to and I will always be eternally grateful.

It was so lovely to meet them and to be able to thank them in person for the wonderful job they had done in giving my daughter a loving and happy home.

They were so sweet and thanked me for allowing them to adopt my daughter. As they already had 4 children they were not top of the list for adopting a baby but I believe divine intervention occurred and they were meant to adopt her.

Meeting my grandchildren, 2 of them being teenagers and one of primary age was so lovely, but yet so strange. I love children and have many adopted grandchildren in my home Church whom I regularly take out for hikes after church and I just love being with them.

This was different as these girls were my real grandchildren and I love them so much. Again there has been a natural connection and they are a credit to my daughter and son-in-law.

Naturally the older girls were curious about me even though they always knew that their Mum had been adopted. There were many questions which I answered honestly, I so wanted our relationship to start on the right footing and believe honesty is the best policy. After all I was not only a stranger to them but also a new grandmother, a lot for them to take in.

The days flew by and it was soon time for us to return home, I didn’t want this visit to end. I had suddenly connected to a whole new family and I was loving it, I stupidly thought would I see her again, what if she changes her mind and decides not to see me.

I needn’t of worried as the following month she was planning a week’s visit to come up and stay with me and meet  her half-brother and many of my friends.

The visit was wonderful, I was so excited to introduce her to my friends, many of them knew of her existence but some didn’t.

She looks so like my younger daughter who is 4 yrs her junior and in fact from a distance many of my friends thought she was.

The week flew by but it allowed her to see me in my home and get more of an idea of the person I am. My brother came up and joined us for the week and we had such a good time.

Fast forward to a year later, we’ve seen each other several times in fact it has averaged out to once every 2 months. We’ve been wonderfully embraced by her family as she has with mine. The only slight challenge I have is that my younger daughter has found and still is finding it difficult to adjust.

They are so alike in so many ways that they do not recognise in each other but I hope in time they will grow closer.

Despite on the surface it appears a perfect reunion, as we are dealing with people and their emotions there are still tricky situations to overcome.

During our first year we have tried to have a zoom call every Sunday evening, this has helped tremendously in building our relationship and getting to know each other on a weekly basis.

Sometimes the girls join in for a chat which is lovely as I get to interact with them also on a regular basis too.

On summary I could not of asked for a better reunion, however it takes time and effort and a willingness to make it work. We will face big challenges at some point but if your foundation is strong you will be able to weather the storms.

It is still strange to look at the beautiful young lady who looks so like me ,  whom I know biologically is mine  and my instinct is to draw her close to me but I also know that I have no right to.

She has another family who have moulded and shaped her into being the person she is and I have nothing but extreme gratitude to them.

I was told by the agency that it would be a roller coaster of emotions and it has been, but I thank God for his grace and mercy towards me that has allowed this wonderful reunion.