ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Lowrider Lincoln » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:36 pm

Sadly Laurence didn't make contact before his BM passed away. He also had suffered for many years with a fear of rejection so acute he found bonding with anyone awkward. In fact these feelings of not belonging had hampered him most of his adult life. When a sister was discovered it emerged that their BM had also had similar issues. Laurence's sister Wendy seemed immediately supportive and understanding towards him, she had only just been told she had a brother.

S3 E4 RECAP

Fifty-five-year old divorced father of one, Laurence is searching for his mother who gave him up for adoption in 1957. In the hope of finding his mother and laying to rest the sense of rejection he has felt in his life, Laurence approached Long Lost Family.

Laurence tells LLF that he grew up in the town of Chesterfield as an only child and was unaware that he was adopted until the age of seven. Laurence, who still lives in the house he was brought up in, remembers vividly the day his parents called him into the kitchen to tell him this news.
Although the news came as a shock, Laurence tells LLF that he never spoke to them about the circumstances of his adoption, not wanting to cause his parents any distress.
He says: “I wouldn’t have wanted to see the look on my mum’s face. I don’t like people being upset and I don’t think I could have coped with that.”
Carrying the pain and fear of rejection with him throughout his life and after the breakdown of several long term relationships, Laurence tells LLF that he feels it is time he faces up to his past.
He says: “Once I understand why she gave me up then I can get on with my life and be closer to people. You know, show my feelings.”
Laurence took the first tentative steps on his journey by applying to Derbyshire County Council for his adoption records. Amongst the papers he discovered his mother’s name and that she was from Glasgow. But, with no date of birth, he was at a loss as to where to turn next.
Through the databases of records available, Long Lost Family were able to trace Laurence’s mother, sadly discovering that she died in 1999. However, the programme was also able to trace Laurence’s sister, Wendy.
Nicky goes to meet Wendy and finds a warm, friendly woman who had absolutely no idea of her brother’s existence. Shocked to discover that her mum had kept such a profound secret all her life, Wendy felt sad that she wasn’t able to speak about it. After being contacted, Wendy remembered a photograph she found in her mother’s belongings of a small child that could only have been a few months old. Having always wondered who the child in the photo was, Wendy brings it with her to show Nicky.
When Davina returns to see Laurence he is naturally saddened that his mother had passed away, though delighted with the prospect of meeting his sister Wendy. Davina shows Laurence the photograph and by comparing it to a photograph he has of himself as a baby it is clear the precious photograph that his mother kept all her life is in fact of her first born child, Laurence.
Long Long Family is with Laurence and Wendy when they meet for the first time.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Lowrider Lincoln » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:59 pm

Denise found her step-dad was unsupportive when she needed fatherly help. She tried unsuccessfully to raise her daughter alone within her family home. At only 16, without any support she relinquished her child to adoption. At their reunion Denise and Susan showed that their similarities where more than just physical, somehow Susan was able to finish her BM's story of sleeping in a chest of drawers. Although only a few month old she was able to recall a long lost memory from deep within. - Amazing.

S3 E4 RECAP

Sixty-three-year-old widow Denise gave birth to her daughter when she was just sixteen years old and, despite her family’s vocal opposition, brought her home and cared for her for three hard months. But, with no financial or emotional support, Denise struggled to care for her infant and, in the end, felt she had no choice but to give the baby she loved up for adoption.
Denise has missed her daughter ever since.
Denise tells Long Lost Family that she grew up on the outskirts of Leeds in a time of economic hardship. She had a close-knit family and was particularly close to her father. When she was just fifteen her world fell apart when she came home to discover her father had suddenly died. Denise was heartbroken and reacted by seeking comfort and distraction in her social life. She looked older than her fifteen years and could easily drink in pubs without being questioned about her age.
She says: “I just started partying and going out. My mum wasn’t bothered. Leaving all the troubles behind, the house behind. Just looking for love – looking for love that I’d lost.”
It was during this time that Denise struck up a relationship with a young man, and became pregnant. Unable to cope, she denied to herself what was happening.
She tells the programme: “I just ignored it. I knew something was wrong, but I thought it just might go away.”
Eventually, her mum discovered the pregnancy and, aged 16, Denise gave birth to her daughter. She named her Debbie. Her mother, and her mother’s new boyfriend Sid, had been adamant that she should give the baby up for adoption, but when Denise held her daughter in her arms she felt a love so strong she did not want to give her up.
She says: “As young as I was, the feelings and the emotions, the hormones, I thought, ‘I’d die for this child. I’d die for her and I’d fight anybody that would try to take her from me.’”
Despite all the resistance and opposition Denise persuaded her mother and Sid to allow her to bring her baby home, though Denise knew she would be very much on her own.

She struggled desperately to provide for her daughter.
She adds: “She slept in a drawer perched between two chairs. I think she only had half a dozen nappies, so I was forever doing nappies in buckets with solution. I was so alone. So alone.”
When Debbie was about three months old Denise woke one morning and decided that adoption was her only choice. She believed the daughter she loved would have no future if she remained with her. It was a terrifically hard decision to make, but Denise believes it was the right decision.
She says: “As much as I loved her, I knew that it was no life for her or me.”
Denise never forgot Debbie, and the love she had felt for her. For many years she has wanted to find her and repair the relationship that had been brutally cut short.
After Denise approached Long Lost Family a specialist social worker and intermediary found her daughter, now called Susan, living in Northamptonshire.
When Nicky goes to meet Susan he discovers that, astonishingly, she was only told she had been adopted at the age of 21. All she knew was that her birth mother had been 16 years old when she’d given birth. She tells Nicky that, after this discovery, she had tried to find her birth mother, but, when she examined the records, the file relating to the month of her birth was missing. She took this as a sign that searching for her wasn’t the right thing to do.
Since she found out that her birth mother was searching for her, Susan wondered what had happened in the few months following her birth and prior to her adoption. When Nicky tells her about Denise’s attempts to keep her, she is stunned and incredibly moved.
Davina travels to Spain, where Denise now lives, to tell her that her daughter has been found. Denise admits how anxious she feels that her daughter will reject her and is totally overwhelmed when Davina tells her that Susan would love to meet her.
Susan travels back to her birthplace, Leeds, to meet Denise for the first time in nearly 50 years.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Turtle » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:25 am

I loved the Denise and Susan story. They were so alike. Sometimes family members want to know whether they look similar and you almost have to squint to see the visual similarities, but these two were amazing. Also, not only did they look similar, but their mannerisms were the same too. I was so looking forward to their reunions as you could just tell it was going to go well.

One thing that came to my mind was, what effect did that time with her mother, have on Susan? Most children are removed within days, but Susan was with her mother for months, and I wonder if this made her so much more connected with her mother. I think she is one of the few adoptees that I have seen willing to call her b.mother mum, right from the first meeting. She just seemed so relaxed and grounded.

Laurence's story was interesting too. The fact that he felt disconnected and unemotional. His mother turned out to be the same, but was this down to the trauma of the separation or was this part of their genetic character? I guess we will never know.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby julie2009 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:22 am

Hi Turtle

Very interesting point you made about both the mum and her son being unemotional. Does this have to do with our genetic makeup or the person we become as we get older. I was told my BM was a very anxious nervous person even to the extent she hated travelling on buses in her home town.
I have to say I would be more of an impatient person compared to being anxious but I have to say my own mum would be the same - always worrying about somebody so as you say who knows.

I actually came off the phone the other day after speaking to BM sister and she said something and it was just like something my own mum would say.
I found it a bit freaky to be honest but then they are all from around that same generation.

Julie
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby ladyarcher » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:16 pm

Interesting thought ........to wonder about the result of the re-relationship in the light of the length of time spent with the b.mother before adoption.......often of course there is another level between b.mother and a.mother, in that babies/children may well have spent some time in care of one sort or another, sometimes foster parents, and going back a bit, often a childrens' home........

For myself, I was with my b.mother and b.father until I was around 17 months.......my full sister, however only had a few brief weeks with them .....our father was posted abroad in 1945 just after the end of the war.........and our mother's husband was posted back to England having been abroad for several years.................then we were both taken to a childrens' home/nursery ........and after a while we were passed on to our 'new' mothers......me at aged around 2, and my sister at 6 months old.........

I wonder if this is partly responsible for the different attitudes towards our b.mother that my sister and I have.......I spent a fair while looking for my b.mother, and luckily found her in time to know her for around ten years....

....my sister had not spent v.long with our mother as a baby............. probably less than four months, maybe even less than that.......and as my sister did not search until she was 64, sadly our mother was long gone........ my sister seems to have a very detached attitude towards our mother........always referring to her as 'the mother', never saying 'our mother'.......and she is rather disparaging of the way our b.mother's life went after she lost us,.... and also lost the children of her marriage who were kept by her husband........interestingly my sister does not seem to have the same view of our b.father, who, in fact, was of course, just as 'bad' as our b.mother.........in that he was already married when they met, although he had no children at that point.....he had two children with our mother......myself and my full sister.......then when he got posted back to Canada a while after the end of the war, he went back to his wife.......who forgave him, and offered to adopt us, but that's another story .........he and his wife then had four children together, plus sadly twins that died shortly after birth .......... so, why is our mother the 'bad' person, in my sister's eyes......and our father a 'romantic hero'......funny old world isn't it........

Going back to the last 'Long Lost' ................the programme generally seems to convey the impression that the long lost b.parent, or child, has been traced due to the programme's great efforts.........and what annoys me is that Nicky never says that any adopted child, or birth mother can trace in exactly the same way as the programme does.........Denise, for example, could have approached a social worker herself, and, although it may well have taken longer, much much longer, she could have eventually been put in touch with her daughter.........similarly Laurence could have done the same ........I would like to see a bit at the end of each programme explaining briefly how people can do this themselves........rather than appearing to take all the credit, and by implication making people think that this can only be done through programmes like this.....the 'mechanics' of tracing are very poorly publicised, and it would at least be some help to others who have not started their 'journey' if a brief outline of how to do it were put up on the screen at the end.........

LA
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Jackb72 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:26 pm

Hi everyone
I'm late to the thread but I've been watching LLF since the first episode this season. I agree with everyone's comments to some degree.
My personal experience is this when its on I cry not just for me but for my brother who says he doesn't want to search. I found the Sheffield episode especially interesting as this is where I'm from what I also found interesting is that the adoptee admits he didn't know that something was missing until he met his bmum. Knowing my brother I think he falls into this category.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby ladyarcher » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:27 pm

Statistically, apparently, men are less likely to search than women......and if they do search it usually at a later age ........

My full sister and I were adopted to separate couples, I only found her four years ago after a forty year search..... both of us are in our sixties ....

..however my sister was brought up with a 'brother' also adopted, and of course not related to her........when she and I found each other she was worried about telling her brother as she knew he did not want to do any search for his own b.mother ........ when she did start to tell him about us meeting, we had already met a number of times and we happily found that we got on well.........however he cut her off as she tried to tell him about us, and would not let her talk about it at all......even going so far as to say he 'thought it was a bad idea' ...

....I am sad about his attitude as he has obviously been a big part of my sister's life and I would like to know him......his attitude to his own b.mother is judgemental.......... in that in his opinion if she did not 'want' him, and 'gave him away', he does not want to know her or anything about her ....... very sad.......she was a young girl from a 'financially poor' background, my sister says......by which she means a lower social class than the one she and her brother were adopted to ......... so, sadly, another poor girl whose baby was taken from her and who now will be a woman in her late seventies who has no idea what happened to her baby........and he too, has not yet realised that something is 'missing', and, although I do not know him, I feel that this bit that is 'missing' is probably something that he needs.........

LA
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Turtle » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:49 am

ladyarcher wrote:and he too, has not yet realised that something is 'missing', and, although I do not know him, I feel that this bit that is 'missing' is probably something that he needs.........LA


Good grief! Is that something you are all thinking about me too? :lol: Quite a few of you on this site, seem to hold that idea.

The only thing I am missing in my life is a beagle. I would love one of those.

Not all adoptees who don't wish to make contact are missing something. I think sometimes, if we are not careful, we see things through our own eyes, not other people's. No doubt those who trace, are missing something, as that would be the logical reason that they feel that they need to make that connection. So maybe, they feel because it helped them, that it would help other too.

I really don't feel that I have that gap in my life. Maybe it is due to all that mindfulness practise - and if you don't know what I am talking about check out the fabulous programme that Michael Mosley did this week on Horizon. Mindfulness is all about living in the present, not the past, which you cannot change. (Or the future, which hasn't happened yet). I feel that, by tracing, I would be trying to alter my past, which is impossible.

Isn't there a chance, that those who don't search, are simple not doing so because they have no need to? There doesn't have to be something deep behind it - anger, fear of rejection etc. Maybe they just feel complete with the families that they have and don't feel a desire to add on to that, with people they simply feel no connection to.

My view is very much, each to their own. If you want to trace, do it. If you don't, then leave it alone.

Even with my view on not tracing, I actively encourage a friend to trace her b.family as it was something she felt she wanted to do. With all my subscriptions to Ancestry and Find my past, I was physically able to help her track people down. So was it a happy ending for her, with her "distraught" birth family looking to reconnect? Far from it. It was a disaster of massive proportions and left her feeling physically sick and deeply unhappy. Not all b.family members are looking for a reunion, much in the same way that some adoptees aren't. There aren't necessarily the fairy tale ending that people are looking for.

I am extremely happy for those who try to make a connection and it works. I feel extremely sad for those, on all sides, that find that their attempts to reunite are met with rejection. At the same time, I am more than happy for those, who are at peace just as they are, and feel no need to fill that "missing" element of their life.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Jackb72 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:32 am

Ayup Turtle

You are right if you want to search go for it if you don't then ok. There is no right or wrong in this matter. I am no psychologist either but on this matter my initial thoughts on adoptees not wishing to connect with their birth family are in denial. I will stick my hands up and gladly accept a tongue lashing from you as I know I'm being narrow minded and I apologise. Until an adoptee has met their bfamily and then says they weren't missing something then I've got to stick by my narrow mindedness. The thing is its a catch 22 situation without reunion I or you can't be proved right or wrong.

I agree that not all groups are looking for reunion but that something missing can be found and be put to bed even if the reunion is unsuccessful. There is also the matter of how reunion is approached it is a delicate process with many stumbling blocks and can be a disaster with the slightest thing.

I read once that an adoptee was in successful reunion until they called bmum mum instead if their Christian name the reunion immediately after this failed.

Again turtle you are happy as you are who am I or anyone else to tell you different!
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Turtle » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:47 am

Jackb72 wrote: The thing is its a catch 22 situation without reunion I or you can't be proved right or wrong.


Try it, to find out? I'm not sure about that. I don't know whether I would like taking cocaine until I try it. :lol: Personally, I think I will stick with my gut feeling and leave it well alone. True, the only way to know about something is to try it, but sometimes you have to go with an inner feeling of what would be right.

I feel no connection to my b.family. Meeting with them, would be like meeting some random stranger on the street. Even with the random stranger, I could build a relationship. But do I need to? I am happy as I am. If I wasn't, then I would certainly take that step to trace.

It is not as if I am in denial. I am happy to discuss my adoption with anyone. Not just the people on here. I am generally open about it.

I have said on my files, that if my mother wishes to contact me she can. I am not refusing to see her. But my feeling is, that if it makes her better to see me, then so be it, but I don't need that contact with her, to fill some "missing" element of my life.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Jackb72 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:02 am

Phew thought you might take a chunk out of me lol.
I commend you in your decision. As I said there's no right or wrong. Knowing my brother I know he's in denial his mannerisms when he talks about it etc that is once every 100 years ha ha.
I haven't told him of my search I'm still deliberating whether to or not it really doesn't have anything to do with him as it is about ME. The only reason to tell him would be out of respect I suppose.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Jackb72 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:13 am

Phew thought you might take a chunk out of me lol.
I commend you in your decision. As I said there's no right or wrong. Knowing my brother I know he's in denial his mannerisms when he talks about it etc that is once every 100 years ha ha.
I haven't told him of my search I'm still deliberating whether to or not it really doesn't have anything to do with him as it is about ME. The only reason to tell him would be out of respect I suppose.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby ladyarcher » Sat Jul 13, 2013 4:49 pm

The thing is, Turtle, that a lot of people have not, or are not able to analyse their own feelings ....... no one would deny that you have obviously thought long and deep about it, and come to a knowledge of yourself ........ from what my full sister says about her brother, he is definately 'troubled' about the whole adoption thing ........ so unless he can allow himself to think about it constructively it is always going to hurt him.......now that constructive thinking may well lead him to a conclusion that he does not want to search, or it may be that he wants to learn more, and that is enough, and he does not need/want any contact, or it may even lead him to want to 'see for himself'.........whichever conclusion he comes to for him, is right for him, of course........ but at the moment he is troubled about the whole thing, and always has been.............and he is now into his early sixties, and with a badly failed relationship which is largely due to his lack of trust and lack of his own self worth .......... no nettle grasping has gone on, therefore no safe harbour of self knowledge has been reached........

That, I think, from the adoptees' angle, is what we need to aim for........the comfort of self knowledge ...... for some that will not be until they have found the birth family, warts and all, or no warts, however it pans out......... for others, the self knowledge, or mindfulness as the current term is, will help them and they will truly not need any 'more' .........we are all different ......... and just because some want to search and 'know', does not mean it is right for everyone.....no 'one size fits all' in the adoption stakes ....

....I do however still think that in some way........maybe as a routine and purely through an unrelated authority or agency..........birth mothers should be given a crumb of information automatically, when the child reaches perhaps, 21, rather than 18 ......... if the b.mother truly cares nothing.......then it doesn't matter, she can ignore it ........ if however she truly cares, then it will matter more than anything else in the world ...

.... correct me if I am wrong, but I think that young adoptees, nowadays, are given a choice as to whether they want information, when they get to 18.....and what someone chooses at 18, may be very different from what they choose at 21.....those three years can be very significant in the aquisition of a measure of maturity and experience.........which is why I feel that the date for the b.mother to receive a 'crumb' of information should be 21 .....

One does so wish it was a perfect world........

LA
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Turtle » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:53 am

Jackb72 wrote:Phew thought you might take a chunk out of me lol.


It's far too hot for that! :lol:

Besides you were only making general comments, you weren't specifically finger pointing. Have you heard the saying - there is no reality, only perception. You perceive things one way, I another. Neither is right or wrong. It's just a point of view.

I think it is sad when someone can't get their head around their adoption. When they are left with anger, frustration or denial and probably a whole host of other emotions. Maybe for those people, they need to get there own feelings dealt with before deciding on whether it is good for them to trace or not.

Jackb72 wrote:I haven't told him of my search I'm still deliberating whether to or not it really doesn't have anything to do with him as it is about ME. The only reason to tell him would be out of respect I suppose.


Personally, I hate secrets and would rather be up front with people. It is always hard when you know the other person is going to react badly to something as you have to take their feelings into consideration also. I think you just have to decide what is best for you at this point, as it is still early days.
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Re: ITV - Long Lost Family, series 3

Postby Turtle » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:00 am

ladyarcher wrote:That, I think, from the adoptees' angle, is what we need to aim for........the comfort of self knowledge ...... for some that will not be until they have found the birth family, warts and all, or no warts, however it pans out......... for others, the self knowledge, or mindfulness as the current term is, will help them and they will truly not need any 'more' .........we are all different ......... and just because some want to search and 'know', does not mean it is right for everyone.....no 'one size fits all' in the adoption stakes ....
LA


I think self knowledge is a good thing. In fact, any knowledge is. I have found researching my b.family on the genealogy sites incredibly helpful at establishing who I am. That back story, along with my files, has given me the knowledge that I needed.

By the way LA, you did make me chuckle by saying that mindfulness was a "current term". Mindfulness practise actually has it's origins in the teachings of Buddha and so goes back to somewhere around 400BC.
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