What if she didn’t want to know me? I worried.
My adoptive mum was always incredibly supportive.
‘I hope you meet her someday,’ she would say.
‘I would love to thank her for the gift she gave us… you,’ she’d add.
I replied to Wanda with my phone number and when she called, I was overwhelmed.
‘You’re the first family member I’ve ever spoken to,’ I wept.
At this point, even she didn’t know who in her family my mother was.
Wanda told me her mum had given her children and their husbands DNA tests for Christmas.
‘It was supposed to be a bit of fun,’ Wanda said.
They planned to have a reveal party and cook food from the countries their ancestors were from.
But they had also discovered me!
Exchanging photos online, I saw we had the same cheekbones, nose, eyes and skin tone.
Soon after, I received another call.
‘This is your mum speaking,’ said a voice I never expected to hear.
Her name was Elizabeth Pullen and she was 90.
Much of our conversation was a blur, I was just so amazed she was still alive.
My husband Floyd, 77,and I looked into flights immediately.
Wanda had arranged for us to meet at a beautiful park where a photographer could capture our first meeting.
Standing back to back, we awaited the instruction to turn around.
Forbidden from seeing me when I was born, Mum had waited 70 years for this.
‘Give me your hand,’ I said, clutching my mum’s palm.
‘Okay, turn around,’ Wanda yelled.
‘Ahhhhh!’ my mother exclaimed.
She had the same curly blonde hair as me.
‘I love you,’ we both said, as we embraced for the
very first time.
‘You’re beautiful,’ she told me.
Holding me tight, Mum ran her fingers through my hair.
‘Worth the wait, right?’ I said.
I stayed with her for the week and we never stopped talking.
I learnt that she was 20 when she’d had me and she and my father felt it wasn’t the right time to raise a child.
They went on to have six more children together, but sadly my biological dad had passed away.
‘I knew I would find you,’ Mum told me.
I also met my sister Kat and we had an instant connection. Saying goodbye later, I was sad to leave them. But back home, I spoke to Mum on the phone several times a week, discovering things we had in common.
I’ve never been able to tell my left from my right and Mum told me she can’t either.
I nearly died laughing.
‘I thought I was the only one,’ I chuckled.
I never realised before but there was a part of me that was missing.
Since meeting my birth family I feel more at peace.
For them, it all started as a unique Christmas present but for me it was so much more.
There’s a lot more love in my life now.
That’s the greatest gift I could have wished for.
Wanda, 36, says:
When we opened the gift, I remember my mum telling us, ‘This is going to be the gift that keeps on giving.’
I don’t think she realised how much it would change our lives.
I am so happy to have Lynne in our lives and look forward to our families making more memories in the future.