My newest search angel and my last Batshaw Youth and Family Centre caseworker retired Friday. We both feel grateful for our time together–heartfelt phone conversations and emails that kept our communication open. For me, our friendship is a very pleasant and welcome closure to my 36-year search for my birthparents and original identity. I want to share a few edited highlights from our emails. My search angel is SA and I am BP. Then I will tie things up with a nod to my Canadian childhood.
May 22– BP: Thank you for reading my blog! I really appreciate it. I’m busy reviewing my memoir and editing… There will be a couple more rounds of back and forth before it’s off to the presses. I told the publishing company the other day that I need to include an epilogue. My memoir readers will be interested to know that I heard from Batshaw about previously undisclosed identifying information in my file. It’s really quite a unique and quirky story. To end my search with you has been a joy and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will be in touch once more I am sure!!
SA: Thanks Bonnie. I look forward to your email.
May 27–At her request, I was pleased to share my blog, particularly the Mother’s Day post: Sunday is Mother’s Day.
SA: I want to thank you for sharing your blog. Part of you stays with us now at Batshaw as your Mother’s Day post will be used for sensitization training for future adoptive parents.
I sent my search angel the epilogue to my memoir in which I acknowledge her thoughtfulness and support at the end of my long search.
SA: Thank you Bonnie! I am very touched. I have printed it and will keep it as an inspiration of perseverance… Very kind of you to share this.
May 30–SA: Connections are important, as are planned goodbyes, and this I believe is even more true for adoptees whose lives revolve around their involuntary disconnections and putting the pieces together again. This afternoon, I invited my team to have cake I made last night as a way to put closure to my time with them, to thank each and every one of them and to hang on to that connection a little bit more before my last official day. I’m saving a piece for you…you have been a very nice part of my last moments at Batshaw and your epilogue was an unexpected and heartwarming gift!
BP: I accept your invitation (wink emoji)! You will be in my thoughts this afternoon. I’m sure the cake is yummy and will be appreciated, along with your kind words, by your colleagues. Surely you know that normally, they provide a cake and speeches for you!! As always, your thoughtfulness is front and center.
May 31—My search angel’s last official day before her retirement.
SA: I will be staying at my country house which has no TV, no internet, just woods, fields and rivers…but I will connect one day and will seek out your blog. In the interim, my colleague would like to continue reading your blog threads. She enjoyed the Mother’s Day one and kept it for the future sensitization groups. Farewell and I hope to reconnect with you in the future. Thank you for your kind words in your epilogue. Take good care of yourself!
A different kind of memorable encounter: Queen Elizabeth II is in the news a lot this week. I won’t be shy, I love the Queen. In October 1957, she visited Canada for the Opening of Parliament in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. She also visited Montreal! I was in Brownies at the time, around 8 years old, as in my class photo below. It was our duty to show our respect for the Queen and welcome her to Canada. My Brownie troop arrived at the parade route in Montreal and got settled in our spot to greet the Queen. I was very excited! I had often imagined a trip to the Queen’s palace in London. Princess Anne was about my age and we could be friends.
Anyway, on this fall day, I clearly remember that the wait for the royal motorcade was painfully long. Finally, cheers rang out, “Here she comes!” She was on my side in the convertible, smiling and waving. I couldn’t believe it. I know our eyes met! But then she was gone, so quickly, gone. “Wait, come back,” I cried to myself. “I want to meet you! What about my playdate with Princess Anne?”
I soon recovered, and I have a wonderful memory of that moment when Queen Elizabeth smiled my way.