I often ponder if issues of fertility will always mark my life – too much or lack thereof. As someone who was adopted at birth, watched my parents marriage disintegrate – something I believe was largely grounded in their inability to deal with or talk about their inability to have children, has met and maintains contact with my birth parents and now has children on my own, I am constantly amazed at how many people come into my life who have fertility issues or are somehow connected to all things adoption.

It is in some regards a strange badge, and yet, as I’ve worn it all my life not something I see as a burden or blessing, a positive or negative. It just is.

How do you explain to someone that your Mum will always be your Mum but how thrilling it is to meet someone who has your body shape, your eye colour, your temperament, your sense of humour and someone who, despite not being a part of your life ‘gets’ you within minutes of meeting?

How to you reconcile in yourself the absolute joy in knowing you do look like someone or that treasured feeling of special-ness in knowing that through all those turbulent and sometimes infinitely lonely teenage years there were people thinking of you, loving you and watching over you without even know who you had become, what you looked like or where you were? How do you reconcile that with the impenetrable ties to your parents forged by all those fights, tears, moments of sheer joy when you won the hockey final, were awarded school prefect, got good grades and just a life lived?

I don’t know.

I doubt I won’t ever feel that twinge of guilt I feel when I have a fabulous time with my natural mother or natural father and their families, that somehow I’m betraying my Mum and all she went through to raise me.

I doubt the strange sense of going an extra mile to make Mum happy and proud, in some sort of perverse attempt to lessen her living grief at never having bore a child herself, will ever go away.

I doubt that blame I feel, that had I come from Mum’s womb my parents may still be together today, will ever truly disappear.

But, that said, I don’t doubt how lucky I am to have so many people in the world who love me.

I don’t doubt I will ever stop LOVING having five birthday celebrations (Mum, Dad, in-laws, birth mother, birth father) and that Christmas and other celebratory times go on forever.

I don’t doubt my kids will get a real buzz having so many sets of relatives and the stories they can regale friends with.

I don’t doubt my life will not have peaks, troughs, triumphs and failures and that all of those times there will be someone there to hold my hand, pick me up, feed me chocolate or ply me with champagne.

And that, I think, is quite a life.

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