I like to think that my mother welcomed the idea of my adopted son entering her life with the same unquestioning love and approval that she did her three birth granddaughters. I know though that as the day of his arrival approached, the anxiety of the unknown scratched away at her in the dark hours of the night. While the skilled adoption agency team prepared me for the worst, my mother imagined the worst…. A grandchild for whom love would never be enough; her family turned upside down.
J meanwhile seemed to have no such worries. Unphased by the idea of having a grandmother called Didi, and a French one at that, he took the prospect of their first meeting in his stride.
My parents met J for the first time a week after he moved in. Such excitement! I followed social workers’ advice and took him down for the day on the train, rather than staying overnight. It was our first train journey together. I could see my parents waiting for us on the platform when we arrived. I pointed J in the right direction and off he darted. I will never ever forget how he raced along that platform, and threw himself into his new grandmother’s arms.