First train journey together, first visit to grandparents, aged six and three quarters

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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.

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15 comments

  1. What a LOVELY post, running to his new grandmother: awesome. My daughter is 6 and three quarters now too 🙂

    1. Thank you! It’s a precious memory, and great to have shared it. And such a lovely age – they’re still babies really aren’t they, at that age x

      1. Ah yes, just had a break through in getting to sleep (sharing the bedtime story, me in bed next to her) I stayed in her room for at least 5 minutes staring at the sleeping peaceful face x

  2. Actually I’ve done quite a lot of long travel with my two… have blogged about the joys of it… 😉

    1. I saw you are a really, really long-haul traveller …. that’s brave. Looking forward to reading more from you x

      1. oops, I better get writing then :))))

  3. Lovely memories! I had a grandmother called Ben – there’s something rather cool about having an oddly-named grandparent. My son calls my parents Mamy and Papy as all my family now lives in France and this is what my French nephews call them.
    #WASO

    1. Yes, very lovely! My grandmother was called Ninou, and you’re right, it is always cool to be a bit different. My great grandmother was called Mamé, just like your Mamy

  4. I love this post, I feel as if you are sat telling me this memory, reminiscing with me. It’s very personal and I am really grateful you shared it with me and the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

    1. Thank you puffin, it’s lovely to have this feedback from you. There are certain memories which are etched into you, and this is one of those. Long live WASO!

    1. Thank you 🙂 memories like this sustain me through the more difficult teenage years!

  5. Nearly a year of writing your blog. Love reading your entries! x

    1. And how I struggled with my words that very first post! It feels like quite a biggie rather to my surprise. Will have to start thinking about how I celebrate it. I will be on a work trip in Barcelona 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on Travels with my son and commented:

    I wrote my first post for Travels with my Son exactly a year ago. I meant my blog to be a place to record my memories of J’s early days with me, and of our travels together. Of course I meant ‘travels’ in the sense of both our journeys to places with suitcases, and our emotional journeys too.

    Today I am re-blogging the first short piece I wrote a year ago. I remember I was trying to capture the excitement of that first week as a new family. J was so small then, and needed such a lot of looking after. From the very first, my family and friends rallied round us with with love and endless support.

    Lots has happened in the last year as a direct result of writing here. I have come Into contact with a whole bunch of other bloggers who write about their own experiences of adoption from different perspectives, many of them by way of the online Adoption Social. I have been in touch with travel writers, and many others who share their extraordinary lives. I have written a piece for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering’s website about adopting older children, and have made a short video for Adoption UK, which they will use in their staff training. And next month I’m meeting with prospective adopters to talk about IAAM, the great new adoption service that finds families for ‘harder to place’ children and provides extra support and help to make this work.

    Meanwhile J is thriving. Tomorrow he joins me here in Barcelona where I have spent the last couple of days on business, and it will be his first solo flight, aged 15 years and 11 months exactly. That’s much more of a milestone than this blog anniversary needless to say, and a marker of just how far we have travelled together since that first journey train journey to meet his grandparents, aged six and three quarters.

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