This is Me – Being a cuckoo or NOT!
Hi, there I am Fiona I’m an adoptee. I was adopted at 8 months old after being in two different foster placements and 2 hospital stays. I have my great-niece from the family I was adopted out of on a Special Guardianship Order. Unusual I know but it’s working well.
I took a few minutes to read up about cuckoos. For no reason as it turns out. Lol
Anyway, this is what I found …..
Cuckoos are summer visitors and are well-known brood parasites. Instead of building their own nest, the females lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, especially meadow pipits, dunnocks and reed warblers. When a female cuckoo finds a suitable nest, and the hosts aren’t looking, she removes one of their eggs and lays her own egg in its place. Cuckoo young hatch after just 12 days, and push the hosts’ eggs or babies out of the nest, allowing it to eat all food brought by the host bird. By the time the cuckoo leaves the nest, it is far bigger than the host bird, but the adoptive parent continues to feed the young cuckoo for a further two weeks.
I have to say I always thought cuckoos fitted quite well with adoptees. I thought I was going to get a lot of content and context from what I thought cuckoos did. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is about finding my bio family.
My two Mum’s what a weird moment that was. My Mother in the white top and Maggie the mum who gave birth to me. Maggie had expressed an interest in meeting my Mother a few years after I had met her and her family. (my what could have been family)
My meeting with Maggie and my sisters and brother was quite mind-blowing. They had all known about me, I hadn’t been a family secret locked in a cupboard, waiting to pop out and mess up everyone’s lives. It was nice to meet people who looked like me and had some similar traits. I hate corned beef and birds fluttering about. One of my half-sisters has the same dislikes. I very impulsively moved away to London to stay with them for a while to get to know Maggie and let her get to know me too.
I thought that was it I finally knew where I had come from. There were literally a million questions that had to be asked. They had loads of questions about me that were asked as well. To them, I had always been referred to as Helen. That was the name Maggie had given me. My Mum and Dad changed it to Fiona and kept Helen in the middle. I loved the fact that my real name was in the middle.
There was a spectacularly awkward moment at one point in one big ‘family’ meeting where the room was filled with newfound cousins and aunties etc, where I was being introduced as Maggie’s newly found daughter. I had kind of just agreed to them all calling me Helen. One little cousin who was only 6 or 7 years old crawled onto my lap and boldly demanded to know why the necklace I was wearing had an F on it if my name was Helen…………
What is your name then?
It was one of those heart-stopping moments, the room went silent, all eyes were on me, and my heart was hammering in my chest. I felt a little stab of fear they were all here to meet Maggie’s Helen, but I was actually not Helen I was Fiona. Heart pounding, pools of sweat starting to form ready to drip from my armpits I squeaked out ” Oh yeah my name is actually Fiona, my Dad got me that necklace ”
There were a few minutes of utter weirdness, it was a little uncomfortable for everyone. Composure regained. I said sorry for not clearly pointing out that my name was Fiona. They said sorry for not asking or realising that my name may not be Helen anymore. Maggie called me Helen all of her life. I didn’t really mind. To Maggie I was Helen. My siblings were ok about calling me, Fiona. So who am I? I could actually call myself Helen Oxenham (which I think is a fabulous pseudonym that I may write under in the future) But that’s a whole other story for another day.
Being adopted is so strange, brings completely unique dynamics into your life. Finding your biological family is not easy to navigate. You are related but you are also essentially a stranger. I have become adept at navigation.
Thank you for reading my blogging journey so far.