Fathers Day for Natasha 2012

Happy Fathers Day Bruce

I was Daddy’s little girl. From the moment he got that phone call from the adoption agency he knew that I was to be his.  As long as she had blue eyes he didn’t care about the rest of me.

Dad always let Mum do all the discipline. He hated getting angry at me, hated when Mum nagged at me. I even remember when one of the times I was suspended from school I came home and told him and he just laid there on the lounge with his eyes closed in silence. I was so waiting for him to explode like an angry bear and tear my head off but he didn’t. As a 13 year old I was standing there waiting in anticipation for this reaction.  I softly asked him, Dad are you going to say anything? He replied and said, “Nope- cause you’re going to have to deal with your mother!”

HAHAHAHAHAHA

I hated that day as Mum went woop-arse on me so bad. He knew, he knew that I would be in for something major. As I had to spend that week at home from School with him he didn’t care. I think he liked the company to be honest.

Dad was a fibre glassier and a concreter. He had his business in the back yard of our home.  I have many memories of me mixing concrete or painting. Even still to this day I think of Dad when I smell fibre glass sheets. Dad was one of those old guys that liked to bury money in the back yard in glass Jars. But then he forgot where he put it. Hahaha it was 15 years later when we sold that house the new kids happened to be digging around playing and yep you guessed it, they found one of those jars. $500 I think.

Dad was always strong in my eyes. He would be able to lift these massive concrete statues around all by himself, cut brush with a razor sharp machete or even hold onto my black tyre tube with his toes while he held on for dear life to a tree while I was being swept away down the rapids of Wee Jasper. He saved my life that day.

He was the peace keeper but also the protector.  He was the best story teller. Most of the time he would spin the biggest bullshit stories that he became sound well known for.  “Oh shut up Fred.” We would say to him while laughing.

We were always out bush camping or swimming in rivers.  A very active lifestyle growing up.

My dad actually taught the Timmermans how to catch Yabbies in a dam with a tennis racket. Yes he did. My Dad could do anything….

Except beat Cancer.

This was the time in my life my heart broke and never mended. He was diagnosed in March 2008 with Lung Cancer.  We used to always joke for years and years he would have this because he was a heavy smoker. He actually gave up when Chloe was born but 5 years later he still was diagnosed.

I will never forget the day when the Doctor confirmed Stage 4 lung Cancer. Dad asked how long he had to live and I was crying so much and became very overwhelmed I had to run out of the room as I didn’t want to know. I knew in my heart it wouldn’t be long. I remember standing in the hallway of the Hospital crying with pain knowing that the father I know is leaving me and I can’t stop it.

How do I stop crying? The pain is so bad I feel like I’m going to vomit.

Mum and I nursed Dad for 8 months. There was not a day that went buy that I was not beside him. Sitting with him while he had Chemo, blood transfusions, Radiation or taking him to the Doctors. I remember the last week he was at home and we could not control the pain. I knew this was it. I had to take this man that nurtured and that raised me to Palliative Care to die.

I will never forget that night of the sounds he took taking his last breaths and the pain I went through watching. I lay next to his bed crying to come back but he didn’t.  At that point in my life I felt alone.  It was just me and Mum. To continue on this life which has now changed in a matter of minutes.

To look at death now I am not afraid of it. I thank my dad for saying to me in his last words ‘Be strong’.  I became angry at Viv through this time of 8 months. Viv never visited or said goodbye. I was so frustrated as all he wanted was to say thank you one last time. I remember one of the nights I slept in the seat next to his bed in the hospital and asked me did he make me happy. Yes Viv he did make me happy. Best Father I could have ever had and still to this day a man I keep buried inside my heart.

I don’t often speak of Bruce as it’s still too painful. I don’t look at photos, watch home movies or engage in memory conversations.

But for those of you that still have your Dad, enjoy them, tell him you love him. Give them a cuddle just because.

Happy Fathers Day Dad RIP 1/8/1948 – 19/10/2008

Family Portrait by Natasha Rose April 2012

Pictures were taken in the park the day we met. Pictures taken the whole time I was with Viv’s family. I can remember being snap happy like a Asian tourist that week.  I can’t remember how many rolls of Film I took home. I have a feeling too that we had some developed in Brisbane while we were there as everyone wanted pictures sooner rather than later.

We have some amazing pictures when I look back at them now. Funny ones of our Arses, Crying, playing with the Kids and just random things like eating toast in Viv’s Kitchen. I guess who ever took that one needed to prove yes I was actually standing in her kitchen that day hahaha.

I remember being at home with mum and dad looking through all the pictures and showing my dad as he wasn’t there when we met.  Thinking about it I don’t ever remember asking mum what they thought. Do I look like Viv? How do they Feel  now that I have these photos?

I finally got my Picture to put up on the wall of me looking like somebody. I actually got that family portrait that I so wanted so I could see who created me. Weird to think all I wanted is to look like somebody.  I guess it’s a feeling that I can’t explain. The only people that will understand that is other Adopted persons.

It was only this Easter that I stayed at Nola and Ray (Nana and Pops) that for the first time EVER!

After 12 years of the relationship with Vivienne, I have never stayed there nor been to their home. Weird I know. Actually I was very nervous. I had a dream couple of nights before that they took my car keys and my purse and locked me in this room so I couldn’t leave. I remember crying and screaming but no one could hear me.  When I was telling my mum about this she talked about the day we met Nola and Ray and the impression that always remained in my mind when Nola said to my mum, ‘thanks for brining her home’

I guess after 12 years I never really got over that until now.

Nola and Ray showed me proudly the pictures of my grandparents and Great grandparents from both Nola and Ray sides.  Seeing pictures from the 1800’s was so impressive it just blew me away thinking about them. Chloe was so intrigued about the generations. She couldn’t believe it either. It’s nice that Chloe is at the age where she now understands family generations.

Looking around the table that night I could see bits of resemblance from these people in all of us. The weirdest things knowing that this is my Blood line and strange enough Chloe’s as well.

Chloe and I learn that we have Nola’s thick Hair. OMG after all these years we have complained about how we have been ripped on in having Crappy thick hair, the person in the generation to blame was sitting at the same table as us.. HAHAHAHAHA!

Mum had photos of her grandparents and my Dads Parents, but to me there wasn’t any emotional attachment for me. I can’t explain that feeling either. I was always interesting to look at those photos to see where mum and Dad came from but it didn’t relate to any features or traits that I have.

As I write this I look over to the family photo of Mum and Dad and feel the love for the life I have now but now I can now look over to the photo with Ayrlie, Liam and Viv and I now have that Closer.  I can see where I came from. I have the answers; I also now know blood line history. If the only pictures I ever would have gotten were the day in the Park due to Viv not wanting to see me, I would have been happy. However what I have now in my photo collection is truly a gift.

Thankyou

Dirty Blood – A story from Natasha

Dirty Blood

Children come in to this world by no choice but by the mother that carries them.

For me I came into this world with no understanding of why was I a child of adoption.

Did I do something wrong?

Was I a mistake?

The only book I clung onto as kid that explained these answer was a book Called ‘Why was I adopted?’ by Carole Livingstone

 

Living life as an adopted child wasn’t easy. Yes I did have amazing parents and was given everything that my parents could give, underneath there were some sad and emotional times that I had no answer for.

 

I grew up in a family where Adoption was accepted by most of the family. I guess my only angers lies with my mum’s parents. My dad’s parents had already passed long before I came into this world.

 

My Mums mother Margaret. I never had so much dislike for a Human. It started when I was little and eventually grew into something I can’t explain.

‘Don’t put your hand in the biscuit jar’.. She would say to me in this most annoying loud galah voice.

‘Don’t sit or touch anything’,..why is your Daughter so ungrateful’? I could go on and on.

These are some of thing I would here from the women that was suppose to me my grandmother. The one person I thought my mum could rely on and have support from especially when she couldn’t  have children. Oh no not this women, Margaret was a unit on her own. Selfish, cold hearted and just not a nice lady.

I HATED her.. I remember at the age of 10 I would hang in the park across the road from her flat as I didn’t want to go near her. I actually have a memory of my Dad and I carving into a large tree trunk with his pocket knife our initials and a Love heart around it. Still to this day 20 years on that tree still stands and has aged still baring our days in that park.

 

Most grand kids hung with their Nan and pop doing amazing things like cooking and sleep over’s, not me.. the moment mum said were going to Parks (where she lived) I would carry on like a bitch. I hated going there, I hated the smell of her, I hated hearing her voice.

Even thinking about her now I have so much anger and frustration.

I was Dirty blood.

 

I remember one Christmas age about 10, she was handing out her gifts to the grand children, mind you I think at the time there was like 12 of us and I remember saying..”I don’t want your gift this year Margaret, I have enough hankies’.

This is pretty much what I received every year off her while I watched other grandchildren received awesome gifts. Anyway you can imagine the response.  It was hard at that age watching my cousins get Barbies and all sorts of things while Soap and hankies was my gift year after year after year.

Yes there was a grandfather. Frank was his name. He never spoke to me or did anything. I guess he was so over ruled by this woman he just did as he was told. Not much to tell really but at the age of 80 something he died.

 

My mum did everything she could to try to ignore what was going on as a child. Mum eventually supported my frustration and stopped forcing me to go and visit Margaret and Frank. Mum never questioned my dislike and never forced any contact with them through my later years.

Mum knew..

 

I can’t imagine what that must have been like for mum. How can you cherish an adoption opportunity and have it totally rejected by her own parents. All the emotions that mum buried inside her for all those years. Surely there must have been something burning inside her to tell them off.

Nope.. she’s the peace keeper in the family.

In the same family there were other adopted cousins in the family that was also treated like Dirty blood. Still to this day we laugh about it and just shake our heads to that strange woman.

 

Margaret and Frank where never invited to our wedding nor welcome in my house. I just could not bring myself to let her in my home. I could honestly count on my hands the amount of times I actually said hello to her. Mind you sometimes I ran into her and didn’t say anything at all.

 

 

Over the years I never spoke to her. Barely said Hello and I never visited her. She died in her 80’s and I didn’t even go to her Funeral.  At first I hated mum taking Chloe to visit her. Why should this woman have the privilege of watching my daughter blossom and have her talk to her like Clean blood. Not sure why I let her I guess it was more for my mum’s sake.

I guess it was a weird feeling knowing my mum ached inside as she watched both her Father and mother eventually die of Cancer and whatever Margaret Died of..

I was there for mum and I always asked the question of how she was feeling, NOT how was your mother or father. I didn’t care.

The times when mum was told that her parent had passed was hard for her. I comforted her and hugged her close just because I know what it’s like to lose a parent. Inside of me was a very bad soul saying .. Thank GOD he finally took them.

As I said before there is more about mums parents that isn’t for this Blog.

 

School yard bully was slight for me. I was a sporty, outgoing popular kid at school. I was never bullied in high school. For those of you that knew me I would of smacked your face in at the time..

Hahaha I have slowed down now. However there were moments in School I do remember a particular teacher talking to the class about Adoption. Not even sure why..

But this teacher was adamant that you buy babies. So I was bought!.  How could you put a price on a baby? I never forget the day I got so angry at her and I threw a chair at her. When I was marched into the principal’s office he then explained to her that I was adopted and I am sure that Natasha would know about the processes for Australian law. That teacher was never the same again with me. I guess she too had a thing for Dirty Blood.

From that day, kids had something to throw at me. Taunts of: $1 sale, how much where you sold for?, Was it to pay for your mums white powder?, or her cab ride home from the pub where she met your dad, or to pay back her Doctor for birthing you, your mums so fat she could have babies that’s why she bought you, so on so on

This went on and on over 12 months. Yes it did hurt my feelings. Sometimes I cried in the toilets when I was alone or on my way home after I got off the bus. I never led on to my parents what the kids where saying at School. But they did know about me throwing the chair.

I loved my parents. I was born and raised to not look at the physical features of a person but the story that person holds on the inside.

Gosh we were only 13ish for god sake. How can these Kids really understand what they were saying? It was times like that I had anger for being a Child of Dirty Blood let’s call it. I really couldn’t answer them. What if really my mum did pay for me and she never told me. How much am I worth?

If my birth mother wanted me back what would my mum sell me for.. could this really happen?

 

Mum is it true???

As I still clung to my book ‘why was I adopted’ was my only refuge at that stage until I get my answers from my birth mother myself.

 

Where does Tash fit in as a Gittens

Where Do I Fit as a Gittens?

Hard to believe what has happened in our journey so far. The meeting of Viv, understanding why she gave me up for adoption, meeting Peter and the kids. What about the rest of Vivs Family?

Word has already spread around for Viv with all her family that she has met me. It came to the day I met Noela and Ray (viv’s Mum and Dad). I will  never forget that day I came face to face with Noela and Ray. It was actually quiet confrontational. Knowing that they wanted Viv to keep me and bring me up them selves sat in the back of my mind. I had never spoken to them over the phone or even written them a letter in preparation.  All I know about these people is that when Viv gave me away they had to continue life as I had died.

I never had a Nan and Pop to talk to and to hug. Never had the opportunity to stay at Nan and Pops house and hang out. Never had that chance like Chloe had with her  Nan and Pop being picked up from School, going on Holidays or even just been taken to maccas to get that 50 cent Ice cream because it was soo Hot. That’s a part of my life I will never experience or have memories of.

Noela was so over whelmed and just wanted to hug me. We cried a lot as she looked into the eyes of a dead child. She had so much adrenalin going threw her I guess she couldn’t control it. All I remember her saying ‘your home, your home’. My heart pounded as I looked over to my mother who came with us this day. I don’t think Noela realised her actions and words this day. I remember her saying to my mum thank you for bringing her home and she is here to stay.

Ray passively came to hug me as well. Rays passiveness is my inner me. You just stared at me, almost white like. You didn’t speak much at all, just a slight tear behind your glasses and a small smile to your face. I honestly don’t remember you talking at all, just stared. How did you process me, that grandchild Viv handed over.

I didn’t really know what I took away from that day meeting them. It was really weird. Honestly I was scared. Could they really take me away from my mum, were they serious about packing my bags and forcing me back here? All these crazy emotions where going through my head. Still too this day I think back to that day as today Nola still hugs me they way she always did and Ray still stares and processes where does she fit. It makes me smile knowing I have a Nan and Pop and I look forward to getting to know you more.

Meeting the rest of the Gittens Family at a BBQ one of the days, I remember walking into the back yard with Viv and the kids. Everyone was already there chatting and having a good time. It was at that moment I walked in and everyone was quiet. Honestly at that point this was it. This was my time being a Gittens. Who are all these people? Where do I fit in this Family? Am I supposed to fit in this family? I remember seeing a mural on the wall of the ladies house. It was the female generations of the Gittens. I remember her showing me but then wanted to cover it up as it’s now not the real family.

Reality hit me fair in the face and I said ‘yes it is, I’m just here for answers not to change the Gittens Family’.

Tash