Nowra, NSW the end of our first journey….

Sun 27.6.1999 – NOWRA, NSW.

Well we are up out of bed enjoying brekky – Sandra made us porrage, sitting overlooking a beautiful clear morning overlooking the ocean. Within a short while the Dolphins came swimming by. Perfect. Sandra is taking the kids and I for a drive to Nowra – Where her sister Margaret lives sho also adopted a girl named Cathy. We meet and had lunch – Seafood with them. What beautiful people. I see Margaret as an important key to the success of the Sense family. I would love to spend more time with them. I could talk for hours and hours with them. We then ventured back to Batemans Bay. Its about a 2 hour trip. OH – We stopped off at the shopping mall for Sandra to look at Pots and Pans for Tash. Yes – Here we are in the middle of nowhere and the shops are open all day on a Sunday. Brisbane really needs to catch up. Well Liam slept most the way back. When we got back, Jason and Tash had cleaned up the yeard and cooked us a roast dinner YUM YUM!

Sandra and I both sat up and watched a movie on tape that we fell asleep watching the night before. I think we just both couldn’t sleep tonight as we know that tonight is our last night together. We head back to Dubbo in the morning and the kids and I head for Brissy! YEAH – I’m ready to sleep in MY BED so i can stretch out in comfort. It has gone fast. We have done so much in one week. No one would believe we could fit that much in. Now i feel totally at peace. My gap truly filled. To sleep in the room that Tash grew up in. To stay in the house/home in which she was raised. To reach out and be accepted by her parents as a good person makes me feel very proud of all of us.

I forgot to mention that Sandra drove me to MOGO a little town that sells arts and crafts etc. Alot like Mt. Tamborine. There i bought Tash a Rose Quartz and a Stainless butterfly. The Quartz for Love and butterfly for rememberance (a new life).

Well the night has come to an end.


Mon 28th June 1999 – BOUND FOR DUBBO then BRISBANE

Well what a holiday we have had. THE BEST. I can’t believe we are coming to an end. Sandra and Bruce, Tash and Jason really know how to show friends a good time. Well i feel like i have known the Sense family for years. Yet we are strangers in a way. I have only met Sandra twice and Tash 3 times. I believe my baby was an act of GOD. He has surely looked over me these years to help me stay sane. I have always felt someone over my shoulder. I still look at Tash and wonder – What If? – But really that is unfare. I’m sitting outside admiring the view when Tash starts playing the organ. The Theme from “Titanic” Well i just start crying. Uncontrollably. My god she is a fantastic organ player. Then she plays “All i ever wanted I Give to you” Well I’m still blubbering. I can’t look at Sandra and she can’t look at me. I gather Sandra is having a cry also. I’m crying because this beautiful gift of music Tash has may have never have been if i raised her. Sandra is crying because she doesn’t hear her music at home any longer as her little girl has left home and taken her music with her. Well Tash finishes playing and wonders why we are blubbering. Then she goes off with Jason to pick up a part for the car. That would be right “Typical”. Well Sandra and I pack ready for when Jason comes back. Before I know it it’s 11am and we are in the car bound for Dubbo, we should arrive around 4pm.

Well off we go – I notice our fuel is low – Remember the fuel gauge doesn’t work on Sandra’s car. We decide to fuel up after the turn off out of Batemans Bay. We are on empty. The little fuel pump stop was closed due to a funeral. I look at Sandra and she says no worries we should have enough to get us to the next town. Through the rangers we go and half way the fuel light comes on. I tell Sandra, yet she is not concerned. I remember Peter telling me ge got 20km in our car and didn’t run out after the light comes on.  The sign says B40

My gut says we are going to run out of fuel. Well we get ¾ through the rangers and on a tiny road the car snuffs. Cuts out. I say to Sandra – Well we have just run out of fuel. Well the look on Sandra’s face was to die for. She was in shock “What do you mean?” she says. I mean “We have no fuel” Meanwhile 2 trucks are trying to fit around us. Sandra hops out and goes us off the road a little. She still doesn’t believe me. She then says to me. Just start her up. There might have been a blockage or something. I personally think she is mad, so i turn the key & bugger me dead it starts. Quick jump in we may be able to roll the rest of the way. Well we made it out of the rangers, I see a sign B20. Well was i glad about that then befor i knew it – PUTT PUTT PUTT BLARRR – The car really does run out of fuel. This time. We are not going no-where. Well I quickly sum up our options. WE NEED FUEL.

Before Sandra can get out of the car I have thumbed a lift to the next town for fuel. Thank heavens it was a lady and her dog willing to give us a lift. I don’t really know what i would have said if it was a man. The kids and I stay with the car while Sandra goes with the lady into town for fuel. I imagine her to be gone for 1 hour max. So the kids and i have a pee, drink and play. We are in WOOP WOOP. Nothing but acres and acres of farm land with Sheep inside with electric fenses. Well 20min later Sandra is back. The lady who picked her up brought her back. What a life saver. It turns out that she has done the same thing, Underestimated the ranges and she too has run out of fuel. So there – We are not the only ones – All i can do is laugh. I can’t believe we ran out of fuel. Well after splashing ½ the fuel can over me we head off to fill up YEAHHHH A full tank.

We the kids and I returned home safely and Sandra and I still laugh about this story till this very day.



Canberra/Batesmans Bay 25-26 June 1999

Fri 25.6.1999


2am Bruce takes Peter to the bus stop. It feels really strange saying goodbye to him again. It is true that distance makes the heart grow stronger. I go back home but can’t go back to sleep. As today we head off for Canberra and then Batemans Bay. Man have we done some miles. Who would ever think soon we would be standing in Canberra. It’s only 4-5 hour drive. Soon we are packed and ready to go. All the kids are in Tashs car ha! ha!. We stopped at Cowra half way to swap driving. Liam came with us. Sleep time – You beauty. Tash gets out and starts screaming CHIM CHIMINEY grrrr (ha ha)

Well we arrive in Canberra in time for some lunch. We stop at a cafe on the river with the huge water spray fall. We then move onto Parliament House – VERRYYY IMPRESSIVE. The entire foyer is made from marble. I would love to spend some time here without the kids. There is a lot of history, information, theatre rooms that you can sit in. Also a guided tour around the house that would be interesting. However the trip was worth it as the Green Room was in session. So we got to go in and see how things happen and I saw a few common faces. They were discussing GST. More like debating the GST – Sandra and I could have sat there all day however we had the kids with us. The security we had to go through just to get in and out was alarming. I guess you can justify it in a way. Well we are finished in Canberra and set off for Batemans Bay. I can’t wait to see what Natasha’s place looks like. After 3 hours of driving through beautiful countryside and ranges we arrive in Batemans Bay. What a beautiful place Tash has.

Open, modern, lovely furniture and a view to die for. Overloooking the complete bay without a tree in sight. The dolphins swim in front of us morning and afternoon and the birds are wonderful. Sandra bought them a book of birds so when we spot one we can look it up and tick it off in the book. Mind you we showed more interest in the book than Tash and Jason. Well it’s getting late and Jason cooks up Spag Bog. Ayrlie won’t eat it only plain pasta, only likes Daddy’s pasta. We set up our beds and hit the sack. It’s been a long day. I’m exhausted.

SAT 26.6.1999

Murrumarang Resort – Batemans Bay NSW Australia

Well last night it poured rain. I left Ayrlies stinky shoes outside and they got sagged. We need to go into Batmans Bay to do some food shopping and Ayrlie had to wear a pair of Natasha’s Shoes so I could take her to buy her some new shoes. The kids are driving me nuts so I separate Cody (Jason’s son) for a while. Liam and Ayrlie are really going troppo. The excitement of travel and going away is driving them fruity. We go home and unpack our shopping then have some lunch and then jump back into the cars for a driving tour. We go to a couple of wonderful look outs then to the “Far away Tree” Ayrlie loved it. These trees were amazing. There is a Tarzan swing inside for kids to swing on. Ayrlie loved it she made Tarzan sounds as she swung around. You could tell her adrenalin was racing. We look at some amazing houses and property and new estates going up. This little town reminds me of how Pottsville (NSW) was in the 1980’s. Home we go and we decide on Pizza, Garlic Bread and Diet Coke. DELISH – YUM YUM. This is the 1st takeaway dinner we have bought all trip. Man was that Pizza good. Liam even ate around 3 pieces.

OOPS! I forgot the resort Tash worked at. The kangaroos around her are roaming the streets like cats and dogs. They hop around the neighbourhood in and out of yards. The kids can go up and pat and feed them. It really is incredible. I have never seen anything like it before. Peter would love it here. I can’t wait to share Batemans Bay with him. It’s only 2hrs from Sydney. Tash and Jason have told him to come down for a weekend. I think I should push him to do it. Great fishing in Batemans Bay too. I watched boats go out and in constantly during our stay. Well tomorrow Sandra is driving me and the kids to Nowra to meet her sister Margaret and her daughter Cathy whom she adopted. I wish Tash would come. I guess we are all tired of travelling. But stil, I wished she would come. I should have asked her myself. Never mind.

Until then – GOOD NIGHT.

Dubbo City 22.6.1999

Tues 22.6.1999

Well Peter, I and the kids are spending a day together in Dubbo City, we pay a few bills and Peter spots the Heart Disease van and promises me to have the tests done. Well 20min later the nurse is instructing me to take him straight to hospital as she is worried about his results. Well we drop the kids off to Tash and Jason and off to hospital we go. Peter has some blood tests done and a cardiograph. Then off for some x-rays to check the size of his heart. I have to pull myself together and stop myself from crying. I can see peter is a little anxious. Then they tell us they want him to stay in overnight OH MY GOD – Peter has never stayed in a hospital before and here he is in Dubbo Base Hospital as a in patient. Peter is supposed to leave for Sydney tonight but not now. I have to ring to get him an open ticket back. Well did our day change. I go home to have a roast dinner with the Sense Family and then take the kids up to see Daddy. Back home we go. It feels really strange leaving peter behind laying in hospital. Well they want to do further blood tests and a stress test in the morning. It is lucky that Peter is in a country hospital he got good food and treatment.


Wed. 23.6.1999

Peter rings us at 9.30am is allowed to come home. We go up there and the sister won’t release him as they are waiting on results. Back home I go then at 11am Peter rings – says he can come home, up we go again to pick him up. This time the Dr. Won’t let him go, said another ½ hour. I have to go back home as Sandra is taking me to Denis’s home for lunch today. So off I go again and arrange for Tash and Jason to pick him up at 12pm. What a beautiful home Denise has. Magnificent. Well Denise has made a beautiful Tuna quesh and salad. Served in a beautiful dinning room with the best china and silver. I felt like royalty. We had a lot in common as Denise is a massage therapist and is studying cranial, sacral technique. She is also a very spiritual person. After a beautiful lunch we mozzy out into her massage room. A set up to die for. With an electric bed, desk, change area – Just perfect. Denise hopes to change her magnificent home into a B & B. I pray her dreams come true. Meanwhile at 1.30pm Peter calls. He is still in hospital. By this time he is jacked off. So he walks out. Just discharges himself. When Sandra and I get home peter was home. But needs to follow up tests when back in Brisbane. PHEW

Thurs 24.6.1999

Yeah, Peter is still in town but will leave tonight at 2am. Tash took me up to her school – Dubbo Christian School and showed me around. Wow what a big school. Excellent hall. Tash introduces me as her birth mum to her teachers and headmaster Mr. Sheerman.  I was proud as we walked around meeting people. We head back home and Sandra whips me away to meet Cathy. Peter just looks at me and says now where are you going? I answer Darling “you’re enjoying quality time with your children” then off i go again. Cathy  owns a lovely house in Dubbo, we chat all about our reunion. It is strange as everyone here in Dubbo new Tash was adopted and wanted to meet her birth mother so I was the person everyone wanted to meet. I ponder if i am at all anything they imaged me to look or be like. Natasha says she had no image of what i would be like. I guess i can say the same. There are too many questions you ask yourself to come up with and answer to have any images. Well we are off back home again. Tomorrow we set off to Canberra and Batemans Bay……

Western Plains Zoo – Dubbo NSW 21-6-1999

Mon 21-6-1999

Western Plains Zoo.

Up and at it again today. We are off to the famous Western plains Zoo. Ayrlie and Liam have never been to a Zoo before and I am looking forward to sharing their excitement when seeing an elephant, giraffe, tiger etc for the very 1st time. I expect the zoo to be similar to Melbourne Zoo. Sandra has packed a picnic lunch for us all. Off we go – WOW what a Zoo

Nothing like Melbourne  – More like a Safari with all outdoor animals. Tash said she wanted to drive around – I think she is just lazy. Boy wasn’t  I wrong – Man am i glad we are driving around. This place is HUGE. You really feel like your on a safari. The kids are loving it. Liam gets excited over the Zebra’s. We move on and ½ way stop for lunch in a lovely park watching the monkeys. After gauging ourselves silly we are to lazy to continue, off we go to complete the track. We venture into the Koala park, we are eye to eye with a mother and her baby – I didn’t know that mother Koalas had a pouch for their babies. The baby went snuggling inside and disappeared. Off we go to the souvenere shop to buy the kids a treat. We return back home exhausted. Peter and I book a motel for the night HUBBA!  HUBBA! The kids stay with us and are excited as this is their 1st time they have stayed in a hotel. They played in the shower, layed around in the beds and watched T.V. We bought some groceries for Brekky. What a great night sleep in the Queen Size Bed – Warm and snug. Well Peter is to leave Tuesday night so we make the most of our time together. I’m sure Sandra and Bruce neded to have a break from us as well.

Good night

Adoption Lunch and BBQ to meet the Sense Family

Sun 20.6.1999

1am Peter arrives. At last a hug and a kiss in the flesh, YAHOO! Peter meets Bruce for the 1st time. Sandra has the kettle boiled when we came back. We go to bed and the kids wake up to sleep with Daddy. Oh well, maybe my turn tomorrow night. We all set off to the Castle  Hotel for lunch and adoption meeting. Around 16 people turned up. One lady and her family drove 4hrs to join and meet us. I found the meeting very therapeutic. I was sitting at a table with women who have done exactly what I have done. Imagine that. We could have talked all arvo but it was 3pm and Sandra had arranged a Family & Friends BBQ for 5:30pm so back home we go. Tash and Jasons friend Matt came over with his new Honda CBR 1000 motorbike. What luck I get to go for a ride. 200kph, wow what a blast! What a bike! Man did I get a memory rush. Well, Sandra and I rush off to Dubbo Base Hospital to pick up salads, cheesecake and apple pie. I also go for a grand tour and meet some of Sandra’s friends. Now we head back to Sandra’s for the BBQ.

Well around 25 adults turned up with a dozen kids. Bruce has enough meat to feed an army! Peter and I met a lot of wonderful people. The Sense crowd. Well just as I was about to delve into desert, Bruce jumps up to announce that Sandra had an announcement to make. All of a sudden I feel faint. I was so overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and acceptance that my emotions just ran away with me. Sandra brought me to tears. Here she is thanking me, yet I should be thanking her and Bruce. I don’t exactly remember what my speech was about, all I know is I feel like the luckiest person in the world! I’m healthy, my husband loves me and I now have all my 3 children in my life. Words cannot explain how and why I am feeling. All I know is what Sandra feels is 100% mutual to how I feel. I am proud of the whole situation. Ayrlie and Liam have taken to Bruce, Sandra, Jason and Tash as if they have known them for years! Kids are usually a good judge of character. Well it’s been a huge night. Sandra presented me with a beautiful plaque, something I can take home to remember our reunion in Dubbo. I’m so happy that Peter and the kids were by my side and supported me as a family. I truly believe that our reunion was definitely meant to be. Well what a huge day! I’m Nacked! Off to bed I go after talking to everybody who came. Oh yeah, I will never forget the bond that I felt when looking into Tash’s eyes when telling everyone how proud I am of her and the Sense family. I love Tash as much as my own family, yet we have only met 3 times. Yes these feelings are real. I leave Peter, Bruce, Tash and Jason around the fire to tell a few more yarns. Well I’m sneaking off to bed. Maybe Peter and I will sleep together just like old times…smelling of beer and snoring. Haha.


Snow – Mt Canobolis – Orange – NSW

Sat 19.6.1999

Well we are up, fed and ready to take the kids to Orange to see the snow. Ayrlie has been praying the past few weeks- Sandra and I aren’t convinced there will be snow left for us to see. However we are dressed ready to go.  We drive out of Dubbo through Wellington and into Orange. 2hrs later we are sure there is no snow on the mountain, then a glimmer of hope. YES we see snow on the summit! YEE-HAW!!! Ayrlie your prayers are answered. We drive to the very top and there is still snow on the sides driving up and at the top. It’s freezing cold, windy and below 0°. We hop out of our warm cars and jump into the snow. The kids are excited and having the time of their lives throwing snow balls and making a snow man and jumping into the snow. How lucky we are to be playing in snow in June. 12 months ago I would have never dreamt of playing in the snow with all my children, Ayrlie, Liam AND Natasha. I believe in God as he did listen to my prayers and has made my dreams come true. For that I am eternally grateful. After exhausting ourselves in the freezing cold, Sandra has packed up a picnic lunch.

We drive down the mountain to Lake Canobolis Park. The kids ran around and had a swing then we share a smorgasbord lunch. Sandra doesn’t leave anything behind. I have eaten home cooking continuously since we arrived. I feel very comfortable with Bruce and Sandra. I feel like I have known them for years yet only met Sandra 3 times and Bruce only once. WEIRD. I can see that Tash is ‘Bruce’s Little Girl’ and that warms my heart. She is truly a lucky child to have such loving, caring and giving parents. The epitome of what every child deserves but doesn’t always get. Thanks be to God. Amen. While eating lunch the Senses’ scheme a trip to the Wellington caves. The kids all have a snooze in the cars. What an experience for Ayrlie, a chance to go into caves and experience stalactites and stalagmites. Liam even enjoyed it. Ayrlie remembers ‘Headache Cave’ and the ‘Sparkly Crystal Column’. Then Sandra stopped for us to see a construction made from Wellington Bridge and from the local school children. Now we head back for Dubbo. Yeah.

Jason whipped up spag bog for dinner and we kept a plate for Peter. He arrives 1am in the morning. Everyone is crashed out. Bruce, Sandra and I stay up to pick Peter up from the bus stop. YEAH! I can’t wait!



Fri 18.6.1999 – In Limbo

Fri 18.6.1999

Tash and Sandra take me into Dubbo to their home where Tash  grew up all her life at 11 Alfred St., Dubbo. What a wonderful, loving home she has.  A typical country house you can honestly call home. With plenty of home photos of proud parents and their baby girl “Tash”. The picture and questions I have had all my life has, in this moment, all been answered.

Meeting Bruce for the first time was important to me as I needed to meet the man Tash calls ‘DAD’ the most important ½ of my decision to adopt was because she didn’t have a father figure if I was to raise her. It was important to me that she was raised by both a mother and father. What wonderful people to invite us into their home and have us feel like family. I need to keep myself together or I will cry all week. I am proud of the person Tash has become and I’m very thankful that God guided her into Bruce and Sandra’s arms. I know now  that  I was meant to have this baby for Bruce and Sandra as they are very special and loving people.  Another thing that is so special is that I find a lot of Sandra’s qualities in myself. We have found many similarities in ourselves aside from Tash and me. Well I have had about 2 hours of broken sleep and Tash has already taken me out and about to meet some special people in her life. 1st I rang Nat. To come over for a coffee and tricked her that I was Tash. Tash and Sandra took me on a Tour of Dubbo then Tash took me around town. We went and gave a surprise visit on Nat & Alison after they had a mad night at the Commercial Hotel. We had a fun visit. I learnt more about Tash’s secrets HA HA. Then we went out to visit Donna her music teacher. What a lovely lady. I tried to con Tash to play the Organ for me but to no avail. By this time it was around 3pm. I just can’t go on any longer. I’m exhausted. We go home for me to have a sleep. I do–snore. I wake up and Sandra and Jason have made us dinner. We are all off for an early night sleep……

My first Trip to Dubbo NSW 17.6.1999 Diary entries….

Thurs 17.6.1999

Well  we arrive at the Bus Depot  Safe and sound. Dad dropped  Ayrlie (age 6), Liam (age 3) and Me at the lift and I’m now by myself with the kids on an adventure.

We arrive at 6pm to depart at 6.30pm well you guessed it, the bus was late. 1 Hour. Wasn’t that fun amusing the kids for 1Hr in Roma St. Brisbane. Well the excitement has set in and we are boarding the bus. What is ahead – Who knows. Well lucky for us the kids had a seat to themselves and no one next to me. YEAH!!!! We leave at 7.30pm off for Toowoomba then down to Dubbo. The kids fall asleep before the 1st stop. each having a seat to themselves. I tried to sleep but couldn’t. Part of me worrying about the kids the other wondering how Dubbo will turn out.

Liam woke up around 2am. I took him to the toilet, put on a pull up and back to our seat. We went inside at the next stop for a drink and run around. We board the bus again and Liam spends some time looking out at the stars. I was telling him about the milky way and his reply was “Where is the chocolate mummy?” Ha! Ha! Liam finally sleeps. I stay awake thinking about being with Peter again (He was working in Sydney as there was now work in Brisbane). I can’t wait. I am constantly looking out at the stars. I have never seen so many before. The stars shine right down to the horizon. Then i spot the consolation- scorpions tail, then for the 1st time ever,  see the scorpion in its entirety WOW.

It’s about 5.30am and Ayrlie wakes up. We sit in the front seat together and watch out for Dubbo. On our trip I spoke to 3 people about my Natasha story. I still have had not one negative response. You know nearly everyone I talk to knows of someone who is either adopted or an adoptee. Well we are rolling down the freeway and bang there is a row of 1 million lights. Both Ayrlie and I mouths drop. WOW look at all those lights. Here we are  in the middle of nowhere – Out in the west and there is this  huge city in front of me. All the tourist info on Dubbo i ready says Population 34,000. Yeah right, more like 60,000. I cannot believe the size of this place. Ayrlie says “Look at all those lights in a straight line mummy!” We were in shock. We arrive at Dubbo Bus Depot where Sandra and Tash pick us up at 6.30am and then take us to the home that Natasha was raised in ………