My letter to Bruce & Sandra before we met.

A letter written to Us from Viv after our first Phone call 07/10/1998

 

Sandra and Bruce,

 

I can’t thank you enough for being just the perfect parents for Natasha. It brings me such joy to know she is so grounded as a person and so confident. She could off only got it from you both for being so loving and caring and most of all supportive. I thank God that the life you have as a family is a good strong one.

 

Knowing that Natasha is close to you both is making it easier for me to know you all. I really know nothing about you yet, I feel very comfortable when talking to you both. You make me feel very special. I can’t explain the inner peace which is starting to heal in my heart. All the questions I have been asking myself about what you all would be like are just a dream come true.

 

I am blessed that Natasha was given to such a loving family. I pray that we will meet soon and that I can become your friends. You are truly making things very exciting for me. I respect you both immensely for being so open with Natasha and her being “adopted” ( I hate that word myself). When Bruce told me that when he explained to Natasha that although she didn’t come from your tummy she was apart of his ART Well that just gave me goose bumps, and he makes her lunch. What a special man Bruce is. It doesn’t surprise me with the few special qualities that I have learnt about you, (in just 1 week) that Natasha came into your life. I used to pray often that she was in good hands and I believe now that God DID hear my prayers. It’s funny you know. When I was in hospital when I gave birth to Natasha and my Mum realised that I was firm with my decision, of all places she drove, was to Toowoomba, to cry and scream out her pain, Low and behold this is where you were living. Another little coincidence, Bruce does ART We named our daughter “Natasha’s sister” (Ayrlie Rae Timmermans – ART).

 

It is with such joy that you all have come into our lives. I hope you too will enjoy knowing about Ayrlie and Liam as they grow older. I’m so happy that Natasha chose to contact me while she is still young. I get to appreciate her life longer than if she waited till she was 30.

 

Today I rang a support group for birth mothers. They meet once a month on a Tuesday Night. I just missed this month however I will be there with bells on in November.

 

I want to be 100% ready to meet Natasha, I feel I am now, but I want to do some soul work first. I don’t want to make a fool of myself when the time comes. I am both scared and excited about a reunion. I hope I don’t let Natasha down or disappoint her in anyway. I would love for us to be forever friends. I don’t want to blow it. In fact I thought I was strong and confident. I think Natasha has more guts than me. I admire that very much. Well I won’t bore you any longer. I hope you enjoy your week. Toast Natasha for me for your 18th celebrations. May God keep you ALL in good health.

 

Love and best wishes Vivienne

 

PS No I’m not real religious I just can’t express myself any other way. I am truly thankful the only emotion that comes to mind is THANK GOD!

Dear Viv,

 

I hope it is ok to share this lovely letter you sent all those years ago. We are friends for ever or should I say I feel like family. Bruce was such a special Dad and if only he were here today he would be so proud of her and what  she does with her life and how they are raising Chloe. Yes, it was true, he was still packing her lunch in year 11, she loved not knowing what was in her lunch box. Natasha has a lot of her father’s special qualities, I see it in her all the time.

 

Love Sandra

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I have a brother and Sister?

I asked the question the first call I made to you if you had children. I remember that my heart pounded with excitement.. Wondering if they look like me or personality like mine.

Growing up as an only child has its positives and negatives. Growing up with siblings also can have positive and negatives.  Pretty much in the family circle I grew up with all my aunties and uncles had more than one child. Our Christmas gathering or family BBQ’s were insane. Think this way, Mum had 6 sisters and 2 brothers. Dad had 11 bothers and 2 sisters. So they all had kids and in time grand kids.

No we didn’t all get together, in fact our family has a lot of mysterious stories and neither side communicated or even some of the Aunty and uncles didn’t talk to each other.. Crazy.. I could actually write a WHOLE blog site based on the bullshit of the family stories. But Who cares right?

My best friend at School was an only child. I suppose that’s why we got on soo well. We shared in soo many things. She was the only persons house I felt comfortable browsing pictures on the wall or albums.  My whole life growing up as said previously I had an awesome mum and Dad but not that picture where you can see the resemblance.

I didn’t have that somebody to fight with when I had the cranky pants on, or hand down my old clothes. I didn’t have that older sibling that could guide me or give me advice on mistakes they made to pass on that advice to me. I never had that sibling to do my hair our put make up on me. I wished I had that sibling to come pick me up in mum’s car when I’m walking home from the pub or the boyfriend’s house at the time. Mum and Dad did an awesome job of filling the gaps but it wasn’t the same. Mum and Dad were also a bit naive about the late 19th Century re street wise, Drugs, technology, education. My mum and dad never adopted again. They felt they got their chance so why take that away from other waiting families.

Yes you have a 5 year old Sister Ayrlie and a 3 year old brother Liam, Viv said. (Just so you readers know I am crying now writing this) I can remember my brain going 100 miles per hour. I wanted to meet them. It took me forever to remember Ayrlies name or even how to spell it. It was at that point I had people to protect. I had siblings to teach bad things to.. hahahaha..no serious to help grow and to be there as they get older. I was the BIG SISTER. Omg say it again.. IM A BIG SISTER!!

How to I introduce myself to a 5 year and a 3 year old. I never forget the day I met you both.

Ayrlie you attached yourself to me straight away and I couldn’t SHUT YOU UP.. hahhaha. You had the most beautiful blue eyes. The same as mine. Vibrant blue with the dark blue ring around the edges. You had the longest curliest hair and you wore a shirt and long skirt with Sandals. You hated skirts. You hated your hair, anyone brushing your hair or touching your hair, but you loved everything in your room. I got a complete guided tour of everything you had. The whole time you sat next to me, ate next to me and just kept flapping that beautiful mouth of yours.. I had that instant connection with you. You would become mine..  in fact I remember that night when you had a bath I was allowed to brush your hair and not once did you complain.

Liam, you had the smallest cutest face a mother could ask for. Large brown eyes and you NEVER spoke. You just looked at me. You were tiny. Liam you were so unsure of who I was but you where still happy to give me a cuddle or come with me if I asked you. When I did finally get you to talk you had the most gorgeous lisp and I think maybe you stuttered a little.

Funny enough some people couldn’t understand you but I don’t ever remember being like that. You used to follow me or just sit there and stare at me. Never spoke but just happy to watch and try and work it all out in your head. You know what, you still do that today.

Again I was connected to you instantly. You also showed me your favourite toys and things you like in the house but without words.. weird I know. But I knew exactly what you where saying to me with your eyes.

The last 12 years has bought me soo much joy to see the things you guys achieved in doing and I have loved every minute I get to spend with you. Even if you do become annoying hahaha..

I have been there to support your mum when she is frustrated with you both or unsure on what to do with you in some cases. I hope to think that the personal one on one talks, laughs and arguments that we share together is something you appreciate with me and I hope that you will always feel like you can always depend on me. I find it really hard to say no to you pair.. I really do. Something I can’t explain. I am soo proud of where you are now and what you’re achieving. You both are very different characters but I love you both the same.  You make me proud to be a big sister. I love you.  xoxox

Written by Natasha Rose 09/12/2011

Diary Journal 9/11/1998 The Day we Met.

Natasha found this journal entry i had made on the day we meet for the very first time in Queens Park, Ipswich Qld.

Mon 9-11-98

Well this morning my mind, feelings and emotions have frozen. I don’t know what to think. It’s 5.30am in the morning and I’m ready to meet Natasha this very instant. I need to wait until at least 8am before I can call her in Toowoomba. I realize she had a huge drive, late night and needs some sleep. Well the kids are awake, peters getting ready for work and he agrees that he is ready to meet Natasha at our home after he comes home from work. Music to my ears. I couldn’t believe it. Well the morning shift getting the kids ready went faster than any day. We were all ready to leave and it was 7.45am. on a normal school day we are pushing to get out of the door at 8.10 – 8.20am. Just my luck. 15 more minutes to wait before i call Toowoomba. We still haven’t confirmed the name of the park that we are meeting at in Ipswich. I know its Queens Park on Brisbane Rd, I’m not sure Tash knows its this park. Anyway off to school as usual. I drop Ayrlie and Zac off, then Liam. I’m so nervous. I go buy a Diet Coke at 8.30am. I get in my car. Destination IPSWICH to meet my daughter that haven’t seen in 18 years. I have talked to Natasha for hours and hours the past month. We have swapped photos and Natasha slipped in a video the week before we actually get to meet and touch each other. The last month at home has been “HELL”. Peter and I had to work out this whole situation. He was totally shocked, hurt and confused when I told him I have a 18 year old daughter and that nobody else had known about not even him. Take in mind Peter and I have been together for 13 years of those 18!!!!!! I prayed and i never lost faith that peter would understand the decisions I made. Our love for each other is unconditional. In fact Natasha – You have brought us closer together. All these thoughts are going through my mind while i am driving to Ipswich. I swear I was driving 120kph. I couldn’t get their quick enough.

Bingo – I’m shaking and I start to laugh and cry all at the same time. I tried to stop myself from blubbering because i want to hold myself together for when we meet. Well I’m now on Brisbane Rd., turn the corner and I’m at the Park. Looking frantically for Natasha in Blue pants and white top. I can’t see her. I park under a shady Jacaranda tree and fumble out of my car. God – I think, Will she like what she sees? Will she like the person I am? Will she be disappointed? Will she hit me, abuse me? All these crazy thoughts. I still can’t see her.

I walk around the park. NO TASH. I then wonder if i have the correct park. I walk up to the canteen to ask if this was Queens Park. The lady smiles and says “YES”. PHEWW!!! I would have died if i had the wrong park. It was 9.10am still NO TASH. I sit on the park bench sussing out every single car that drives past. I forgot what type of car Tash said she would be in. We had arranged to meet on Brisbane Rd side of the park. She was coming from Toowoomba and it looked tricky to cross the main road from that direction to get to the park.

I thought to myself. They have missed the park. They are probably heading for Brisbane. I was going to wait until 9.30am then find a phone and call Tash’s mobile. I have to PEE. I go to the LOO. Race back out. Still NO TASH. I sit at the table and notice a silver car with tinted windows and NSW number plates. I FEEL SICK.

I notice Jason gets out for a stretch then goes back into the car. Minutes which seems like hours later no-one gets out of the car! I know its them, I think to myself – Natasha can’t do it – She doesn’t want

to get out of the car. I want to run down to the car and meet everyone at once. Then I remember the councillor at Jigsaw advised me to see only Tash at 1st on natural grounds then meet others later. So I can’t sit still. I stand to walk and see that number plates are from NSW – They are. I watch from the distance, Natasha and her mum get out of the car. I was so nervous i hid behind the toilet block as i could see Natasha and Sandra hugging each other with support. I walk around toilet block to see Jason drive Sandra off in the car and this beautiful looking girl, my height and stature walking towards me. I wanted to run down the bank and roll in the grass, hug, kiss and be silly. I wanted to just look at her. At this stage I’m not feeling anything. I have a smile from ear to ear. My heart is pounding. My palms sweating! We come together and embrace. All my dreams come true from that second on.

Regardless what was to follow. The daughter I had to adopt was in my arms. I could feel her skin, smell her being, touch her, talk to her. MY GOD – I thank you for bringing her into my life! I can’t explain what it meant when we just looked into each other’s eyes. I know we are complete strangers yet i felt some sort of innate connection EVERY time i look into your eyes. You are beautiful. I feel so proud of you. I’m bursting. I just want to hold you and never let you go. I still haven’t found any works to describe exactly what it is that I’m experiencing.

We decide to go to the canteen have a cuppa and compare fingers and toes. Well we had a great Ol chat and look and chat and stare and cry and chat and look and stare…… What – A – Day!!! I’m now bursting to meet Sandra. I want to just hold Natasha’s head in both hands, run my fingers in her hair and kiss her face all over. I have a silly cold sore from nervous tension which prevents me to do this. I will get another chance I hope.

The morning is kind of a blurr. Natasha jumps in my car. Off we drive. How strange. Just like that. Off we go to window shop in Ipswich. So I get an idea what Natasha likes and dislikes. We both like gold, we have similar tastes in clothes, Different taste in smelling things, soaps, perfumes tec. We walk into a bra and undies shop looking for a bargain. Don’t ask me why but i just blurted out that Natasha was my daughter. Well the sales lady just looked at us, her mouth hit the floor. She looked at me and said. Your too you. She looked at Tash and said you’re too mature. We just looked at each other and laughed. Well time clicked over soon enough for us to mozzie back to the park to meet Sandra and Jason. Tash and i arrived back at 12pm. Jason turned up without Sandra OOHHH! Then up pulls a cab with Sandra running out the door with a beautiful bunch of flowers “Roses” Red Roses for ME. Well i just fell in love with Sandra that very second. She is everything I prayed my daughter would have in her life. Bruce our time will come to meet each other. I know you where there in spirit. All i could do was hug and thank Sandra for being the person that she is. I hugged and cried but at the same time felt at peace in Sandra’s arms. What a beautiful lady she is. Natasha was blessed to have Sandra and Bruce as parents. Sandra is everything i could not have been for Natasha. Natasha is who she is because of the love, support and guidance that Bruce and Sandra have given her. I’m not jealous but proud that “I DID” do a good thing for everyone. Off we went to lunch at the Centenary Tavern.

We sat, looked, touched, stared, cried at each other. Sandra showed me information that she kept over the years all on Natasha. Even the bracelet  that mum bought for her when she was born. 18 years old and still shinny gold the same when we bought it. WOW!!! What a rush. Well time still ticking we decided to part ways. Jason has to take Sandra to Caboolture. I’ll take Tash to meet her

Brother and Sister. We go to school to pick up Ayrlie then to Day care to pick up Liam. I instantly feel comfortable having Natasha by my side. It has helped by talking to her hours and hours the last month. We have done allot of ground work.

Here I am with a grin like a Cheshire cat with MY 3 CHILDREN with ME in the car. Pinch me I’m dreaming. We are now off for a quick stop. OOPS i forgot to mention i took Natasha to meet my best friend in the whole wide world Beverley. Then we went to school to pick up the kids. Now we are off for a quick stop to meet my mum and dad. (Nanna and Poppy). Then most of all to meet Peter. I rang from mums and he was giving a shower and shave. This was a good sign, we stayed a little longer then for the big intro and welcome to our home. I’m driving up our driveway and I’m excited and nervous how Peter is going to be. Well we enter and peter is sitting outside. He comes in and I introduce him to my daughter Natasha. They shake hands and look at each other. Then Ayrlie swoops Natasha into her room to show her some things. Peter turns to me and says that she “Natasha” looks like me. I just smile from ear to ear. How proud I am of peter. I love him unconditionally.

More excitement is coming for Natasha because she is going to meet her Birth Dad tonight as well. So she arranges to meet him in a coffee shop close by. Jason isn’t back yet,  so i take her up there and introduce her to him. I’ve never seen anyone so nervous. Well I arrange to come back in ½ – 1hr. I’m off to weight watchers. I have Ayrlie with me. We meet Valetta. I ask if she would like to meet my daughter. Well Letty’s mouth nearly hit the floor. She went all flustered. Let followed me to the coffee shop where we were to pick up Tash. They were deep in conversation. We joined them for a minute then Let and i went to our cars to wait for Tash to say Goodbye. It was great to see him interested and accepting Natasha as his. What a lucky girl to meet her birth mother and father all in the one day.

Natasha you must be mentally exhausted. Well back home we go. I go and get drinks and KFC. We spent most of the night just looking and smiling at each other. It was great having Valetta there with me. She is such a great friend. Peter, Jason, Natasha and I sat up until 2.30am talking. Jason was rolling on the floor laughing he was having such a great time comparing Tash and I with Peter.

It really is amazing how much alike Tash and I are. To think i have had NO influence in her life what so ever the past 18 years yet our aneurisms, personality, facial expressions are so alike. SOMEONE PINCH ME I’m dreaming. I can’t explain Natasha the connection i feel to you when you look into my eyes. I will never forget my feelings.

I ache with pain yet I’m overfilled with joy and happiness to actually sit beside you, feel your breath, touch your skin, pat your hair, look into your eyes. I bonded to you instantly. Natasha – I will always love you. Now when I think of you I have a real person to relate to.

THANK YOU FOR BEING IN MY LIFE!!!!!!

My Oprah Winfrey moment

One afternoon i happen to turn the TV on and Oprah Winfrey is talking to 3 girls sitting on stools. It so happens that these girls had been adopted at birth and they were trying to find their birth mothers. It seemed that they were wanting answers to some personal questions.

I watched and listened to them with intent and one girl really touched me as she was sobbing her eyes out as her birth mother had a veto on her – Meaning that she could not contact her birth mother. All she wanted was to ask her mother some personal questions relating to health issues etc. She claimed to not want to be a big part in her birthmother’s life but just wanted to know a little about her history.

Well you guessed it, I to had a veto on my child contacting me. MMMM i thought. Doing some maths in my head i thought well Sheree would be turning 18 and should be past the horrible 16-17 year old stage. If that was me i would want to know. You see, i would have never tried to look for Sheree as it was one thing giving her up for adoption and i couldn’t stand another negative if she had a veto on me so it was best for me not to know. So i go down to my local post office in Corinda and fill out the forms to lift the veto. 6 weeks later i get THAT PHONE CALL.

That Phone call

The call i never expected.

Well literally one sunny day, business as usual, kids playing in the back yard as i was waiting for Peter to come home from work when the phone rang. I answered, only to hear a young girl ask to speak to Vivienne Gittens. I said this is me. She said to me that she thought i was her birth mother. I stood in complete silence. Thinking someone was playing a joke on me but no one really knew who could this be? I asked how she got my number and she said that she received a letter in the mail from the government with my Maiden name “Gittens” and she knew that she was born in Brisbane so picked a name in the white pages and gave it a call. Within 4 hours of getting my name she was speaking to her Birthmother. Fancy that. Natasha had actually spoken to her Great Grandmother Gittens who advised her that i was now married and freely gave her my number. Grandma Gittens had no idea she was speaking to her great granddaughter.  Ok so now this is feeling serious. I actually started to laugh continuously from nerves I must tell you. Then I remember thinking O MY GOD what am i going to tell Peter and the kids. SHIT no one knows, what am I going to do????? I asked Natasha to hang up and that i would call her back. I had to really think about what to do next. I had a decision to make.

 I talked to a few of my closest friends at that time to get their advice on how I should tell Peter. Is he going to hate me, will he get angry, hell I was just numb. I could keep talking to her behind his back but I didn’t want to do that. OK let’s go back in time a little, Peter and I have known each other since high school. After school we hung out with the same group of people but were never a couple. I was living in Airlie Beach 1985-86 at the age of 21 when we got together; we got married in 1991 then gave birth to Ayrlie Rae in 1993 then Liam in 1996. When we were living in Airlie Beach we were drunk as skunks when I decided to tell Peter that I had given a baby up for adoption. All i remember is him cracking off, not about having a baby but about giving her up. The next morning all i could think of was the relationship would be off or he doesn’t remember. Turns out he didn’t remember. I was so nervous about talking about it again that I never said another word until now.

Well Peter didn’t take my news to well and didn’t talk to me for 2 months. You see, he wanted to marry a women that didn’t have anyone else’s babies only his. I guess looking at me that was the package that he was given. Well he never told me that so how should I know. Peter also doesn’t believe in abortion so i said to him if i had of had an abortion than things would be better then. That was to hard to get his head around. After being pushed aside for 2 months i said to him that I am a good person, a good mother and that i haven’t done anything wrong.  If he can’t support me through this than i would leave. We said when we got married that we would be together for better or worse and that we would grow old together what happened to that. After many a conversation and questions to answer we did work things out. Peter has been able to share the journey and experiences with us all as a family. THANK GOD FOR THAT.

Back to the phone call. Well for many days and hours after we talked and talked and talked.  There were 2 questions that stand out that she asked me and that was

1. Are you catholic? (NO)

2. Do you know who my father is? (Yes)  

My first questions to her were

  1. Have you had a baby (I didn’t want her to carry on tradition) her answer (NO),
  2. What colour eyes do you have? Bright blue with a dark circle around them (just like me)
  3. Are you short (yes) Just like me.
  4. Where do you live? Dubbo, where the hell is that. Bloody miles away.

It was a good while after that we decided to meet for the first time. In the flesh. Natasha was driving to Queensland to meet me. I’m nervous as all hell. Is this really happening. We decided to meet in Queens Park, Ipswich  which is the photo of us you see as my header. I was 35 she was 18. I was on my own with no kids or Peter. That day changed my life forever.

In the park we just kept looking at each other. We put our hands together and noticed that the lines were almost identical. Our feet are the same size and we both have a bobbly big toe on each foot and our little toes don’t have much toe nail at all. We have the same hair, same shape body with the same bum (sway back). She curses me to this very day about that ha ha ha. To this very day we like to trick everyone and pretend to be each other on the phone, We walk the same, we talk the same and stand the same. Incredible when you think about it as i had no influence on her life at all for 18 years, genetics are truly amazing. I also got the pleasure of meeting her Mother (Sandra). I could not have wished for a better mother. We ended up talking for just as many hours as Natasha. Turns out that Natasha’s Adoptive Father Bruce (who was waiting nervously in Dubbo as he didn’t make this trip) couldn’t have children but Sandra could. Bruce wasn’t keen on IVF as he wanted them to have a child that was neither theirs. I totally understand that, it would be hard watching your wife carry a baby from someone else’s sperm. 6 weeks after Natasha was born they were blessed with her. Sandra presented me with a scrap book that she had made for me with pictures from the day Bruce and Sandra brought her home till the day i meet her in the park. It still gives me goose bumps just talking about it. This goes to show you the kind of people Sandra and Bruce were. They were offered another baby but declined as they were so thankful to have one baby that  they didn’t want to be greedy and wanted another family to enjoy the gift of a child like they did as it took them 10 years to get her. Natasha was raised as an only child (spoilt as well).

The next thing she wanted to know was about her birth father and how i got pregnant. Well that’s a story in itself as i fell pregnant without having sex, yes you heard correct, didn’t have sex. Just call me Mary ha ha.  I will leave you to ponder that thought, till i write again. Vivienne.