People do care about their past

13 Feb

Well I have taken a break from political write ups to empty my sadness over one thing I am passionate about. You know, I totally understand sadness as I actually have lived sadness so many times that I have worked out how to be happy in the face of sadness. You would never know what I mean.

Anywhere one of the ways to beat sadness is to make someone else happy. It’s something that I have experienced and not read of. I have helped someone, some people and experienced joy as I have never before. But then personally the joy has come most particularly from helping someone and not hear from them again. If they were to loiter, I would end up feeling they had paid with their gratitude.

The one topic I am addressing today is helping people find their relations. The first ever person I successfully helped with that was a girl given away for adoption when she was a baby. In adult life, she and her adoptive parents wanted to track down her biological parents.

I must admit I struggled with morality on this one . I thought for a while how I would feel as an adoptive parent if my daughter decided to find her parents. After soul searching and deep thought, I decided I would be selfish if I denied someone a chance to gain that which she deemed important. The fact that the adoptive parents were involved helped my decision.

I spoke to the parents many times trying to get as much detail as possible. This was my first such assignment ever and it was full of clumsiness and inexperience. They could not believe why I was doing this and worse still for totally no penny. A lot of my time and money was going into phoning them and their daughter. It was their visible trust that spurred me on.

I will always cherish that email; the one in which a contact confirmed that the girl’s mother was living and had been located in South Africa. It didn’t come easy as some relatives did not want to cooperate. Someone even asked to be paid to help a lost daughter of her relative to re-unite with her mum. Disgusting behaviour if you ask me!

My mentor advised me not to break the news until all was set and direct contact with the mum was had. How wise! I got the mother’s phone number relatively easily. I hesitated calling her for almost a week until I managed to pick myself up and call her.

She answered in one of the South African Nguni languages which in all their variants I understand them practically. Hers was Xhosa, I am sure. I introduced myself in a few Xhosa words to gain affectionate familiarity. I apologised for the tainted Xhosa but for trying she , was happy.

I told her what my work, if it could be called that, was. I explained how hard I had pushed to get her. She went so silent I thought the phone had cut.
” nawe bakuthumele abako..( the adoptive parents surname)?” She said softly. It was misleading and I thought it was acknowledgement but when I said yes the phone went dead. This time it had been cut.

I gave her an hour and called again she picked the phone and apologised. She started narrating the story and I cut her short and said mum,I am not being rude but can I not intrude into your privacy please.
She stopped. I realised she was ready.

I gave her the daughter’s number. Yes they did re-unite. It works .


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