Andrew’s story

Published

November 8, 2021

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After a health scare 10 years ago, Andrew decided he finally wanted to learn more about his birth family.

Andrew knew he was adopted but didn’t want to open a can of worms for everyone, particularly his birth mother.

While his adoptive parents had raised him, he had always wondered about his birth family.

He was ready to take a leap of faith.

He was curious about any health conditions he may have inherited.

Fortunately, his adoptive mother remembered his birth name and “the big home in Camberwell,” where the adoption was arranged by the Presbyterian Babies Home staff.

With encouragement from his sister, Andrew contacted the Uniting Heritage Service and talked to case manager, Victoria Lavery.

Andrew had requested his records many years ago but had not been ready to receive them.

He accepted Victoria’s offer to search for his birth family and in the following weeks, she was successful in locating Andrew’s records.

In December 2020, Victoria gave Andrew his adoption records and facilitated contact with his birth family.

Andrew learnt that after he was born, his birth mother had married and moved interstate.

Sadly, she had died of bowel cancer earlier that year.

Talking to her partner, Andrew learnt that they got married and had 2 children.

Their oldest son also died of bowel cancer in early 2021.

The family urged Andrew to get a bowel cancer screening.

Andrew’s result was clear, but the doctor was concerned about Andrew’s constant headaches.

Further testing showed a series of brain abnormalities, which Andrew has since had removed but could have been fatal without treatment in the short term.

Andrew has experienced tough times recently and is now getting back on track.

Today, Andrew is back at work and looking forward to driving again now that he is over his health scare.

Getting in touch with his birth family and learning their medical history may have saved his life.

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