Stella’s story

Published

November 8, 2021

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Stella* had received her information and decided to make contact her birth mother.

She asked the Heritage Service to do the search on her behalf.

She had been found by her birth father a few years earlier and this had not been a positive experience.

He wanted more contact than Stella was comfortable with and she regretted giving him her address.

This time she wanted to have another person to support her during the process.

A search by the Heritage Service at the registry of births, deaths and marriages located a married name for her birth mother.

An electoral roll search revealed a possible address, so a letter was posted.

When this received no response, a second letter was sent several weeks later by registered mail.

This time, Stella’s birth mother, Winifred* responded.

She said that she had “ignored the first letter but thought she had better respond to the second one.”

Winifred said she cried when she received the letter and was tearful on the phone to a Heritage Service team member.

She spoke of her lifelong sense of guilt, her situation at the time, her husband and children born after Stella.

Winifred asked: “what does she want,” “what is she like,” “what if she’s not serious,” and “how can I tell my children.”

After several conversations, she found the courage to tell her other children.

The worker kept in touch with both Stella and Winifred, passing messages with permission, that laid the groundwork for a meeting.

Stella, Winifred and a Heritage Service team member met at a park in the country.

Both Stella and Winifred brought photographs of their families and themselves.

Our team member made a picnic lunch and supported the conversation.

Stella said: “it’s great that you are here, my mind is spinning and I can’t think straight.”

Six months later, Stella and Winifred have continued to keep in touch.

Our team member has also kept in touch with the pair, but this contact is gradually reducing as the 2 women work out their own ways of communicating.

They know they can get in touch with us at any time.

*This is a true story about a real people. Some details such as names have been changed to respect the wishes of the people featured.

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