With two gorgeous sons and a loving partner, Terri should be happy. But she is haunted by the fact her first child was adopted…
When Terri was 15 she accidentally got pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy, whom she called Nicholas. She adored Nicholas, but as she was no longer with his dad and her parents were in the middle of a divorce – and she had also gone back to college – she found it exhausting. When Nicholas was three months old it was suggested she contact social services for some support and respite and they offered to have Nicholas cared for one weekend so she could catch up on some sleep.
It seemed a good idea. But when Terri went back on the Monday to pick Nicholas up she was told the social worker involved wasn’t there and to come back. It was to be the beginning of a nightmare. Social services then said they wanted to look into whether she could cope with her baby. And against her will, and despite getting a lawyer to try to keep Nicholas, to her horror Social services then decided he would be best off with a family.
When he was fifteen months old months old he ended up being adopted. The last time she saw Nicholas he clung to her legs crying to her. It was heartbreaking and she has never got over it.
Terri was incredibly depressed but she moved area and has since gone on to have two more children with a different partner, 26, who works in computers. She is now aged 26 and has two sons aged 4 and 1. Because her first child was adopted, she was visited by social services in the new area – they cannot understand why her baby was adopted. She has since seen her records and it says she gave Nicholas up willingly. This has shocked her – it is not how it was and she worries that when he is 18 and sees these records he will believe she didn’t want him.
She thinks about Nicholas all the time, she feels always she is a mum of three but is unable to tell people that. The only good thing is she knows Nicholas did go to a good home and consoles herself that he will be well loved. His adoptive parents regularly send her updates in letter and she knows Nicholas is happy.
But she just wishes she was there to cuddle him, see him home from school. It is an ache in her heart that simply won’t go away.
Terri says: “If Nicholas does trace me when he’s 18 I will be able to show him this feature and he will then know how much I loved him.”
You might also be interested in Social Services story: Too Dumb to be a mum?
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Kerry McDougall – the girl Social Services claimed was too dumb to be a mum – talks about Mother’s Day and the new baby she is expecting in the SUNDAY MIRROR newspaper at the weekend.
As regular sell your story blog readers will know, this long-running story already commands its very own page on my main sell my story website Featureworld and this is because I have followed this couple’s emotional journey since September 2009.
During that time I really have been through their nightmares – when Kerry was judged by Social Services too dim to marry and their wedding was cancelled – to the unthinkable happening when I picked up the phone and Mark could barely speak through the tears. That was an hour after their baby Ben had been taken from the maternity ward by social workers who deemed Kerry too stupid to keep him (and ironically because they weren’t married Mark had no rights as a dad…)
I have also been through times of sheer joy with them. The most wonderful times were when they got Ben back (this was after numerous court cases) and when they finally got married.
But on a daily basis I absolutely love seeing the little photos Mark and Kerry upload onto Facebook, where we are friends. Perhaps they remind me more than a little of when I had my first child. I too was a very young mum with a beautiful boisterous little boy and some of the photos take me back 23 years…
In those pictures Ben is in Kerry’s arms, Ben is sat in a high chair laughing, Ben is running on the beach, Ben is learning to take his first steps, Kerry is chatting about how much she loves him and their new life in southern Ireland (they fled there from Fife to try to keep their baby) and most recently she’s uploaded photos of her positive pregnancy test. She is now all set to have a similar gap between Ben and his brother and sister as I did with my first and his little brother (I then went on to have a daughter with a 17 month gap – madness!)
So to me, this story was a definite to celebrate Kerry’s first proper mother’s day (last year Ben was in care…) and together with some of Mark’s own photos, it looked fantastic in the Sunday Mirror.
Unsurprisingly, I have now placed their story again with two big UK women’s magazines – and Mark is writing a book. Roll on the next chapter…
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