For years after obtaining that information I searched through phone books, made random calls, looked in newspapers and hung around the CURA building in Cork City wondering if I would ever see this person who was my mother but nothing. I continued to visit the nuns and received the same response that they didn’t have anymore information.
I remember one such time, I was told a nun named sister Anthony looked after me in the mother and baby home and she had met my mother. I have a memory of being in the back seat of the car, going up the Bessborough drive and dad slowing down to stop and mum asking sister Anthony to tell me what my mum looked like. She said she looked like me with the same eyes and fair hair. I learned years later that actually my mother never had fair hair but then there were a lot of things I learned later on about the nuns in Bessborough.
My family remained connected to the adoption society in Bessborough. At the time they were part of a panel that helped and gave parents support who were thinking of adopting children. They were very involved with Sister Sarto and I guess they were so grateful they were able to adopt 3 kids, this was their way of giving back to others.
Along with my multiple yearly visits to discover myself, Bessborough hosted sports days and christmas parties for the families and children that were adopted from there. Again as I mentioned earlier, being in Bessborough was the closest thing to my mother, so it was comforting in a way. I would often walk the grounds wondering if I was walking over my mother’s footsteps. I was so troubled really.
I couldn’t switch it off, I couldn’t switch off this feeling of needing to find my mother and find out who I was. I felt isolated in my mind sometimes. I had a teddy bear, he was red and brown/orange, apparently my mother gave me it when I was born. I called him Timmy and I never left him out of my sight. I’ve lost count of the amount of tears Timmy soaked up. Timmy got me through some very low moments.