|About the Book|
One Womans 30-Year Search For Her Birth Family A memoir of sadness and rejection, of love and acceptance Circles Jan Wiseman was born in 1942. She was brought up in Orpington with her sister Val by parents Norah and Stanley, a cruel man. When JanMore One Womans 30-Year Search For Her Birth Family A memoir of sadness and rejection, of love and acceptance Circles Jan Wiseman was born in 1942. She was brought up in Orpington with her sister Val by parents Norah and Stanley, a cruel man. When Jan was 16, Norah told Jan that she was adopted and that the revelation was to be kept secret. It was a horrible shock for the teenager but she did as she was told and didn’t say a word. Jan felt rootless, as if she didn’t know who she really was. But life went on and in 1962, she married Brian, the only person she had told about her adoption. A happy couple but unable to have children, Jan and Brian adopted Charles, pledging he would know his story from day one. To their surprise and delight, shortly afterwards, Jan fell pregnant with Ruth. Many happy family times followed. But when Jan was 46, the law regarding birth certificates changed and she began to look for her birth family. It was a long adventure full of surprises, sadness, rejection and ultimately love and acceptance. Almost three decades since she began looking, Jan found the family she longed for.Extract I took a piece of bread from the plate at the centre of the dining table and mopped up the juices from my beef stew.“Pass me a bit, Jan,” said my sister Val.I passed the plate to her. Then Val offered it to our father.“Would you like some bread, dad?” she said. He took some but said nothing. I knew he wouldn’t eat it all and that any bread eaten would be thrown up after dinner.“Mum?” I said.She didn’t hear me.“Mum? Bread?”“Oh. Oh, no thank you,” she said.We chewed in silence. Then mum said to me, “Are you going to church tonight?”“Yes,” I said. “It’s a special pre-Christmas service.”A few minutes later, she said, “I’d like to come with you if that’s all right?”“Of course.”I was surprised. Mum was Church of England and I went to St John’s Presbyterian Church. Maybe she was having a change of heart. Neither my father nor Val attended church. I’d been taken to church by Grandma Hook. She had met the minister, Reverend Morton, when she lived in Chatham some years before.When dinner was over, Val and I cleared the plates and washed up. This was done to the usual soundtrack of our father vomiting in the bathroom. He was loud, dramatic. I tried not to notice. I dried my hands and put my coat on, and a hat and gloves. It was going to be bitterly cold when mum and I left church a couple of hours later. But I’d have taken the cold over having my world turned upside down any day.Your Memoir This book was written with the support of Your Memoir, a business that helps people write and publish their life stories. After reading Circles, you may feel that you also have a story to tell... contact Your Memoir to see if they can help you.