Fifteen months ago I held a not baby shower at our local lido. The not is important. I was neither having a baby nor wanting a baby shower. But it seemed fitting to mark the start of my new life, and bid farewell to the old one. It was a lovely gathering in which close family and friends shared their tips for the future.
Two weeks later I headed west to meet my seven year old daughter for the first time.
The first time it happened, I felt it like a pole-axe. “That ain’t even your kid” yelled the woman over her shoulder as she barged past us in the street. I held it together until we got to the playground where we were meeting friends, then burst into tears. Furious on my behalf, one friend insisted, “but she is your child”, in truth although I had felt she was my daughter since some time during introductions, I was still very much aware that until we had the adoption order, anything could happen, and our little family felt fragile.