Belonging

.When my husband was little, his sister, Loraine fell pregnant and was forced to give up her daughter for adoption. This event affected them both for the rest of their lives. Loraine never forgave herself for giving up her child, and Margie, despite having wonderful adoptive parents, always searched for “something”.

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It was almost impossible to even think they would ever be reunited. In those years, all adoptions were “closed”. This meant that no information would be shared with either child or mother. To add to this, Loraine lived in the then Northern Rhodesia. Margie was given up in Zimbabwe, Loraine moved to South Africa and then Margie moved to the UK.

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Regardless, they kept searching and despite what seemed like impossible red tape and bureaucracy, they found each other after 30 years. It was a beautiful moment to welcome Margie back into the family and a special bond developed between mom and daughter.

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I spoke to Margie recently and she shared with me that she only realised later on that she was not just searching for her mom. Her deeper searching was to belong. When she met the family, it was the first time in her life that she was among people who looked like her, who had her Scottish pale skin, crooked little pinkie and exact nose!

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If you look up “belonging” in the psychology dictionary it says that it is: a feeling of being taken in and accepted as part of a group, thus, fostering a sense of belonging. It also relates to being approved of and accepted by society general. “

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This is what my staff and I strive to offer: that our guests’ every need is met, that they are welcomed and taken care of to the extent that they feel they have a place, are valued and even though they have pain, are confused, and are at their most vulnerable, they still belong.

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