Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I've Tried and Tried to Contact Him. I Just Don't Know What's Happened

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I've Tried and Tried to Contact Him. I Just Don't Know What's Happened

Article excerpt

Byline: By Liz Lamb

Five years ago cancer victim Pauline Bird made a plea to find her adopted son. Here she tells Liz Lamb how she found Gavin ( but then lost him all over again

Tears trickle down Pauline Bird's cheeks as she flicks through the family photographs she has stored safely away in a box.

There are pictures of her daughter Christine beaming with happiness on her wedding day, her grandchildren Sarah and Amy playing in the garden and dozens of her grandson, Evan, who at three years old is the apple of his grandma's eye.

But missing from her treasured box of memories are photographs of her precious son Gavin.

There are no snapshots of him enjoying his first birthday party or excitedly unwrapping his presents at Christmas.

No memories of him standing proudly in uniform on his first day of school or blowing out the candles on his cake when he was 18.

This is because Gavin was adopted as a baby against Pauline's wishes.

After a two-year bitter custody battle which ended in the High Court in London the 63-year-old was told to go home and forget about her child.

Despite that fateful day 23 years ago, Pauline still feels the pain like it was yesterday and the tears flow as she talks candidly about losing her only son.

"I lost all those years with Gavin," she weeps. "I'll never get that son back who I gave birth to.

"I'll never forget that day in court. I was told to get on with my life.

"I used to see little boys with blond hair walking around the town and I used to think they were Gavin.

"He was my only son. My heart was ripped out."

Five years ago, while fighting leukaemia, Pauline, of Howdon, North Tyneside, made an emotional appeal in the Chronicle to help find her son.

It was her one last wish to see him before she died

She got in touch after reading an article in the paper about a mother and daughter being reunited and immediately picked up the phone, hoping the same miracle would happen for her.

With the help of Trackers, an agency that helps reunite families broken up by adoption, Pauline finally got the heart-stopping news she had been waiting so long for: Gavin had been found.

"The night I found out, Pat, who runs the agency, rang and she told me to sit down. Then she told me they'd found Gavin.

"It was two weeks before his 21st birthday," says Pauline, who is in remission.

"I just cried. I had bought him a 21st birthday card but I'd nowhere to send it."

Astonishingly, she discovered Gavin had grown up in the street next to where her brother, Matt, lived in Washington, Tyne & Wear.

A week later, Pauline and the son she had last seen as a baby were reunited in a highly-charged meeting at the home she shares with her husband of 24 years, Fred.

"Our reunion was fantastic and I'll never forget it," she says. …

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