Words from the Founder – Debbie Cook

Posted on May 6th, 2012 by Debbie

A big thank you to everybody for making this the biggest reunion so far, it’s rewarding to see how readily people were, to help with moving furniture before and after the event and set out refreshments etc., so thank you.

Can you believe 58 people attended, 35 were adoptees and two more attended the social dinner.  We had 46 attending the evening social dinner considering I had originally only booked 3 tables of 10 thinking I would struggle to fill those seats, how wrong I was.  Several days before the reunion took place I increased the booking by a further 10 and still we had more coming.   By all accounts this proved to be a popular way to finish off another successful reunion and what made it more special was that fact we were all together on one floor which kept us as a private group.

The growth of this group has been steady over the last few years, but with the BAAF British Chinese Adoption Study presentation lead by Julia Feast, there has been much more interest resulting in this group growing considerably.   I have been bowled over which is an understatement, that you want to meet up and learn more about yourselves which has been tremendous.

One of the highlights of the day was being able to bring 6 of the 9 girls together that had come over on 20th December 1962.  I had previously worked on all the information people had given and to my utter astonishment I found 6 of the 9 adopted girls in this project who were all coming to this event.  They all agreed to be reunited at this reunion!  There was also another group of 3 that were reunited too, as two of the girls had been searching for the third girl in their picture at the BCAS presentation and afterwards I had gone home to look through the ISS Newsletters and the rest is history.

The ice breaker games were brilliant but due to lack of space it was apparent that we could not move around as freely, but it was a fun.  The mapping game was a great way to find out where everybody resides in the UK but it was interesting to see that those present, the majority lived in the South and I think it is fair to say that probably keeping the reunion location in London will generate the biggest attendance.  However, we have decided to try the next reunion in Birmingham as Kate has managed to get the use of the Chinese Community Centre free of charge and they have wonderful facilities.  It will be just a case of sorting out the lunch keeping costs to a minimum.

Margaret Bryer speech was informative and she gave us an insight of the involvement that the International Social Services had in facilitating our adoptions to the UK.  It was really interesting when she started to reel off some facts and figures as to how many came in any one year.  Her speech is on the website for those of you who want to recollect what she said.

Lastly I hope that you will all get a chance to look at our wonderful website which I found extremely difficult to keep a secret from all of you, as we wanted to launch it at the reunion. With Jessica artist skills we were able to choose our logo, design and write the website within a couple of weeks prior to the event.

The web site explains all about our group; who we are; what to expect; Details of past and present reunion events; links etc…   In addition there is a News and Blog page where you can place comments etc…  So please do.  Jess also explained that she is busy writing up a HK Adoptee Portal website which basically will have more factual information which will be a resource for Adult HK adoptees.

The mirror’s bearing our Logo was a little gift from Jess, Kate and me for those who attended and it is hoped that you will treasure them.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the next reunion on Sat 6th October in Birmingham.

Thank you for making this a wonderful day.


  1. Yan -

    It was indeed an amazing day! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the day such a success and especially to Julia Feast and her colleagues. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to the next reunion :-) (Thanks to Jess, Kate & Debbie for the mirrors).

  2. Amanda -

    Hi Debbie
    We loved attending the reunion. It was great to learn more about the history of HK adoption in the UK and it really inspired me to search for the same info for HK adoption in the US. We loved meeting the women and reconnecting with other friends from the 2010 HK reunion. We look forward to more lovely events and good friendships from all of it!

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