October 2012 Reunion Journey

Posted on January 5th, 2013 by Debbie


I know so many of you will want to know how my journey continued after the October reunion in Birmingham.  Perhaps my account has been somewhat overdue but with other commitments time has just escaped me so here it is, better late than never.

Those that attended the last reunion in Birmingham will know we had the pleasure of yet another American adoptee sister visiting us Mei Yan, who with Kim Rogers wrote the Fanling Website back in 2006.   http://www.fanlingbabies.com/  This was how I got to know them when I made my first contact via the website.

It was during 2010 that we found ourselves on the CAAWR committee arranging the first ‘Chinese Adult Adoptee Worldwide Reunion’ in Hong Kong.  We had many a committee Skype conference call leading up to the reunion and when the committee met in person it was like meeting old friends, so that gave us a head start over everybody else.  Mei Yan and I spent the last of my four days together in Hong Kong and so I was delighted that she should honour us with a trip over to the UK, which was also to be her first and I hope in time she will come again.

After the reunion, we drove down to Ruislip for a week and commuted back and forth into London to show her the sights and of course introduce to her as many of our group/sisters.  Mei Yan was adopted to the USA at an age when she could still remember things about Fanling Babies Home, the discipline, the food, the surroundings and also some of the people.

She remembers the song that they use to sing to Miss Lucy Clay the Superintendant first thing in the morning, ‘Good Morning to you, Good Morning to you’  I am sure Mei Yan won’t mind me telling you this.  She also recalls the plays that they use to put on for the visitors to the home as often they were people who helped financially to keep the home running.  It was fascinating to introduce her to some of the older girls who were able to jog her memory and listen to them reminisce. As I was only a baby of 26 months old before I was adopted so therefore I have no memories of my previous life, in fact my life started at 26 months old…

One of the journeys we did do was to go to the place in Worthing where Lucy Clay lived, and where her ashes lay in Worthing Crematorium.  It was to be quite a moving and solemn day because it was here some 50 years on that Mei Yan could finally say Goodbye to a lady she remembers who took care of her and had been so kind.  For me it was a day to say, that although I have no memories of her, I needed to say thank you!

We visited many adoptees on the way in Worthing, Brighton and Portsmouth before Mei Yan and I retired to Southbourne to stay in a lovely guest house for her final 4 days where we could relax and have some long walks by the sea before her journey home.   I would just like to thank those of you who helped me with this journey, opening up your homes, offering us the hospitality that was so greatly appreciated.  It truly made the journey for Mei Yan a good introduction to our English hospitality.

1 Comment

  1. Kate Gordon -

    Excellent. It would be good to get some reflections from Mei Yan as an ” ‘outside’ insider “

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