Sun and Moon for the Birmingham Reunion, September 2013

Posted on September 28th, 2013 by Debbie

Written by our lovely Janet, Thank you.

Friday’s dawn cast a rich golden glow as I bade hubby a romantic farewell (“don’t forget to put the bins out”) and, in some trepidation, set off for a reunion on my own for the first time. But I knew I’d be among good friends, and that’s indeed how it turned out – wonderful company and an enjoyable mix of things to do together. For instance, several of us shared dinner that evening and on Saturday I joined the group exploring the new Library.


Birmingham’s new public Library, the largest in Britain

This is an interesting modern building designed as a golden treasure box. Was the architect let loose with Spirograph? Inside we walked or went by escalator/travelator/lift through imaginative non-angular spaces cleverly flooded with natural light. From the top floor (9th) we admired the city panorama, and then strolled round the roof eco-garden.


Viewing gallery

The combined Museum, Art Gallery and Edwardian Tea Room (for me, a winning combination!) is by contrast a grand historic building but no less impressive.


Lunch in the Edwardian Tea Room

The afternoon’s reunion was structured (with a ‘facilitator’ – thanks, Sanjeeta) yet it felt relaxed and informal. The atmosphere was just right for the intimate telling of adoption stories as we shared and also supported each other. There were some very moving stories indeed. Among many subjects we discussed our approximate birthdays, racism then and now, trying to obtain documents, and the intermittent post-adoption support or total lack of it. Debbie reported on the recent meeting of four mothers along with their daughters, and we heard (read out from a written piece) the viewpoint of mothers who’d adopted. We also heard perspectives directly from a sister of an adoptee and another’s husband who’d come to the reunion.


The reunion

Chinatown was bustling as it was the Autumn Festival. Against the odds Kate had managed to book the Ming Moon restaurant, in the end avoiding a particular pub chain. Ancient Chinese proverb, it say: “Better to eat with chopsticks than with wetherspoon.” In fact, it was fork for pork (etc) as chopsticks weren’t provided. It was westernised but still lavishly oriental, whose help yourself buffet kept calling to me. Over 50 Asian dishes, oodles of noodles, sushi and dim sum – how could I resist. This was a really fun time when I could catch up with some friends I hadn’t been able to chat to earlier. Some of us went for drinks afterwards, and visited a Chinese food supermarket the next day before we finally had to part company.


Lunch on Sunday

As I neared home, still remembering the reunion, I watched the bright orange moon as it rose (still mostly full) and thought of the egg yolk = moon in the Autumn Festival mooncakes. A beautiful way to end a brilliant weekend.

Thanks so much to Kate who organised the weekend and to Debbie who contributed too. Thanks to Ian for three of the above photos.


  1. Laura tan -

    Lovely funny and informative piece. Wish I could have been there. Sounds like a fabulous mix of sharing, support, exploration and food. Thank you Janet, really enjoyed this.

  2. Kate Gordon -

    Oh dear, you didn’t spot the chopsticks cunningly placed at one end of the buffet :-) Thanks for writing this Janet – it’s good to have feedback from others. Laura – perhaps we can consider setting up Skype in future.. says she who’s never Skyped in her life. There are some Skypers, so it wouldn’t be a problem.

  3. Debbie -

    I was sitting diagnonally opposite Janet and I was using chopsticks! Anybody else use them? Ha ha!

    Janet this is a fantastic piece of writing I could not have put it better myself with your wonderful witty warm humour that we have all become a custom to. Well Done!

  4. Janet -

    Thank you, all. Obviously I’m not that observant – probably I was too intent on the delicious food to see chopsticks :-) I hope others will also write something, as it would be lovely to get different perspectives.

  5. Fiona Shea -

    What a nicely written account of the day. Yet another wonderful reunion I have missed! Wish I could have joined you especially in the new Birmingham library…..maybe one day. Perhaps Skype could be a solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *