December 4, 2021, 9:21

    Woman abandoned as baby reunites with mum 40 years later ‘but only as friends’

    Woman abandoned as baby reunites with mum 40 years later ‘but only as friends’

    A woman who was abandoned at a hospital as a baby reunited with her mum 40 years later.

    Anne Harrison, 64, was left at St Cross Hospital in Rugby in Warcs. after her mum, who came from Barbados, fell pregnant and was unable to look after her.

    The baby was placed in an orphanage and later a white couple offered to foster her, CoventryLive reports.

    Anne soon realised she was "different" in school because of her skin colour and was taunted and bullied by her peers.

    She said: "It wasn't until I started going to school that I realised I was different.

    Anne Harrison grew up in a children's home most of her childhood
    (

    Image:
    CoventryLive/ WS)

    "I had different skin and I was taunted and teased and children called me bad names.

    "My white foster carers didn't treat me differently to any member of the family.

    "They used to tell me to ignore the kids at school, but within the family, I was treated as one of them."

    Anne's foster parents emigrated to Australia when she was nine and she was moved to a children's home.

    At 14, Anne received the shocking news that she had a younger brother living in a separate children's home.

    Anne and her mother met for the first time with her son, Roy, in 1995
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    Image:
    CoventryLive/ WS)

    She said: "When I was about 12 or 13, the authorities were informed by the police that my mum likely had a breakdown and was at the hospital.

    "She told the police officers that she had a son who lived in Berkshire at the time, and she had a daughter as well, which was me.

    "We were both in different children's homes. Fortunately, we're both very close and we see each other on a regular basis."

    Anne started to look for her mum when she was 16.

    Anne's mother would write letters to her but refused to meet her children in person.

    One day, Anne made a trip to London to see if her mother was at one of the old addresses she was writing from – but she wasn't there.

    Anne decided to focus on her career but still kept searching for her mother.

    That same year, when Anne was 17 she began working as a police cadet for Warwickshire Police and left the children's home to live in provided accommodation by the police force.

    Anne was a working police officer and after three years in the force, she decided to leave to become a social worker

    At 18, Anne was a working police officer and after three years in the force, she decided to leave to become a social worker starting in Stratford, East London and then moved to Coventry.

    She said: "When I first came to Coventry I would very rarely see another black person.

    "I was so confused about how to look after my hair, how to deal with my skin, were there any other people who looked like me.

    "I was brought up in a white household, my foster parents were white.

    Anne Harrison's foster family with foster dad (far right) and foster mum (far left) carrying her
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    Image:
    CoventryLive/ WS)

    "The children's home was predominantly white, being in the police force was predominantly white. I was one of the first black police cadets in Warwickshire."

    In her late 30s, Anne was able to locate her mum. She agreed to meet Anne and they set up a date to see each other for the first time.

    Anne says she was "overwhelmed" when she met her mother for the first time.

    Anne said: "I was a little overwhelmed. It was like looking at a mirror of myself, but it was emotional.

    Anne began working as a police cadet when she was 17
    (

    Image:
    CoventryLive/ WS)

    "I knew that she had been crying before we met. She still would not acknowledge me as her daughter, she kept saying we were meeting as friends.

    "There was still that barrier and it still exists today."

    Anne has met her mother at least eight times over the years – but it was always at a distance.

    She added "I know very little about her or what she chooses to tell me.

    "A little bit comes out each time we meet. It's little steps, but it's very much a distant relationship and I had to accept that this is as far as it goes."

    Anne and her brother now live in different cities but are very close and see each other regularly.

    Anne has released her biography, 'Call Me Auntie', about her life in care and the search for her mother available to purchase here.

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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