Things were going along fairly well in our family in 1983.
Our elder daughter, Lucy was attending a ballet company school in London.
Anna, our second daughter had completed one year in the 6th Form College, where she was so relieved that it was a college for both boys and girls. She had had enough of an all-girls’ school!
Sam was about to move to a secondary school.
Jah had settled well into the family. He was now in his last year in the local Infants school.
And then D. received the telephone call that changed everything entirely for the whole family. He was invited to apply for an international role in the denomination of our church. Up till then he had always been a local pastor. If he were successful, this would mean a move to London.
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So far, during our married life, D. and I and Lucy and Anna had lived in:
- Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne for 7 years.
- Birmingham (briefly for 3 months’ training before going to W. Malaysia)
- Johor Bahru West Malaysia for 3 years. (where the girls could both switch from Malaysian- English to English-English at the drop of a hat)
- Caterham Surrey (for about 6 months, before the placement at the new church)
- Low Fell, Gateshead – back to Tyneside for 7 years.
- Leicester for just over 3 years.
Sam, who came to us as a baby of a few weeks, had lived in South London with an excellent short-term foster mother. He then lived with us in:
- Low Fell, Gateshead upon Tyne (where he picked up a lovely Tyneside accent)
- Leicester (where he quickly “lost” the Tyneside accent, because the Leicester children said they could not understand what he said.)
Jah had lived in:
- various places in North London, then
- Sussex (with excellent short-term foster parents)
- Leicester with all the family
Clearly, moving was something we were all used to and most of us were quite prepared to move once more. I did have a fleeting worry about Jah, but I argued to myself that if something were good for the family as a whole, it would work out for him. He looks quite happy in these photos taken in the first summer he was with us.
However in those days he was still settling down and was anxious about the formal adoption and now this was all behind him. He was secure in the knowledge that he was a fully-fledged member of the family.
(Reminder of the day that Jah came to live in our family home in Leicester, nearly 3 years previously. Photo taken before the advent of digital cameras. Nowadays you can retake photos, where you have cut off peoples’ heads!)
D. was successful in obtaining the new post and big plans had to be made.
When I look back, the move obviously affected the whole family, but I think that it had the most marked effect on Anna and young Sam. See my next blog post.