The Blog

A story to warm your heart this Christmas

I don’t generally share personal stories but I thought this one needed to be shared, especially at a time when we’ve heard of so much heartbreak.

In my family we sometimes joke that, since my parents divorced when I was very young, “us kids” have been raised by seven women. Five au-pairs, my birth mother and my mother’s best friend. This story is about Tanya, my mother’s best friend – a lady we sometimes call my “surrogate mother.”

Tanya can’t have children. As you can imagine, this is something the majority of women never want to hear: it is impossible for you to conceive. It’s not surprising then, now that I know, that Tanya has always cuddled us to death, offered to look after us – even been our nanny (the woman who looks after you instead of your parents) for a month.

She’s a quick-witted, beautiful, caring woman full of laughter and has worked as a nursery matron for many years now. Her lively spirit and generous, thoughtful nature touches all who meet her.

Unwilling to give up on having her own child, however, Tanya and her husband eventually decided to adopt. So they began the process, searching in Moldova (her husband’s homeland). At the time, they were living in a lovely little RENTED country house, affordable based on their small income.

But that went against the rules. To adopt a child, you must own a house. For eight years they tried to complete an adoption. Three times their hopes were risen, but they always lost out to a richer family.

Tanya despaired. She couldn’t conceive children, and she couldn’t even adopt one. The main problem was still that she and her husband rented a house, but they just can’t afford to take out a mortgage.

Her heart broken, Tanya confessed to her colleagues and some of the nursery parents that the adoption process had hit an brick wall. It was unlikely to ever happen.

Her story reached the ears of one the parents. Now, bear in mind, most of these parents are sickly rich as Tanya’s a matron for a private nursery of some kind. I don’t know the full details. It’s rude to ask in England.

Knowing how wonderful Tanya is, knowing how hard she has tried, applied and worked to have children for over eight years, this couple (who we’ll call the Supers), picked out three houses.

The Supers approached Tanya and her husband and said, “We will buy you a house. We don’t want anything to do with it – if there’s a maintenance problem, it’s your problem – but we will buy you a house and give all ownership to you. You can have it for as long as you need it. When you want to move, sell it or rent it. It’s yours, just pick one of these three. Our only condition is that you never tell anyone our name.”

And so they chose. Tanya now lives in a beautiful house with her husband, and two years ago baby Elisa joined them.

I met Elisa for the first time today. She’s a wonderful little girl with soft hair, a constant smile and who loves to chat. She showed me the Christmas tree with its homemade decorations, her Lego cars and plastic coins. She also decided to call me “Hammer.” I’m not sure what that says about me, but lispy children are cute so who cares?

And all the while I couldn’t help noticing Tanya; the way she listened to her every word, the way she knew exactly what Elisa wanted, the way she told us about Elisa’s first nativity play.

On the ride home, my mother told me that all the parents from the nursery Tanya works at now buy Elisa Christmas presents every year – like toddler designer dresses (although I still don’t understand why such things exist).

It’s bringing tears to my eyes just writing this post.

Without the Supers who bought Tanya a freakin’ HOUSE, Elisa would still be in Moldova and Tanya and her husband would still be childless.

Whoever you Supers are: thank you.

i don't know what my feelings are doing


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