A girl born in jail, put into foster care at two and adopted when she was 4 was amazed when she met her beginning father at 18 and realised he had at all times stored and treasured a sonogram picture of her within the womb.
Gifted the “very particular” picture by her dad, Tiegan Boyens, now 20, says the picture has helped her piece collectively her id and start to grasp “the puzzle of who I’m”.
Rising up, Tiegan, a sociology scholar from York, at all times knew she had been adopted, as her loving adoptive mums Maggie, 54, and Anne, 57, talked to her overtly about it and typically helped her write letters updating her beginning grandparents on her life.
However she had no contact along with her father, Jay, 47, till she was given his telephone quantity at 18, and at their first assembly he confirmed her the picture he had at all times stored for her.
Tiegan stated: “Most adopted individuals don’t have child photographs, not to mention ultrasound pics, so it’s very particular to me.
“It’s like a chunk in a puzzle of who I’m. He stored maintain of all of it these years and has now given it to me.”
After being born in jail, Tiegan spent her first 5 months along with her mum in a mom and child jail unit earlier than being moved to reside along with her dad.
She stated: “He did the very best he may but it surely was robust for him. I used to be moved into foster care once I was two.
“I don’t have an earliest reminiscence of being adopted. It was a really traumatic time so I feel my mind has shut down these recollections, however I’ve at all times identified I used to be adopted and it was at all times an open dialogue with my adoptive mums.”
Through the years, Tiegan, alongside along with her adoptive dad and mom, wrote letters to her beginning grandparents.
She stated: “My mums would assist me write notes to them, protecting them updated with how I used to be doing. We’d ship footage of me too so they might see what I regarded like.
“They have been very supportive of me protecting that line of connection open.”
Tiegan says she at all times questioned about her beginning dad.
She stated: “Rising up, I’d take into consideration him. At college, we’d all be making playing cards for Father’s Day or I’d see my associates with their dads and it might make me miss him.
“At 18, I obtained his telephone quantity by way of household. He knew I’d keep in touch however I feel he was shocked by how shortly I messaged him.”
Simply minutes after getting his quantity in October 2020, Tiegan despatched a textual content introducing herself to her father.
Over the following two months they slowly obtained to know one another.
She stated: “At first, we despatched textual content messages backwards and forwards every day earlier than organising a telephone name in December 2020.”
She added: “We determined to speak over our PlayStations in order that we may play video video games collectively if we have been struggling to speak.
“However ultimately, there was no awkwardness and we didn’t must play any video games – it was like we had by no means been out of one another’s lives.”
However as a result of Covid pandemic, a face-to-face meet-up must wait.
Tiegan stated: “Not having the ability to meet up immediately was an excellent factor as a result of it gave us time to bond and get to know one another first.
“We spoke on the telephone commonly and have been texting every day. He was actually open to attending to know me and I feel he was delighted that I wished to be in contact with him.”
In September 2021, Tiegan organized to satisfy her dad at Burton Agnes Corridor, a stately house customer attraction, close to Driffield.
She stated: “My mum, Maggie, had barely pulled the automotive to a cease and I used to be leaping out of the again.
“I ran over to him and threw my arms spherical him. I don’t have any recollections of him from childhood so to really spend time with him in individual was good as a result of I obtained to see his mannerisms and quirks.
“The very first thing he stated was, ‘Hi there Tigger’, a nickname he’d given me as a child.”
Tiegan says the pair spent the afternoon catching up.
She stated: “At one level, he obtained out the sonogram pic of me and I used to be amazed. I by no means thought I’d have something like that of myself.”
Tiegan has since met up along with her dad quite a few occasions and has visited her paternal grandmother too.
She stated: “I went spherical to her home and he or she was exhibiting me slightly chair that I’d sit on as a toddler. I couldn’t consider that they had stored it.”
Now, Tiegan – who has additionally had contact along with her beginning mum – is supporting the nationwide adoption marketing campaign, You Can Undertake, to focus on the significance for adopted individuals of figuring out the place they got here from and feeling related to their previous.
Tiegan stated: “I feel sentimental objects is usually a essential a part of that.”
She added: “Plenty of adopted individuals received’t have child footage however they could have a blanket or teddy from their previous. Holding onto this stuff helps to offer us a way of id.
“I feel it’s essential to be instructed you’re adopted from the very starting. My mums knew they weren’t simply adopting me, they have been adopting my complete historical past and household as effectively.
“There are nonetheless struggles, you’ll by no means get each piece of knowledge however there have been 4 years of my life earlier than I used to be adopted, and that’s nonetheless a part of my story.”
Nationwide adoption strategic lead Sarah Johal stated: “It’s actually essential for adopted individuals to find out about their very own historical past, their household and the place they arrive from.
“Having continued relationships, the place that’s protected and applicable, is right – but when not, it’s important for adopted individuals to have info, tales and keepsakes, as connections to their previous can actually assist youngsters as they become older and develop a optimistic sense of id and emotional wellbeing.
“With this marketing campaign, we need to present that adoption shouldn’t be a line within the sand.
“That’s why, throughout Nationwide Adoption Week, we’re urging individuals to seek out out extra about what trendy adoption appears to be like like and shining a lightweight on the continued journeys of those that have been adopted.”