I thought I’d tell you a story that happened to me quite a few years ago when I had my son when I was just 19. He’d changed my whole life and I was completely in love with him, I was truly smitten and felt like I suddenly knew what life meant! Everything fell into place and I was loving motherhood.
One day in 2002, my son would have been around 18 months old, I heard a news story, a newborn baby had been found in a phonebox less than a mile from our home. My heart sunk, how difficult must life have been for a woman to leave her baby? It hit me hard, I think because I had had my life transformed for the better by having my son yet for this woman things must have been so different.
It was on local news a couple of times and I couldn’t get it out of my head. They said the baby had been taken to our local maternity hospital where nurses had named him William. My thoughts of this baby were overwhelming, I just felt so sad for him and couldn’t imagine how his birth mother must have felt leaving him.
I decided to do something that I’d never done before or after, I gathered some old baby clothes and a teddy bear and took the to the hospital. At the reception I told them that I’d been touched by the story and wanted to donate some clothes to the baby.
They were suspicious of me, and requested I left my details, I think they wondered if he was mine. I was nervous but knew I had to share a little love to this lad. On the tag of the bear I wrote a little note. It said ‘To baby William, here’s something to cuddle till you find your mummy, love Sam Timm and Charlie’
That act helped me to move forward, I read in the news that the baby was in foster care and would be adopted and I felt good for passing on our gifts.
Years passed and I didn’t really think any more of that baby. I had another child and decided that i wanted to move house to somewhere where the kids would have room to play, space and fresh air. I’d visited the Butterfly House in North Anston a few times and loved it, when I realised they had a nursery onsite I was sold!
So we moved the 15 or so miles for a new start and I loved it. Our new home on a new road started well with a card through our door wishing us merry Christmas (we moved the week before Christmas!) it was from a family across the road and we soon met up. They had a son and our kids would play out on the cul de sac whilst we’d have a brew and chat. Everything was great.
Then a couple of years later I got a knock on the door, it was our neighbour and she asked if she could come in. I welcomed her and made a cup of tea. She held up a teddy bear and said ‘I want to thank you for this’. I looked at it confused and said it wasn’t from me! Her son was now 5 and a bit old for teddies!
She asked me to read the label.
‘To baby William, here’s something to cuddle till you find your mummy, love Sam Timm and Charlie’
For a second I couldn’t understand what was going on! Her son wasn’t called William! Then it hit me. I burst into tears and so did she.
She told me for the first time that her son was adopted. And that she thought she’d look through the clothes and teddies he’d brought with him from foster care, she saw the teddy for the hundredth time but read the label with a new recognition. Surely her neighbours and friends of two years couldn’t have sent this teddy?!
And that’s how we learnt that her son, the boy who had spent two years playing with my own had started life as a baby found in a phonebox in Sheffield all those years ago. And that teddy was there all his life till he found his mummy.
Is it fate or just coincidence? I don’t know, but what I do know is that it taught me that being nice and kind, showing love and compassion is always the right thing to do. You may do something as a throwaway gesture, thinking that it won’t affect anyone but our actions ripple out.
Be kind yo… you never know when it will come back to you.