CatholicCare’s Adoption program goes right back to our earliest days, and we are privileged to have Betty’s story as a testament to this life changing program.
Betty found her home with her Mum and Dad, Francis and Jessie Tuckett on 14 November 1938, when she was just seven months old.
“I knew I was adopted from the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau,” says Betty. “But Mum and Dad are Mum and Dad. I don’t call them anything else.”
CatholicCare’s adoption program has provided support and assistance to families since 1935, and it is the only state-wide adoption program in Victoria. Services range from assessment and accreditation of adoptive families, the placement of children into adoptive families, and support for individuals who have been adopted to access their records and potentially re-unify with biological family.
I caught up with Betty one afternoon over the phone, and she shared her touching story with me.
Not only is Betty one of our earliest clients that we are in touch with, but she has also been a loyal donor for over 30 years.
Betty’s earliest memory of CatholicCare was when she accompanied her parents to bring home her new brother Peter, who was also adopted through the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau’s adoption services.
Reminiscing about her childhood, Betty said “Mum and Dad gave Peter and I the best education they could afford. Probably more than they could afford. And we had a very happy life. Peter and I were both very lucky getting the parents we got.”
“They took on two children and gave us such love and affection. I thank God every day.”
Betty rediscovered CatholicCare during one of our annual appeals held in churches around 1990, and has been a donor ever since.
“I'm very grateful for what CatholicCare did. I’ve been very, very lucky. That's why I support you. This is one small way I can say thank you.”
Betty is particularly invested in CatholicCare’s adoption services (for obvious reasons!) but says she is happy for her donations to go towards services most in need.
We would normally have met Betty for our annual Mass of Appreciation held in November each year, but COVID-19 has meant that we have had to cancel this event for 2020. When asked about what she misses the most during lockdown, she said “I’m just waiting to get back to church and receive (Holy) communion!”
Betty has reconnected with her half-sisters and tells me with immense pride of the beautiful handmade quilt they made for her 80th birthday.
Betty was married to her late husband George for 45 years and they have two beautiful sons. She is extremely proud of her family and “proud to be the daughter of Francis and Jessie”.
“I've had an interesting life. You have to keep going and try to do the best you can,” says Betty.
We are deeply grateful to have people like Betty be part of our mission in helping people to live “life to the full” and we can’t thank her enough for sharing her story with us.
Photo: Betty and George at their wedding.
Rozanne Perera | Donor Relations Administrator & Pre-Marriage Educator
“I knew I was adopted from the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau. But Mum and Dad are Mum and Dad. I don’t call them anything else.”
CatholicCare Donor & Adoption Program client
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