By Vasundara R, Team iDiva | posted Oct 9th 2015 at 3:59PM
Most adopted children grow up wondering who their biological parents are and usually only a few lucky ones are able to find an answer to that question. Elizabet Purve was one of them. Four days before she turned 42, Elizabet, a Swedish national with roots in India, got the best birthday gift.
Her two-decade-long search for her biological mother ended in a Maharashtra village, in Amravati district on September 12.
But for Elizabet her reunion was no less than a miracle. She wrote on her Facebook wall, “In the beginning of this year, I was asked by a person to write down what I wished for the most in my life. I remember I wrote “To see my mother in India again” on a piece of paper. In August my wish came true when ACT (founder) Arun Dohle and Anjali Pawar found my mother; in September I went to India and was reunited with my mother, after 42 years of separation. It is so huge so it still feels surreal. Totally incredible! A true miracle!”
Elizabet, born Neelakshi Purve, doesn’t remember much about her early beginnings in India. She was barely three years old, when a Swedish couple adopted her from an orphanage in a small town in Maharashtra in 1976. Growing up with three white siblings, Elizabet Jorendal, as she was then called, was always conscious of her racial differences. “When you don’t look the same as anyone else in the family you realise soon that there is something different. There were other children in town adopted from India and Ethiopia, so I knew that I was adopted.”
When she was 10 years old, she started thinking about tracing her roots and her biological family. This happened when a teacher at school in Sweden asked her to make a family tree. “All I could think of at that point was, this is totally useless for me, because I am not related to these people,” she said in an interview with Times Now.
The question that haunted her was, why? “I knew that I had an Indian mother somewhere and that I had to find her.” Elizabet’s adoptive family came to India often. She studied at American Embassy School and lived in Vasant Vihar, when her father was posted in Delhi during 1987-88. “My parents were in touch with the children’s home from where I was adopted,” she said.
At the age of 20, Elizabet decided to search for her mother. “First, I went through the adoption papers and files my parents had but the information in them turned out to be wrong,” she said. “The children’s home from where I was adopted proved unhelpful.” She came in contact with ACT last year and they were able to trace her mother to a small village, where she was living with her son from her second marriage.
Elizabet’s biological father had committed suicide before she was born and her mother had no choice but to give her up because she had nowhere to go and no way of surviving.
After such a long and trying wait, the reunion was ‘surreal’ as Elizabet put it in her Facebook post. “My mother now has two grown-up children. When we met, my identity was kept a secret from her family, who have no knowledge of my existence.” They met at the house of Elizabet’s maternal aunt.
“She was in the room silently watching. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. All I kept thinking was that…she is so beautiful! Language was a barrier but it was all very emotional. When I was about to leave, I broke down and she wiped my eyes with her sari. I knew then she loved me.”
Elizabet spent two days with her mother and took her shopping. She has now resolved to financially support her mother from Sweden.
Image via elisabetpurve.blogspot