A woman abandoned in a phone box when she was just two days old has said she is desperate to find her birth mother.
Sarah Renwick was found in the phone box at in Blyth, Northumberland, at 01:00 BST on 10 July 1996.
A woman, believed to be her mother, called the ambulance service from the kiosk to say she had given birth and had left the baby there.
“I’m really hopeful, but at the same time I’m preparing that it might be the case where I never find out,” she said.
Although Sarah knew she was adopted, she had no idea she had been left in a phone box until recently, when she began researching her past.
‘I started wondering’
When emergency services arrived at the phone box in Renwick Road, nobody but the baby was in sight.
Taken to hospital in Ashington, she weighed 7lb 6oz and was thought to be two days old. She was clean and healthy.
The baby was named Sarah Renwick – after the police officer who found her and the street she was found in.
Adopted at the age of seven weeks, Sarah was brought up in North Tyneside before moving to Australia in 2007.
She lived there with her new parents and brother, who is also adopted, before moving back to Northumberland four years ago.
She now has a new name, but has asked the BBC not to reveal it or photograph her as she is now.
“Everything’s been great with my family… then we came back, and I’d met my partner, got engaged and had a baby, and then I started wondering about my birth parents.
“Growing up I’d always known that I was adopted and I’ve had a really really good life… I didn’t want to ask my parents about it in case they felt not good enough,” Sarah said.
‘Earth stood still’
A few weeks ago, Sarah, now 22, began searching local newspaper archives in the hope of finding out about her past. Finally she discovered cuttings from the time.
It was the first time she had seen herself as a baby.
She said: “I can’t really describe it. I was shocked even though I already had this feeling that that was what had happened, it felt like the earth stood still.
“I’d never seen a picture of myself as a newborn baby up until then and even now… looking at it, it still doesn’t even feel like it’s me. It’s a really weird feeling.
“My parents have now explained to me that they felt it was for the best I didn’t know, but they wished it had come from them.”
Sarah has created a Facebook page in the hope someone might have information that could lead her to her birth mother.
In 1996, police and social services carried out an extensive search and there was a public appeal but to no avail. The woman appeared not to have attended any prenatal or postnatal appointments and Sarah’s birth certificate was blank.
It is thought her birth mother called the hospital once she had been fostered and said she still loved her, then hung up.
“I thought if I’ve got no mum or dad on my birth certificate, I must have been abandoned.
“Blyth is a really small place. I just think that someone must know something and I just want someone to come forward so I can get answers.
“My baby is seven months old and it was weird, I’ve never felt different to everyone else, and it was when I was sitting in a room with my partner’s family, and they were all talking about how much he weighed at birth and how the baby looked like people in his family, I just sort of sat there and I was like ‘this is the only time that I’ve ever felt that like I’m different to everyone else’.
“I didn’t know my birth weight – well it’s in the paper – but my mum finds it upsetting to look through so she hadn’t looked to check.
“I just feel like it’s the circumstances that make me want to know why, was she OK after, and has it played on her mind? Does she ever think about me?
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“I feel like I’m preparing for the worst, which is that she wouldn’t want to talk to me, but I feel that what I want is to just get answers about what happened – where was I born, what did she go through and what was the deciding factor in leaving me.
“Just so that we can both get closure, because I feel that I’ve had a really good life and she might not have if this has been playing on her mind.
“I feel that if she knows I forgive her and we can have a discussion about what happened, then we’ll both have a weight off our shoulders and be able to go forward happy in life knowing that it’s out there.”
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk