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Kia ora from Nanny

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

As this is the very first blog of the series, I think it is timely to introduce myself.

I was born Shelley Nonanda Harris to a young mother with very limited options. When I left

the hospital at 19 days old as an adoptee (temporarily lent, as my young mother thought/permanently signed over, as my adoptive mother decided) my life changed irrevocably.

After 10 months my adoptive parents divorced, after three years my birth mother, still trying to get me back, was killed by a drunk driver. After four years my adoptive mother had descended into alcoholism, along with various other family members, and I found myself alone in a world of dysfunction until, at the age of 16, I received a letter from my birth father and my life began to morph into a new reality.

Skipping forward, I married the love of my life at 19 years old, we started a family and had two beautiful sons who have now grown up, started their own families, and of whom I am immensely proud. I trained as a primary teacher, then trained to become a secondary school English and Drama teacher and have been teaching for more than 25 years. I also ran my own Drama school for 15 years until writing and drama could no longer co-exist.

From all my work with young people I am painfully aware of the situations that many find themselves in, and the difficulties involved in getting, or even reaching out, for help.

There are many gaps in the story I have outlined; the journey I made through childhood and into adulthood as a solo parented-child-of-an-alcoholic-adoptee navigating my way through life. It is this part of my story that I will share in coming blogs to explore what these experiences meant for me and what they can mean to those who live through them.

It is my hope that by sharing my experiences others may be helped through their own challenges. Shelley aka Susan aka Nanny:)

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