He­len’s happy home was filled with laugh­ter, un­til one ter­ri­ble day...

Pick Me Up! Special - - Real Life Fur-bulous! - He­len O’driscoll, County Cork, Ire­land

Smil­ing, I lis­tened to the rough and tum­ble as my twin boys played out­side. Pa­trick and Thomas, 9-and-a-half, were so full of life. ‘We’re go­ing down the park!’ they’d holler. ‘Be good then,’ I’d call back. Luck­ily, their older brother, Jonathan, 21, who adored them, was around to keep them safe.

When they got home, I’d ask what they’d been up to.

Swim­ming, play­ing footie against Jonathan… it was al­ways some­thing like that.

My hus­band, Thomas, 46, and I had taken Jonathan in when he was 3 days old, of­fi­cially adopt­ing him at 15.

We loved him like our flesh and blood. So did Paddy and Tom Tom, as we called them.

They all loved box­ing and karate.

Ob­sessed with motorbikes, Paddy would plead, ‘Can I get one when I’m older?’

While Tom Tom wanted to join the Army.

At 17, Jonathan an­nounced, ‘I want to find my fam­ily.’ We weren’t up­set. We un­der­stood his need to trace his roots.

Sadly, though, we couldn’t help him.

‘I don’t know any­thing about them,’ I said, re­gret­fully.

And so­cial ser­vices only had his par­ents’ names, not their where­abouts.

‘They wouldn’t tell me any­thing about my broth­ers and sis­ters ei­ther,’ he said. Jonathan was heart­bro­ken. I’d find him glued to re­union shows on TV.

A mum hug­ging her

My poor sons will never be for­got­ten

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