‘My whole perception about adoption changed the moment I saw my son’
My mum had a posh accent and wore white gloves, while my great-aunts in Glasgow stubbed out their cigarettes on their hands
My dad was a travelling salesman.
He knew how to be tough, but he was a gentle soul, with a soft side and a lot of patience. Once I was seven, he took me on trips with him all over north Scotland. I remember those times vividly. They are some of my happiest childhood memories. I adored my father. He had been an actor in Glasgow once, and he had put on this travelling salesman character in order to sell his fridges and freezers. Subconsciously, I got my first acting lessons from him.
My parents met at a dance in Glasgow
when my dad was 35 and my mum was 20. They were from very different backgrounds. Mum was a nurse and had a lower middle-class upbringing, and my dad was from a rough, workingclass area of Glasgow. Mum’s parents didn’t approve of my dad. But my mum got pregnant, so she had to get married. Her parents cut off all contact. I don’t think they even came to the wedding.
I am the youngest of four
– my dad was 50 when I was born – and my siblings would say I had it easy, that I got mollycoddled. But I don’t remember it being like that at all. I do remember my brother, who is 10 years older than me, throwing a garden fork through a snowman and it getting stuck in my leg. He thought it was hilarious and I thought it was pretty painful.
We were quite a poor family.
We had no savings and lived in a council house. My dad didn’t have a basic wage, he was only paid on commission, so he really had to sell to make a living. At one point, when I was 11, I had to share a bedroom with my older sisters. It wasn’t great, sharing with your sisters when you are that age. I fought with them a lot – I hit one of them over the head with a golf club. That wasn’t very nice. But my sisters were strong. All my family are quite small and my littlest sister, who is 4ft 11½, was particularly ferocious. She was like a Scottish Tasmanian devil. If I was getting hassled at school, she would step in and absolutely destroy people.
My mother always seemed very glamorous and charming to me.
All my friends and I were rough Fifers, but she had this posh Kelvindale accent and used to wear white gloves. By contrast, my great-aunts in Glasgow would put their cigarettes out by stubbing them on their hands. They had no ashtrays down in Glasgow. They were that tough.
You become ferociously defensive of your children
when you become a parent. I have three kids – twins aged 20 and a son aged three – and I would do anything for them. Trying not to worry about them is the hardest thing about it. Every day, you worry about them constantly. It makes you wary of everything that’s around you. You want to protect them for as long as possible. It is hard to just let go. You can’t.
With my twins, I tried not to tell them what to do.
They grew up very close and supportive of one another, but they would also fight a lot. My strategy was to try to let them make their own mistakes. When I felt I needed to step in and take a tough line, I did, but I was reluctant to do that because I never wanted to be an overbearing parent. I hope I managed to find that balance.
That one of my children is adopted makes no difference to the love I feel
for them. The first time I set eyes on Milo, I thought: that is my son – and he is. I love him just as much as I do my biological children. There is no difference whatsoever. I would put my life on the line for him, as I would for the twins. My whole perception about adoption changed the moment I saw him. He is part of me, 100%.