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Coventry woman abandoned at hospital as a baby finds mum after 40 years

Anne Harrison, 64, grew up in a children's home most of her life.

A Coventry woman has shared the heartwarming story of how she reunited with her mother 40 years after she was abandoned at a hospital.

Anne Harrison, 64, was left at St Cross Hospital in Rugby when she was just a baby.

Her mother, who came from Barbados, fell pregnant and was unable to look after her.

The toddler was then placed in an orphanage and later a white couple offered to foster her.

Anne soon realised she was 'different' in school because of her skin colour and was taunted and bullied by her peers.

She told CoventryLive: "It wasn't until I started going to school that I realised I was different.

"I had different skin and I was taunted and teased and children called me bad names.

"My white foster carers didn't treat me differently to any member of the family.

"They used to tell me to ignore the kids at school, but within the family I was treated as one of them."

When she was nine years old, Anne's foster parents emigrated to Australia and she moved to a children's home.

At 14, Anne received the shocking news that she had a younger brother living in a separate children's home.

She said: "When I was about 12 or 13, the authorities were informed by the police that my mum likely had a breakdown and was at hospital.

"She told the police officers that she had a son who lived in Berkshire at the time, and she had a daughter as well, which was me.

"We were both in different children's homes.

"Fortunately, we're both very close and we see each other on a regular basis."

At the age of 16, Anne decided to begin searching for her mother.

Anne's mother would write letters to her but refused to meet her children in person.

One day, Anne made a trip to London to see if her mother was at one of the old addresses she was writing from - but she wasn't there.

Anne decided to focus on her career but still kept searching for her mother.

That same year, Anne began working as a police cadet for Warwickshire Police and at 17 left the children's home to live in provided accommodation by the police force.

At 18, Anne was a working police officer.

After three years in the force, she decided to leave to become a social worker starting in Stratford and then moved to Coventry.

Anne felt out of place as at the time the city was predominantly white and she struggled to find people to identify with.

She said: "When I first came to Coventry I would very rarely see another black person.

"I was so confused about how to look after my hair, how to deal with my skin, were there any other people who looked like me.

"I was brought up in a white household, my foster parents were white.

"The children's home was predominantly white, being in the police force was predominantly white.

"I was one of the first black police cadets in Warwickshire."

In her late 30s, through the help of a friend, Anne finally managed to locate her mother.

She agreed to meet Anne and they set up a date to see each other for the first time.

Anne was 'overwhelmed' and 'emotional' meeting her mother for the first time.

Anne said: "I was a little overwhelmed.

"It was like looking at a mirror of myself, but it was emotional.

"I knew that she had been crying before we met.

"She still would not acknowledge me as her daughter, she kept saying we were meeting as friends.

"There was still that barrier and it still exists today."

Anne has met her mother at least eight times over the years - but it was always at a distance.

She added "I know very little about her or what she chooses to tell me.

"A little bit comes out each time we meet.

"It's little steps, but it's very much a distant relationship and I had to accept that this is as far as it goes."

Anne and her brother now live in different cities but are very close and see each other regularly.

Anne has released her biography, 'Call Me Auntie', about her life in care and the search for her mother available to purchase here.

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