Gary Buchanan

I was adopted as a baby from Burwood Hospital. I never met my biological parents or siblings, all I know is that before I was adopted my biological mother had seven kids and chose to adopt me out. I have an adopted sister here in Christchurch, another in Hamilton and an adopted brother also. I am the oldest sibling.

I spent part of my childhood in Christchurch; my mother worked part-time in the factory next-door making the morning and afternoon teas. My father worked in the Labor department. Because of my father’s work we moved a lot. We also lived in Green Island in Dunedin, Auckland, and Invercargill. I think I attended about eleven Primary schools.

When I was in kindergarten, I went to North Beach Primary in Christchurch. I was put into a special needs class where all the other disabled children were. Living in Dunedin was difficult because I had to travel quite far from Green Island to the special needs class every day. Luckily my neighbor, a high school boy, took the bus with me. At that age, it was very scary to think about taking public transport on my own, but my mother always made sure I was safe. There were others that were always willing to help and watch out for me if I needed it.

Learning to read and write was very difficult for me, I also had other challenges. I didn’t walk until I was two and a half years old. They said I would end up in a wheelchair, but my mother never believed that. She hired Mrs. Harris across the road to help me. She was a ballet teacher and she taught from her house. She trained me to do a routine that helped me to develop my muscles. My mother also assisted me during this process. She used to put wires on my body and hook me to her, encouraging me to exercise my legs to make them stronger. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be able to walk today.

When I was a baby I also had a cleft palate so I couldn’t suck or be fed properly. My mother struggled to feed me, but she always found a way around it. She worked really hard for me so I could have a good life. Sadly, she died a few years ago. I miss her. I have left her bedroom the way it was left when she died.

I am a very social person; I go to many meetings and things like that. I have a good life. However, I would like to win Lotto and go on a trip to Australia or London. I would like to get married and have two or three kids, but at the moment my biggest wish is to get an eighty-inch TV. Having one would make my world bigger and better. It would help me see places like Australia and England from my own home. Watching people is fascinating because you can learn about others and how they live.