Monique Karsky-Fisher is trying to find the mother she last saw 36 years ago.
She also wants to trace the father she has never known, and two long-lost sisters.
“I just want to find out where I come from,” said Monique, 47, who was brought up at the former Norwood Orphanage from 1969 to 1984, and now lives in Israel. “And why I was put in a children’s home.
“I last saw my mum when I was 11. I know almost nothing about her, and I know nothing at all about my dad.”
Monique says she has blocked out many childhood memories, though she does recall her mother, a market trader, selling sheepskin coats.
She remembers receiving a fifth birthday present from her Norwood “parents”. She moved to a smaller home in East Finchley when she was about nine.
She was cared for there until she was 18 by her house parents, Sheila and the late David Miller, who died last year. She attended JFS, trained as a hairdresser and then made aliyah with Hanoar Hatzioni.
She believes that her mother’s name was Mandy Karsky, though she may also have used the name Minnie.
Monique’s Norwood file contains a 1981 phone message, from Margaret Hext, a friend of her mother.
It said that Mandy Karsky “fell in love with a man, got pregnant, didn’t think she told the father and had a child”. She is believed to have subsequently married a Mr Peters.
Monique, a divorced mother-of-three, has a sister called Alison, born on May 1966 and another, aged about 44, whose name she does not know.
“However much I want to find my mother, I can’t get over the fact that she put me into care,” said Monique, who lives on a moshav near Nahariya. “I remember my mum saying to me I had a father, who had passed away. But when I applied for a passport, aged 12, I discovered he wasn’t even named on my birth certificate.”
The only contact she has had, albeit indirect, was during the first Gulf War in 1990. Her mother sent a message, through
Sheila, the Norwood house parent, to say she would be there if she needed her.