J aged about 9

I’ve been waiting for the last two weeks for my personal letter of thanks from Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson. I first heard about his thank you letter on Facebook and Twitter during National Adoption Week. There’d been a big announcement: “Adoptive parents across the country have received a personal letter of thanks from […]

Karen Vega Hobbs, Severance exhibition, 2014

** Silent Sunday

Barcelona, Gaudi house

“If you were a man, Mum, I’d be exactly the same. I’d still expect you to do everything for me”. I’d thrown out a casual accusation of sexism, something about not helping with the washing up, and always expecting me to make the tea. This had provoked an angry and vehement denial. For a moment […]

Pompeii floor

This monochrome floor, complete with swastikas, is in Pompeii, one of many hidden by volcanic ash for more than 1,500 years following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Almost all the city’s inhabitants died that day but their everyday objects remained: tables, beds, and chairs, these mosaic floors and some intricately decorated walls. The […]

image

My son J was nearly seven when I met him, and the last thing on my mind that first blissful summer was flying off into the sun. Just the opposite in fact. He’d had a very difficult start to life and had spent four years in foster care. So we stayed put so that J […]

Rugby legs

** Silent Sunday

J with his cousins, c 2006

Before my social worker would put me forward for approval as a single adopter, she wanted me to ask my sister and brother-in-law whether they would commit to bringing up my future child if anything ever happened to me. That wasn’t an easy conversation for me to initiate. Camilla and Lloyd had both worked for […]

Barcelona map

I wrote my first post for Travels with my Son exactly a year ago. I meant my blog to be a place to record my memories of J’s early days with me, and of our travels together. Of course I meant ‘travels’ in the sense of both our journeys to places with suitcases, and our […]

May Day, London 2014

I popped out of my office last May Day morning to withdraw some money from the bank, and found the streets full of good humoured protesters. The London May Day brings together trade unionists, workers from the many international communities in London, pensioners, anti-globalisation organisations, students, political bodies and many others in a show of […]

I have to be a bit careful what I say here as my father may be reading. I wouldn’t want to embarrass him now, although he had no such scruples when my sister and I were teenagers. Our parents were naturists, and if you have never watched your parents cavort naked on a French beach […]

Superglue

J threw back his head and laughed. I felt a small shiver of relief. “It’s just that I worry about you”, I said. “What am I supposed to think?”. Adoptive parents think differently from ‘normal’ parents about child development. It’s our territory. We know that neglect, abuse and the trauma of separation each mark our […]

J is adopted balloon

  Dear Judge MacGregor My mum thought it would be nice to write to you to tell you how I feel about being adopted. To be honest I don’t know how I feel because it doesn’t make much of a difference. I last saw V when I was 3 and I don’t remember her. I […]

All aboard the trauma train

This is a really important piece of writing from an adopter and foster carer who writes under the pseudonym All Aboard the Trauma Train. If you can, please share her story (maybe via email, Twitter or Facebook) with at least one person. A short extract follows, but read Kafkaesque Doesn’t Come Close for the real […]

Holy Island, Northumberland, UK

With adventure comes risk, but these photographs were taken not in a war zone or in a scientific compound, but on the street where children are free to walk. What kind of world have we created for ourselves? I am linking this post up to WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge on the theme of Adventure.

Anthony McCall, artist, Serpentine Gallery 2007

“But wouldn’t you rather have a baby?”. I took a deep breath. I was on the phone to one of three local primary schools, explaining that I was in the process of being approved to adopt, and asking if I could come in and visit so that I was well prepared when the time came […]

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