Ping. It’s Wednesday, at a quarter to one in the morning and I am sleeping deeply. I miss the ping.
Six hours later, I wake up to a message on Facebook: I wrote you a blog post.
J is sixteen now, and half way through NCS’s three week programme for young people, The Challenge. He has camped, climbed mountains, canoed, caved and danced with old people in a care home. Somehow, in the midst of all that, in the night and on the other side of London, he has found the space to write down his thoughts about fostering and adoption. Here they are:
I’m adopted…... The words slip out awaiting a bombardment of questions. Of course the usual would be:
When did you find out? and of course the famous Was care like Tracey Beaker?
NO. It’s FUCKING NOT! I’m lucky. I spent those four years of my life with a caring family, and now all I have are good memories. But most spend those years being whipped from home to home like a package no one wants.
Do you know what that does to a human? Carting them around for months if not years. It fucks them up.
You move a kid from family to family for the duration of their childhood and they’ll suffer for so many years to come. It stops children and teens from building relationships and trust because they know in a few weeks they’ll move on, a memory from the moment they leave that previous family, their love and trust dashed to pieces.
Last week, one of the leading adoption charities went bust. BAF, British Adoption Foundation*. You’ve probably never heard of it if your not in the adoption community. Do you want to know why? Because adoption in the media, especially for my generation, is only negative.
BAF goes Bust
Child in care missing for 2 months after running away 5 times previously
When I was younger, I appeared on the front page of the Sun and the middle pull-out in the Guardian for National Adoption Week. I look back now and read the headline “We need mummys and daddys”. The article that follows makes adoption seem like a damn burden, sure its not easy, but your giving a disadvantaged child another chance. It’s not a burden, it’s something special, a reason to celebrate.
Fostering especially needs more positive media. For instance, near my house there is a two sided billboard, one side faces the road where everyone can see, the other a wall. One side advertises fucking water, the other changeing lives forever. Now then, care to guess which one faces the wall?
I’m not 100% sure why I wanted to write this. I had no prompt, no previous posts, I have never written something like this before. I’m sorry if my opinions or language offended you, please remember these are only my opinions and thoughts. Thank you for reading.
* BAAF British Association for Adoption and Fostering
I am linking J’s post up to the Adoption Social’s Weekly Adoption Shout Out, #WASO week 130.