Yoni; My Story

My life was changed by a social worker

My name is Yoni Ejo. Late on a Friday afternoon in Southampton 1965, United Kingdom, a social worker rang Kathleen (Kay) my soon to be adoptive mother. As a baby I had been living with foster parents who were going on holiday and I needed somewhere to be for a week. The social worker had just got to the end of a long list of unavailable respite placements.

Speaking to Kay, a lady who was soon to be my mother, the social worker stressed how late it was and asked a favour from someone who she knew was a reliable carer she could count on. She asked Kay to open a home to a homeless little black baby girl. Kay was happy to agree. After all it was just for a week or two! I arrived the same night and I never left.

I was the third generation of my birth mother’s family to grow up in care. My birth mother was in a relationship, having had several other children, when she had an affair with a black American seaman who was temporarily stationed in Southampton. Previously in care, adoption was I believe was transformational for me. Like my mother, grandmother and great grandmother before me, I could have bounced around a variety of children’s homes and foster parents. Instead my white parents offered me support and a place in their family.

Challenge

It was not without challenges, as we lived in a wholly white community, and I frequently experienced racially motivated bullying, at school and on the school bus. But all in all I know I was fortunate in many ways and benefitted from my experience. I am now passionate in my support of quality adoption and fostering options for children in care.

Positive options

I know however that not everyone has had as positive an experience. I want to use my professional and personal expereince to make they system better. I hope to be a small part of making adoption accessible to a wider range of children in families, from different backgrounds, countries and races.

No one considering applying to adopt, should feel that they can not because of their sexuality, race, ethnicity or disability, providing they meet the other requirements.

It is really important that children and young people from a variety of backgrounds can be matched with a family who can support them to build their confidence and individuality.

Diversityadopt.com provides you with the information you might need to decide if adoption is for you (I hope that it is!) as well as impartial independent information about adoption agencies. In due course Diversityadopt.com will build details so that you know what other adopter’s think of the agency you are considering to apply to.

Diversity Adopt is becoming a vibrant community of people willing to share personal stories and experiences with other adopters and prospective adopters.

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