As an adopter or applicant to adopt, do you think the world is looking a lot more dangerous than it did three months ago?
With Corona virus, recent demonstrations and unrest, it can be daunting to consider steering an adopted child to become confident and secure. Each adopted child will have their own difficulties and challenges already, due to the loss and trauma they have already faced. Without also negotiating a world that seems to have become very dark.
The violence we have seen meted out to protesters in America this week, with Police running protectors down with their cars shows how far we are from a compassionate and loving society. Communities are angry and demand change.
A conversation with my Mother
These events remind me of a conversation I had with my mother, in 1976, when London was also burning during a riot, protesting another death of a black man. My mother was telling me how unacceptable it was that “they” were breaking into shops and stealing.
Much of the footage showed rioters filmed showed black activists and this truly affronted her. “Why don’t they go back home?” she said.
I stared at her in amazement. What! Did she really say that to me? I realised even at 11, it hurt. Particularly as I knew I looked very similar to many of the rioters.
What did what she had just said mean for me? Where would I go? Where could I go, I was born here?!? Did she mean even black people born in the UK, were now foreign when they protested and especially if they broke the law?
I was trans-racially adopted, at the age of 18 months. I loved my parents who are now sadly deceased, but as they were in their 50’s when they adopted me, they were much older than my friend’s parents. They appreciated the difficulties I might experience as a black child to some extent but not fully.
My parents were untrained in their views about black people, adoption or the impact of me having been removed. This was try especially for my mother, who took on many of the prejudices she read in the papers.
They didn’t know where to get advice or support and to some extent they thought that love would be enough. Love would prevail. My parents struggled to talk about difference and when I came out as a lesbian, phewweee! You can imagine the ructions!
Today the terrible death of George Floyd and the many black and ethnic minority men and women before him, should be a wake up call for us all. A reminder to understand and challenge racism or discrimination where ever we see it.
I wish my parents had been given more training and advice when they adopted me in order to understand the changes in mindset they needed to make. They found it challenging to bring me up to feel confident about myself, when they couldn’t always express positive feelings about all of the person I was. They largely gave me a solid family base which I valued, but the process of getting there could have been easier for all of us, had they been better prepared!
Give Yourself the Best Start in Adoption Course
As a result of my parents’ and my own experience as an adoptive parent of two girls myself, I am creating an online course for adopters who want to have the best start. This course has been formulated from my experience of over 30 years supporting children in care, foster and adoptive carers. We introduce adopters to the ‘Reinforces’ approach, a strategy to build your confidence and mindset. The work will also provide evidence of your commitment to self development which is great evidence to panel or placing social workers.
If you think this course could help you, please register your interest below and receive more information when the course is launched.
Please use the link below to be added to the waiting list.
I look forward to talking to you then.