Now I understand attachment, now I understand the avoidance.
You hid the real you, you played the game, you coped and kept coping.
What a good boy you were, did what you were told, played your part.
You held it in for 18 years, a good child and young adult.
Were the blips in behaviour the real you trying to get out? but you pushed them down.
You couldn’t play the part for ever, you couldn’t avoid the trauma and pain. The terror of what you’d seen and the pain of separation from those you loved.
You played the game well, so now be you.
We’ve not seen him for three months, occasional messages, promises of visits all fall through. He’s not the child we knew, I don’t think he ever was.
Now I understand attachment, now I understand avoidance.
At the end X shouts ‘I don’t even know why you adopted me!’
I pause and bite my lip, right now, I can’t think why either.
I don’t say anything because if I do I’ll say it all, 11 years worth of I don’t know why.
I bite my lip and walk away.
Sometimes it all rolls in like waves, one after another after another after another.
It takes all my concentration to hold myself against the pounding so I brace myself in anticipation of the next, inevitable, wave.
If I slip, stumble or lose my footing, if my concentration wanes or I become distracted then I fall.
The waves that were surging around my legs are now falling over me, I catch my breadth as the next falls and panic starts to grip me.
With all my effort I get to my feet again, and the next wave rolls in.
So today it was 52.
52 times you cared less about my feelings
52 times you shared your thoughts
52 times you pressed send
52 times you shared your feelings
52 times you made yourself felt
52 times you texted
‘I H8 U’
I have a place in my heart and mind where I keep all the ‘Stuff’. The name calling and shouting, the aggression and violence. I put it all in the box in my heart and mind they shut the lid. In there goes the tiredness and the relentlessness the uncertain future and the worry of what’s to come. I throw them in and slam the lid. Work stuff and house stuff, money stuff and all the stuff. In it goes.
The other day I felt the lid being opened without my permission. I managed to slam it shut.
I hope I can always slam it shut.
My life is defined by adoption but I can’t bear national adoption week. It feels like a misguided sales exercise.
This year I’m shocked by the narrative that is not being mentioned. That there are more adopters approved than children waiting. It hints at a failed policy. Perhaps the system is so inept that we can’t match children with families. Perhaps the approved adopters want cookie cutter children and the 4000 are not those children, complicated children with question marks over their age, history, behaviour and genes. Perhaps I’m wrong.
Perhaps #nationaladoptionweek was planned before the realisation that the figures would be like this. So, we lead the prospective adopters to the cookie cutter children line and make like its all ok. We wheel out the shining examples of how it’s all going to be ok and frankly I’m not sure that it is.