I cannot tell you how many times we have been told how lucky the boys are that we adopted them. And it simply isn’t true, although I understand the sentiment behind the view. We are lucky to that we have the boys, we are a family made, and whilst I blog a lot about the difficult times; there are many, many good times too.
But – and isn’t there always a but?
Adoption is based on loss. A birth family loses a child. A child loses their birth parents. Many adoptive parents lose their dreams of what their family would be like.
But it goes beyond that. Our boyo lost 3 sets of parents before he was 2. His birth parents and two sets of foster parents. And those losses run deep into him and effect him every single day.
I need you to pause and think…think about how you felt when someone you loved died, a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a good friend. Think about grief. The sadness. The despair.
I will repeat myself… Boyo lost 3 sets of parents before he was 2.
He cannot believe in forever. He cannot believe that we will always be here for him. He struggles to believe that someone he knows will collect him from school each day. If he cannot see us, he cannot believe we care for him. His core beliefs have been affected by his loss.
I have said before on my blog, I have 3 incidents that come to mind whenever we talk about this… when one of my friends had a new baby, he was absolutely sure that one of her older children would have to go to a new family. When Jelly was placed, he believed he was going to a new family. When we moved house, he believed that he would stay at the old house and have a new family.
We visit Boyo’s last foster parents. He needs to know that they still think about him, that they still care about him. We visit every 3 or 4 months. After each visit Boyo struggles for a few days and nights; but the regular contact actually helps him. He loves that his FC’s have photos of him on their wall, alongside the other children that they have fostered and moved into adoptive homes. He loves hearing stories from when he was with them.
We also see Jelly’s FC’s but as they live in the same village as us, it’s not so arranged, we bump into them in the village every few weeks!
The contact with these people is important for both boys. It reminds them, that just because they don’t live with these people now, that they are not forgotten about. And this leads to the idea that their birth families still care about them. For my boys this is important when they are trying to sort out their stories. Boyo at 6 is starting to process and understand the basics.
My Mother In Law always tells us that we should not be in contact with their fc’s. It just reminds them that they are different. If you didn’t make such a big thing about their pasts they/Boyo wouldn’t have the issues that he has. Of course he doesn’t remember living with them. None of this is true, no matter how much she would love it to be so.
There is no cure for these losses. They exist and nothing we can do will wipe out them out. So instead we spend our lives explaining the high level of anxiety and fear that Boyo has and justifying why we need to keep both boys foster carers in our lives; part of their history, part of their family, part of their existence.