A short time ago I flicked through from my Twitter feed to this article from ITV news: “Growing number of parents flee to Ireland over forced adoption fears“.
After reading I retweeted the original link from @theonehandman adding “ouch” to the retweet:
I should have known from his comment. I should have been warned. But I wasn’t.
After a few moments as I stood cooking dinner I found myself feeling increasingly upset. I started to get cross. Did journalists and their colleagues really think Social Workers thought it was somehow ok to remove children without good reason? Did they think adopters wanted to adopt a child, any child, regardless of that child’s welfare?
I started to tweet a response (you have to read backwards I’m afraid, and it didn’t quite work, I managed to lose a couple of words as I tried to spread the rant over several tweets on my phone; the gist is still obvious though!):
As someone going through matching right now, I am entirely focused on making sure the match is right, yes for me but above all for the child or children I am matched with. I care passionately that we get it as right as we possibly can. There is no way on earth I would be doing this if it wasn’t because I believe that despite the hurt, the pain, the loss, the grief, the no doubt ongoing lifelong impact, the child or children I end up matched with need a new home because they can’t be with their birth families.
I totally accept mistakes are made. I am sure that there are cases where adoption was not, after all, the best possible answer. But I also believe these are hugely outnumbered by the situations where children have been removed from pain and harm, albeit possibly with permanent physical and emotional scars, and are as a result of adoption given opportunities for safety, security, healing, love and growth that may not have been available to them anywhere else.
After my first batch of tweets I segued almost immediately into a shorter but even more angry rant along with @BigKid255 as we shared our mutual anger at the rather different attitude (some) media also show in their attitude to older children in care and/or struggling due to harm in their earlier lives in other ways:
By this time my food needed rescuing (no point in allowing ITV to burn my dinner through stoking the fires of my anger!) and I recognised I needed to calm down.
An hour or so later – fed and watered – I am writing.
My anger is more muted now – though it would be quick, I know, to flare up again the most meagre provocation. I know that the answer is to turn it to good purpose.
For now my focus remains continuing my quest to learn everything I can, so that when my time does come I can be the very best parent possible (albeit that good enough is seeming ambitious just now!). In the future, who knows?
Before I walked away, called by dinner, I tweeted:
I was wise to walk away – the ever-valuable reminder to #TakeCare whispering in my ear. However I note the response of @NadjaSmit: a simple “don’t be sorry”.
He was wiser still.
I shall own today’s anger, and I shall put it to good use. I shall fuel it through me to help me stay focused, to drive for change, to keep on fighting for one child and for all children, for one family and for every family.
Sometimes it is right to be angry.
Today it is right I am angry.