BAAF Blog

08 Sep 2014

John's wedding

Today we hear from Rachel who shares her memories of when her adopted brother arrived and how much he means to her…

I remember meeting my brother John for the first time.  I was 10 years old and he was 5 and had blond hair that stood up on its end.   He used to walk on his toes and was so fast at everything - we went for a walk that first day and he moved in soon after.   In my family, before John arrived,  it was me, my parents and my birth brother  Matthew  - when John came it was similar to a tornado moving into the house. 

We had a fairly idyllic childhood with a huge garden; lovely camping holidays and adventures and we had adoring grandparents and cousins that were a large part of my life. Then john arrived.   I never questioned whether he was my brother or not - he just was and still is my little brother.  

...


01 Sep 2014

Isobel Child with adopted son

I took a deep breath. I was on the phone to one of three local primary schools, explaining that I was in the process of being approved to adopt and asking if I could come in and visit so that I was well prepared when the time came to find a school place. Girl or boy, I wasn't sure which at that stage, but I knew already that my future child was likely to be what the adoption world calls "an older child", one of only 850* 5 to 9 year olds adopted from care each year.

That School Secretary's question was thankfully very untypical of people's reactions generally to my news, and she didn't get anything like a full answer from me, needless to say. In fact, my reasons for wanting a school aged child were less emotional and more practical (in particular around needing to carry on working as a single parent) and statistical (I was likely to be matched with an older, harder...


27 Aug 2014

Jeannie adopted Gordon as a single parent, when he was 10 years old. Here, she describes how she helped him with his education – both in and out of school.

Before I adopted Gordon, I worked in a residential school for children who had emotional and behavioural problems. One day, a social worker attached to the school invited me to join her in running a group for the parents. That evening, for the first time, I listened to the parents’ perspective and was humbled by their knowledge and understanding of the issues that affected their children, and of the role they were playing in their children’s education. However, it was becoming a parent myself that made the biggest impact on my understanding.

When Gordon came to me at ten years old, he struggled to read and write. He could not tie his laces or tell the time and he had some difficulty dressing himself. Yet within a year, he was not only able to do all of this, he was also reading at the same level as...


18 Aug 2014

Nick adopted young adult

In the final installment of this three-part series, adopted young adult Nick, shares his story of how he approached contact with his biological family. Catch up with his previous posts here.

So, off I went searching the ether and the net (techies will understand the joke) but couldn’t seem to find him anywhere.  I knew he was local, and had some information to go on, but I was struggling with this one.  Where is he?  Who is he?  Why does one person keep showing up when I’m looking for him?  

Well the first I could find on him was through my cousin’s sister in law -turns out, she knew his partner.  I sent a message to be passed from pillar to post until it reached him in the hope that he would contact me.  In the meantime, I thought that one person that kept appearing on social...


11 Aug 2014

Nick adopted young adultIn the second of three parts, adopted young adult Nick, shares his story of how he and his adoptive parents approached contact with his biological family. Read Nick's first post here.


The file provided information on my biological mother (father not named), and much more information on my siblings.  My Social Worker (who has been there every step of the tracing process – and is absolutely amazing) soon made contact with my biological mother and one of my siblings.  This was great, things were moving very quickly (yes, I’m impatient as well as nosy).

Then I had a call from my social worker telling me that my half-brother wanted to speak to me before I had any contact with my biological mother.  Well this was about to get interesting, so of course, that’s exactly what I did.  ...


04 Aug 2014

Nick

In the first of three parts, adopted young adult Nick, shares his story of how he and his adoptive parents approached contact with his biological family...


Well, the truth is, I didn’t really know myself.  Or did I?

My name is Nick and I was adopted from birth by two wonderful people.  They have always been, and will always be MY PARENTS.  I lean heavily to the nurture side of the argument (nature verses nurture) and I believe that my development was largely influenced by the amazing love and support that my parents gave me, and for that I am truly grateful to them.  I also believe that I am who I am, in part, due to the social influence that everyone who has ever been in my life has had.

I have always known that I was adopted.  My parents never hid this from me and I honestly believe that it was that openness and honesty that meant I’ve...


01 Aug 2014

HolidayAs an adoptive mum of a 6 year old girl, I understand that sometimes adoptive families struggle in certain situations, particularly change of routine, transitions and going to new places.  Holidays of course provide all these situations. 

Going on holiday can be an emotive subject for adopters and foster carers.  Whilst for many families, holidays are relaxed and care-free, for some children it's so stressful that their families never make it away.  Yet a holiday is one thing we all need.

Many questions may be going through a child’s mind, particularly if this is their first holiday with you.  Will there be food?  Are you taking me with you?  Am I coming home with you? Will there be a bed for me to sleep on? 

So here are 10 tips for making holiday time as anxiety-free and as stress-free as possible:-

1.    Prepare, prepare, prepare...


30 Jul 2014

Baby's hand being held

Leah and Jane adopted Luke when he was 11 months old. He is now seven-and-a-half. Here, Leah tells their family story...

We had been together 10 years when we explored the possibility of having a child. We felt we wanted to make it as equal as possible with both of us having parental rights. We thought about IVF but felt adoption was the right choice for us. Three months before our formal adoption of Luke, the law changed allowing couples to adopt legally. We were one of the first gay or lesbian couples to adopt equally. This was great because we wanted equality between us.

I found the introductions very tough and challenging. On the day we went to meet Luke, we ended up being about an hour late because I just found it so overwhelming to think that we were going to meet the child who was going to be our son. I just couldn’t get my head around it at all, I...


21 Jul 2014

Shadows on wall holding hands

This week's blog comes from foster carer, Gill, who reflects on the meaning of true hospitality in relation to her experiences of fostering...

This made sound very obvious, but I have recently read a book where the author very helpfully pointed out that the word “hospitality” has the word “hospital” in it.

Hospitality is different to “entertaining” or “having people over”. Entertaining is when my parents come over, I clean the house from top to bottom (or more realistically just the bits I think my mum will notice), and I put a lot of effort into cooking a really nice meal.

Nothing wrong with this, but it’s not hospitality. Genuine hospitality focuses on the needs of your guests, and can happen in a messy home where the washing still needs doing, you haven’t hoovered for weeks, and the kid’s toys are all over the floor. It requires you...


14 Jul 2014

Male in hoodie standing on hill

This is Kieran’s final blog for us where he brings us up-to-date. We would like to thank Kieran for sharing his life story with us and we hope you have found it as  insightful and inspiring as we have…

So, there you go, that’s my life to date. I suppose the only thing that is left for me to do is to voice my hopes and dreams for the future. Of course, I don’t have a clue how life will work out, who does? Having said that, I’m a firm believer that, if you want something badly enough, and keep on trying to get it – no matter what life throws at you, no matter how much you may sometimes want to give up - one day, you will succeed.  

Where am I now? I’m back in touch with my family plus additions in the form of new partners – something that, given what happened all of those years ago, I never thought would happen. My greatest wish is to build...