I've been overwhelmed by some stories that I've heard over the last few weeks, traumatic experiences of families as they live with the outworkings of trauma in their daily lives. Sitting in rooms talking to parents about the threats, intimidation, aggression and violence some live with I'm struck by the love that keeps parents going.
Love is amazing, it's an ethereal thing that doesn't fit that well into social work assessments. We can use words like bond, commitment, nurture, empathy and compassion but they're pale shadows that can only point us towards love.
Adoption works, however wonkily, because of love. What other 'model of permeance' would offer love like this. Fostering perhaps, but that's different. I say adoption works, I guess I really means that it often works.
The social media 'echo chamber' that I live in would suggest that all is not well in adoption. However, the figures suggest that more is right than wrong and for many children and parents adoption works, or at least is the best option left available for some children. .
Of course, adoption could be better, as a progressive I'm keen to see some of the dogmatic adherence to some aspects of it need to be swept away. Support needs overhauling, preparation and recruitment needs revisiting, you know all that.
But this week listening to stories of families living with abuse at the hands of their children it hangs heavy but love remains and endures.
I wish I'd been brave enough to ask, those struggling and those not, if they'd do it again and what would they say? What would I say?
The last year has seen some of the most challenging days we've had as a family. On the darkest of days, I've felt my love flicker. Those around me have given me permission to let my love die and to even 'make that call'.
But the love re ignites, how and why I don't know, and I find myself defending and championing and loving again.
It's rarely a Disneyesque, fluffy bunny, gushing sort of love more of a gritty, bloody minded, lime juice in a paper cut kind of love but love it is.
When I read that adoption isn't 'fit for purpose' I confess that I can't agree.
Would I do it again? Yes.