Thursday 8 March 2018

Black, White or Grey.

Lately, I'm questioning the clarity of my sight in relation to adoption. As a family we've been woven into a system that is in perpetual transition along with society that's view on adoption is shifting.  I wonder if my experience skews my views, opinions and sight to the point where it can't see straight? 

'Some men just want to see the world burn' to quote the film Batman Begins and some days I feel like I want to run into the garden and shake my fist at the sky,  stomp the ground and go full on adult tantrum. Like lots of people I know I've been kicked round the block by the system. Six panels, two deferrals and a refusal, social care Initial Investigations, police, more courts, more police, breakdowns, return to care, formal complaints, two years of high court cases, handing children back then taking them back, reunification and that is just the lowlights. I could say much more but I've proved my point.

My feelings are complex and shift. Beyond my experience I can't help but consider past practice and some current practice I hear of and wonder if all is that well in adoption land. I meet people in the early steps of the adoption journey and I bite my tongue. I'm not going to be a naysayer, adoption is a mixed bag, to paint it wholly wrong or wholly right feels like a significant misstep. I encourage them and tell them lessons learn. 

Also, for all the darkness there is the light, I've wept with joy at school sports day, glowed when a child holds my hand, beamed with pride on prom night and all the firsts, of which there have been many. I've shared my worries and laughed with birth family who were once across a great divide but are now friends. I've had professionals that I've trusted my future on, literally, and I've seen professionals catch us as we fell and stand us back on our feet. Theres' been a lot of good. 

The temptation is to rail against a system, to focus on the failings, hurt and pain. My most engaged with blogs are the ones that raise concerns or are open and honest in relation to my challenges and less than ideal  stuff. They can be a rallying cry to those that struggle and provide comfort to people who are isolated and questioning their own experience. So, that's good but what is the overall effect?

It feels like there is general confusion in the media in relation to adoption. Clarity seems to be in limited supply with battle lines drawn for and against . I feel drawn between them, I want to keep the good but ditch the bad. I question myself, have I focused too much on the negative, have I shown too little of the good? I've thought long and hard about adoption and it is a mixed bag, it's a system trying to redeem difficult and tragic situations. I wonder what I'm trying to communicate, what I'm actually saying in all my tweets and blogs. In communicating the failings am I killing off adoption, I'm not sure. How all this pans out nobody knows.

What I want to communicate is that it hard but worth it.

I want adoption to be better and it needs to be better. Would I do it again, yes. Would I do it differently, hell yes. I'd kick and shout, I'd say 'no' more often and 'yes' more often, I'd ask harder questions and stand my ground. All that said I'd still say yes and every poll that I see reflecting on the challenges reflects that overwhelmingly.

But for me it was worth it.

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