Saturday, 29 June 2019

The A&F Podcast Episode 65 - Interview with Lisa Cherry

This week we took the opportunity to speak to the lovely Lisa Cherry. Social worker, international key note speaker/trainer and care experienced adult. She is kind enough to share some of her personal story, how she arrived at where she is and we chat about a range of issues.

We discuss the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) message that is prominent at the moment and consider the pros and cons of that, residential care, ethos and values, international speaking, attachment vs bonding and much more with a sprinkling of banter.

Lisa has just started a podcast and you can find that here as well as a link to her website here.

As always a cheeky share on social media or a review on wherever you found our podcast would be appreciated.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

The A&F Podcast: Adoptee Conversations - Barry

In this episode Barry shares his story of being adopted with his brother in the 1960, their complicated and difficult journey and the impact of that through his life.

Barry is open and honest in relation to the challenges he faced and the impact on him as a child and adult. As always, we advice caution if you’ve experience of adoption as this may be upsetting.
I’m sure you’ll  find it interesting and if you’re an adoptee and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed or on our facebook page.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

A&F Podcast Episode 64 - What's in a Name? Stewardship and Adoptee Conversations

In this week's episode Scott and Al unpick the thorny issue of names. Linked to belonging and ownership do they matter or not? We consider the findings of the mini poll we did about surnames and then consider them in the context of looking at alternative permanence arrangements that are discussed in this article HERE.

We also discuss the views of adoptees and how to bring them to a wider audience without curating or filtering them.

Unfortunately, there's been a further 'incident' at Al's so listener beware this is discussed in the last few minutes and Scott becomes almost unconsolable with mirth at the recounting of the tale.

As always thank you for listening and if you're feeling warm and fluffy please do leave a review on iTunes to inflate our delicate egos, click here.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

The A & F Podcast: Adoptee Conversations - Polly

In this episode, I chat to Polly an adult adoptee  and she shares her views and perspectives on adoption.
Polly is frank about the challenges that she experienced as result of unsolicited contact from her birth family as well as the challenge of holding contrasting views of adoption and its processes.
Some of the details of her story may be upsetting for listeners who have experience of adoption from whatever perspective  so we advise caution. If there’s any doubt then give it a pass or ask a friend to listen to screen it for you.

We'd also like to say we invited Polly to come an share her experience and perspective and we'd like to thank her. We are not expecting her to speak for every adoptee and she does not purport to. It's her story and her perspective and as such we thank her for it and value it as such.
We hope you find it interesting and if you’re an adoptee and would like to share your perspective or experience then please do direct message us at our twitter feed or on our facebook page.

The music used was:
Together, We Can Make It by Neutrin05 |
Music promoted by
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Friday, 7 June 2019

20 years on, Questions and Answers

It's 20 years to the week that we started introductions for my big three kids.

What I thought then and what I think now is almost non comparable, adoption was not what it is now and I feel that we've tracked the shifts in our family lives. I don't recall difficult questions or debates in relation to the purpose and ethics of adoption or consideration of human right. Of course, they may have been there but I may not have had ears to hear.

I'm trying to listen now.

Sitting with my eldest we chatted about all of that stuff back then when she was a week off 6 years old. Her story and how it was seen then and how we all saw it now, our anxieties and failings. I concluded that we all dropped the ball for her and it all should have gone down differently. With regret I see that I didn't have the agency or oomf to speak up and on reflection I deferred to professional views, gave into my own preconceptions, was caught up in my own, and all of our, new lives together.

That nuanced stuff was put aside.  Identity, connection, justice, family all seemed too abstract or complicated compared to the daily, minute by minute challenge of shifting the life of a 27 year old me into parenting. It seems like a pathetic excuse now, but then it seemed all consuming and I'd bought into the 'adoption is always a good thing' narrative and had no capacity to question it.

Now, 20 years to the week that we met,  all that seems to matter is that nuanced stuff and that's the stuff that seemed invisible or on the periphery then.

If you ask any parent what they'd do differently there's likely to be a long list. In that regard we're no different as adopters. There's lots we did do differently the second and third time round. But you can't go back and undo what was done, hindsight is a swine.

The future of adoption is uncharted, we've been at low ebbs before, in 2000 we went to court and were one of only 2000 adoption orders made that year. Government ploughed money into adoption and the figures rose steadily to over 5000 in 2015 but now they're stagnating again and without the underpinning of cash and policy I'm not sure what the future holds.

How we care for children remains a key question, how we hold the tensions in families where questionable decisions were made remains a significant question for many families that jumped onto this bus rout only to discover it wasn't perhaps the one we thought it was.

Hindsight really is a swine. It's likely I'd do it all differently but for pure selfish reasons glad I didn't.

If I could have got that younger me in a verbal headlock what advise would I offer?

Relax, buy shares in Apple, but for heaven's sake talk less and listen more.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

The A&F Podcast: Episode 63 - Prof Beth Neil & the CoramBAAF Contact Conference

This is an unusual episode as Prof Beth Neil takes the reigns and talks us through the recent CoramBAAF conference on ‘Contact in adoption in the digital age: Where do we go from here?’ that went ahead on the 10th May. Beth and her team kindly interviewed a range of presenters from the conference including adopters, professionals and a birth mother and they are interspersed though the podcast.

The discussion reflects on some of the key points that were drawn from the conference by the contributors and Beth adds some context and highlights key elements of learning that attendees took from the day.

There's a little banter, a barking dog and the one or two audio glitches but nothing that makes it unlistenable. If you want to find out more on the research that the University of East Anglia has undertaken then please check out this website.

As always thank you for listening and if you're feeling warm and fluffy please do leave a review on iTunes to inflate our delicate egos, click here.