Sometime in 2009 my husband and I decided to adopt. We had wanted to start a family for a long time and well, to cut a long story short, it just wasn’t happening. So we approached an adoption agency to find out more.
Two long years later and we are now adoptive parents to two small children, aged 2 and 3 years old.
I have been an avid writer for many years, dabbling in student and community pieces following a degree in English Literature. However life, work and other things took over and my writing lapsed a little as I struggled with inspiration. Following our adoption journey I find myself with an awful lot to write about – not just what I have learnt from our own children but what I have learnt about adoption, fostering and the journey of the Looked After Child (LAC) along the way.
The fact that I also work in the field of Children’s Services and Education makes this area such an integral part of my life. I am and remain acutely aware of the needs of those children who have not had a conventional start in life and who are misunderstood or unsupported. I also know from a first-hand perspective now just how essential proper support and awareness is for those who do support these children.
I used to think that those who fostered and adopted were pretty few and far between but I now know that whilst this is a small community, it’s a growing community due to the increasing number of children now in need of care. Furthermore I find that those directly involved in LAC care – be it through social work, fostering or adoption – often complain of the same thing: that we need to raise awareness in wider society of the complexities of caring for a LAC or Adopted child.
This awareness varies from helping to understand what a child who has experienced trauma, neglect or abuse may be feeling and how this impacts on them in the short-term and long-term, to therapeutic parenting techniques, Lifestory work, attachment and change. Adoption and fostering is increasingly in the news as part of the government’s ever-changing agenda and figures of children who are LAC each year are rising, despite the lack of prospective adopters or foster carers coming forward.
There’s also quite a few celebrities who are adopting children (particularly in the US) who are bringing the concept of a family made by adoption, into the arena. I’m not promising mention of Angelina or Madonna but perhaps this indicates an increasing need to further real understanding of adopting or fostering a child who hasn’t had a conventional start in life.
The Adoption/Fostering round-up will hopefully aim to bring together those bloggers and posts which share the common ground of this area. I hope it is useful for all involved, all who read it and hopefully the children out there. I expect there will be some common and serious themes but also a chance for bloggers involved in LAC care to come together online and let off a little steam!
Parenting a LAC or Adopted child has it’s up and downs just as parenting all children does – goodness sometimes they can make you laugh and cry and sometimes at the same time! At the end of it all though the greater awareness and understanding we can raise together, the better.
My own blog can be found at www.maryamlane.blogspot.co.uk and I am on Twitter (@MaryamLane) where I have been delighted to find a small but tight adoption and fostering community who like me, love to chat.
If you have something that you would like to say about adoption, fostering, social work or any related area, please let me know and I will do my very best to include you in the round-up. Likewise if you spot a great post by a fellow blogger who really deserves a bit of a shout-out, please get in touch. I’ll be keeping out an eye each month for those in the blogosphere involved in adoption/fostering but if I miss anything you can contact me at email@example.com , via Twitter or my blog above.