Cast your mind back to school. You remember the weird kids, the ones who acted a little differently, who struggled a bit more in school; the naughty ones. I don’t think I gave them the time of day, but maybe if I did, I would have found out that they were part of the UK’s adoption process.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a bully per se, but the school grounds are harsh terrain, and cultivates a brutal mob mentality. My strategy was to play it straight, and stay out of trouble, but not everyone can do that.
The UK adoption process, for all its faults, has at least made me a lot more introspective about how I view people. I am a little slower to judge, and a bit quicker to forgive.
I wish I had known back then what I know now, although maturity probably plays its part as well with that sentiment.
The mystery of the adoption family
I remember three kids in particularly, two boys and a girl. Back then they could pretty much secure a section of the bus without being bothered, all three acting in ways that the rest of us simply didn’t understand.
It wasn’t until about three years ago, rather sadly I admit, that the memory of this family of outcasts came flooding back, right in the middle of my own experience with the adoption process.
Their behaviour, demeanour and attitudes showed all the classic signs of children in care. The boy who misbehaves for attention, the boy who can’t look people in the eye, and the girl with an appetite for impropriety all shared the same foster carers.
The adoption process comes full circle
I have presumed, perhaps naively, that society has changed. We are now more tolerant, forgiving and understanding. Families no longer consist of mum, dad, brother and sister. Not exclusively anyway. Family life has taken a turn for the adventurous, and now expresses the variety of half-brothers, step sisters, and I hope… adopted and foster children.
So why is it then that the sniff of guilt I have about these three kids and my ignorance towards them, is poking at my conscience a little bit harder now?
The adoption process has come full circle. The hole that was my ignorance has been filled in by my own fate. My inability to father a child naturally has given me the power to father one properly. I can’t change the future of those three kids, but I have been given the opportunity to change the life of someone.
So it is, that where I once turned a blind eye to adoption, I now have been thrown at it with my eyes wide open. I am genuinely glad too.
I am all the better for it, that is for sure.