Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The BAAF blog has moved!

For regular visitors to the BAAF blog, we have moved to a new home here: http://www.baaf.org.uk/blog - please head over where you can continue reading real-life stories about fostering and adoption.

This page will continue to stay live, but new content will only be added via the relocated page.

Monday, 3 September 2012

A care leaver who saw hope

This week on the blog we hear from Anu, who recently joined BAAF to help out with the 2012 National Adoption Week campaign. Here, she shares her story as a care leaver who saw hope.

As a fostered child life was a little hectic at times, especially because I was a very strong character. I was placed into foster care at the age of 13 and moved back home at the age of 15. These two years were confusing to me, but really do remain memories I will always cherish. Being a young teenager in West London at the time, it was very hard to find me a suitable placement as most carers wanted younger children. I stayed with family friends for two weeks then was placed with a family of Eritrean descent; coming from a West African and Latin background this wasn’t suitable for me as tradition, cooking and just way of life was very different, even though I was only13 I kind of knew what I always wanted.

I was then after a week placed with and Afro Caribbean family, which was probably where I felt more at home, more welcomed, especially now as I had a little sister and two younger brothers. My foster mother and father were very nice and caring, maybe a bit too much for me as I wasn’t used to getting that much help in anything I did. My foster mother was so kind and caring, even spoke about adoption and really getting me settled in. I loved the feeling of having a mum, or maybe it was just the reassurance that this is a new family for me and it can only get better.

I was raised by my father, was taken away from my mother at the age of 4 and later met her at the age of 16. Being raised by a man I had taken up this DIY attitude and started having problems with my foster mother’s maternal side, she would wash my clothes, make my bed, make me breakfast, which I wasn’t used to at all. I was used to cooking for my family, waking up every Saturday to clean the house from top to bottom. These caused problems between us and really hindered our relationship. I started being distant as I was a person who never really spoke when I had problems, but kept it in and will find another way of dealing with things, like being around others, like my friends and just staying out and not coming back, as I felt I would have to deal with the situation which I never wanted to do.

8 months later, my foster mother had called my social worker to say she couldn’t accommodate me anymore and I was then placed into a children’s home. 6 months later I had the choice to be placed with another carer or to go back home to live with my Dad. I had missed my dad so much so went back home, but situations didn’t get any better and I was placed in temporary care. I felt very let down by children’s services as all I wanted was to just be happy in one home and to be heard and believed.

I am now 22 years old and have a daughter of my own; I applied for the National Adoption Week intern position with BAAF as I felt strongly for what they believe. From my own experience I believe that children of all ages need love and a stable family, a little patience and understanding from a carer can really change a life. I started eating, drinking and breathing adoption, would spot newspaper articles and collect any information that would help me ahead of National Adoption Week. I am only scheduled to come in 2-3 days in a week so juggling responsibility at work, at BAAF, University and home will be hard but it’s not impossible; I like to see myself as an example of a care leaver who saw hope and went a bright future no matter the struggle or story, but stayed positive!

To find out more about National Adoption Week, head over to the campaign website. If you'd like to share your story on our blog, please email blog@baaf.org.uk

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