Father’s Day

I write this with trepidation knowing that it will open wounds, and knowing that what I write may be what I feel but whether or not it is a good idea to share that I am unsure. However, I know that I believe in honesty, openness and transparency along with the discussion that follows. So I am sharing my thoughts in the hope that the discussion will be positive and helpful to people.

This is a sensitive and emotive area. However, not discussing and not being open doesn’t help in the long run.

We have had a lovely father’s day today. My daughters came round to cook steak and chips for my husband, who normally does a lot of the cooking, so he had a night off. We did normal family things together, nothing exciting due to work commitments but we spent time together. My father, who has sadly passed away, was in my thoughts all day. My father in law was telephoned and ideas and thoughts were shared, he lives nearer us now so we can see him more regularly which is great.

This is all normal. As a society we put such great store on these days, and for years I resisted the commercialism. However, I now celebrate them as an opportunity to share our love. When our adopted daughter was under a S.20 agreement she called us on mother’s day and father’s day. It meant so much to us that I cannot even express it, we could not initiate that so for her to choose to contact us meant so much. This year was different. It was the first year that K. had been in contact with her birth dad. She proudly posted a picture on social media of the first father’s day she had spent with him. I really don’t have a problem with her meeting up with and reconnecting with her birth family, in fact I would have preferred to have had an open adoption so that she knew them all the way along.

There is one concern I have… he is a registered sex offender, having gone to prison for the sexual abuse of her siblings. I am trying so hard to respect her and be open minded as I don’t know him, but it is hard, especially when she is now expecting her first child and I am so concerned that the cycle will continue. I hope I am wrong to worry.

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The Transparency Project

Yesterday I attended the first ever conference for this titled ‘Is Child Protection System Fit for Purpose?’ It was a humbling and enlightening experience. To have solicitors, barristers and judges, Mckenzie friends, social workers, guardians, academics, birth parents, care leavers, adoptive parents, journalists, bloggers, Councillors, teachers, charity groups and others that I probably don’t know about all in one room, all with a joint purpose to improve the Child Protection system, was a humbling and uplifting experience. I truly believe that this is the start of a movement to improve things. With so many people interested, knowing that as a society we can and must do better, it can only move in the right direction surely? I hope the people with power listen and learn. If you want to learn more – look at the twitter feed from the conference #CPConf2015 or join the Transparency Project.