This week I was going to write an autumnal post filled with windfalls, bonfires, jam making and the like. I know. Yawn.
Then this morning, as I was testing a pizza recipe (more about that in future writings) iPM appeared on BBC iplayer. I’d heard last week’s programme and been moved by it so decided to listen to the follow up . IPM ‘does’ adoption really well, perhaps because it gives space and listens without judgment or agenda. Last week an adopter talked with great eloquence about how her teenage son had spiralled out of control and the difficulties she’d experienced trying to access any kind of useful support. He now lives away from home and the title of the article ‘I have an empty seat at my kitchen table’ I’m sure struck a chord with many adopters raising teenage children from near or far who have been traumatised as a result of experiencing abuse and neglect in their early lives.
This week’s programme ‘you stitch it back together again’ was bursting with feedback from listeners who have been through similar experiences and have come out the other side. All had taken the trouble to contact iPM to offer the family hope for the future. One was interviewed. Sunderland University came forward to state their aim to become a centre of excellence in the UK for post adoption support (god knows we need one).
Some years ago a professional who has worked alongside our family for many years reassured me that although things may at times seem hopeless, all the good work, the extra-extra parenting, the hard thought out therapeutic responses, the long nights of reassurance, the standing firm during the storms, all endure, planted within the psyche of that young person and that there will come a time when the resultant healing will become evident, like the sun coming out from behind the clouds. At times I have clung on to that reassurance for dear life. I’m glad I have. Chez Donovan there is evidence of substantial healing; glimpses of incredible emotional intelligence, signs of gritty endurance and dreams daring to be dreamed. We’re not through the woods, but we’re travelling with hope.
I kneaded and reflected, as I have many times before, on the kindness and compassion of others who know exactly what it is to anchor around a traumatised teenager. To reach out across the airwaves as these listeners did, to offer hope, was I think, a profoundly generous act.