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"I Won't Live With You Anymore"

The words our Son said to us after we asked him to not do something and what may happen if the object broke. No raised voices. Nothing said in anger but he believed that if something broke, he would not live at home anymore. For a year he has referred to it as home and now he saw it as our house without him. We’re pretty sure there was no intention behind the words spoken, as young children of similar ages are not aware of the meaning behind the language used. However this was heartbreaking for us to hear.

We recently shared this moment on our Instagram and Facebook as it’s important that we share all aspects, not just the good. Some perhaps saw this as a moment where Little Man had been angry with us and that he said he didn’t want to live here, as though he was threatening to leave. This isn’t the case here. For adopted children and children in care, the meaning and intention is so very different, hence why I wanted to share this blog with you. This was Little Man clearly confused about his belief that he would live elsewhere.

The reality is that for some adopted children, they have been in the care of the Local Authority for some time and in turn they may have moved often, or only once for this feeling of rejection to manifest itself. This moment was not an altercation of heightened emotions - he said it with such honesty and a calmness about him that it made us wonder if he had felt this before.

We are more than one year of Little Man coming home, which is not a long time considering the time spent with birth family and foster families. We constantly reassure him about our home and that we are a family. We know in the coming years there will be occasions, as all parents face, where their children say they don’t want to be part of a family and to live there. We have all probably had those moments growing up. I certainly remember it well.

However for adoptive families, this is different. It is far from the same scenario and is important that continual reassurance is given to help guide and support children to feel confident that there home is home. This can take years despite the children being settled. We must consider their backgrounds. It is not uncommon for Looked After Children (LAC) to have lived in numerous homes (either with birth family whilst assessments were ongoing) and then possible multiple moves to different foster families. This gives children the belief that they may be ‘moved on’ again. Absolutely heartbreaking to think about but we will continue to ensure Little Man feels safe, secure and loved at home and that he knows we are his family.

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