I first met Justin, Jazz’s brother, when I took her to say a “goodbye forever” contact with him and her other brother Freddie.
Afterwards it felt all wrong. Freddie was going to be adopted by a lovely couple but Justin was in a children’s home aged seven. Considered “not suitable for adoption”.
I can’t tell the whole story here for fear of going on a bit, but after fighting for over six years including a court case, Justin came to live in a house next door to Jazz and on a long term therapeutic foster placement. The years of safe family life lost in that process and the lack of quality care in the time he waited was unforgivable.
Its been a hard struggle to take part in the parenting of two traumatised children as many adopters will know all too well, but I don’t regret it at all. Myself, my friends and family have provided security, continuity and love to him, particularly Claudia who bravely committed to being his main mum at a very young age herself.
Although living next door to each other the children were a part of each others lives every day, especially as neither of them attended school. The support they needed as individuals caused a lot of stressful and attention seeking behaviour from them both and I could see why the court made the decision they needed a mum each, as I was a single carer.
Many years have gone by and as things stand the pair of them are not particularly close due to Justin’s behaviour which caused Jazz a lot of upset when they were in their teens. I think she loves him despite this and they had many fun times together as children.
Justin is a lovely man and it’s his 21st birthday tomorrow. I wish I could have got him out of the children’s home sooner and I wish he hadn’t experienced the things he did whilst in there. I feel honoured that he considers us as home. I will always admire his gentleness despite the horrors he has experienced, as well as his amazing woodsman skills, trying his hardest to be the man of the house.
I feel a lot of respect to those adopters who parent siblings who are traumatised. I feel siblings should be together if at all possible and where there is no risk of further trauma by being together.
As in many areas of adoption so much more is possible with the right support in place.