I go to Brighton every year to be where my Dad died on the day of his anniversary. It’s a day of reminiscing for me.
A few years ago, I was there sitting on a bench and a young boy came up and just started talking to me. I was impressed with how streetwise he was and more so that he had the guts to come up to a stranger and actually hold down a good conversation. He couldn’t have been more than 13. He said he wanted to be a chef and I was giving him some advice as I was recruiting for the hospitality industry at the time and knew how it all worked. He had a big cut on his hand where he had been ‘playing around with a knife and nearly sliced his finger off.’
He knew lots of places and regions in the UK and then it came out that he is in the care system. Although he had a zesty character you could see that he had lived – and perhaps not such a great life. He was beautiful inside and out. I couldn’t help but think ‘who would ever leave you?’ I wanted to put him in my car, take him home and look after him.
I could never forget him. His eyes seemed to be printed in my mind. All the way home and since I have thought – why didn’t I get a number for him and just check in on him once in a while.
It made me think about all of those children in similar situations.
IF THERE ARE ANY OF YOU OUT THERE WHO HAVE THE CAPACITY TO ADOPT OR FOSTER, PLEASE DO. There are thousands of kids out there who are just wasting away. And lets not forget the loads that go missing from the system every year. The authorities have no idea where they are. These children are a part of our society and we all have a responsibility to do right by them. They too are our future.
I fully intend to practice what I preach as soon as the timing is right for me.
So on a final note, if you can adopt or foster, please do. Make that difference to someone elses life.