Every child deserves a family that loves them
We were sitting at our kitchen table and I was talking, with J, to our then five year old son. "<Social Worker> came to see us today. He he has found someone who needs a new Forever Family and thinks we might be the perfect family for.... her."
Outwardly remaining impassively calm, J and I both winced internally as I finished that sentence. In the post describing the first part of this journey to our second child how our son had been very clear about wanting a little brother.
NOT a little sister. "Girls smell," apparently.
Our son sat looking thoughtful.
"This little girl? Does she need a new family then?" He asked.
"Yes, she needs a Forever Family just as you did." J answered.
"Did she have an old Mummy and Daddy who fought each other? Like me?" He asked.
"We think so," I answered gently.
"Did they.." Here he listed some of the unpleasant incidents he had either witnessed or been subjected to, including a couple of examples we hadn't heard before for good measure.
I swallowed hard. "Not all of that, there's a lot about her we don't know and will never know. She's little, much smaller than you were when you came to live with us, so had less time to have bad stuff happen."
"But she needs a new family to love her?" Our son asked.
"Yes," J answered. "She doesn't have anyone, she is living with foster parents at the moment."
"Is she living with <our son's foster parents>," making a link back to his own experience again.
"No, a different foster family," J replied.
Again our little boy thought for a few moments. We were both surprised that the proposal of a sister hadn't met the negative, 'I don't want it to be a girl' reaction we'd expected.
He spoke as if to himself, rather than us. "She has no-one to love her. We have room in our family for her, she needs a family to look after her just like I did."
"We should let her come and live with us, everyone deserves a Forever Family who love them and make them happy."
We both sat with lumps in our throat as his gaze went from one of us to the other.
"That's that then. Can we play Xbox now?" He asked jumping up. Decision made. Life moving on.
Sometimes a child's clarity of thinking can cut through all the concerns and hesitation you have as an adult, trying to weigh up risks and consequences.
In that moment our son did so for us. His processing of the information we gave him and his own feelings distilled the decision down to something quite basic, kind and good. The little girl had no family to love her and look after her. We had room in our family for her. We would love her and look after her. Ergo she should come and join our family.
We are both incredibly proud of our son. That conversation is a perfect example of why.