I imagined you here in our home. I imagined you in your room decorated with yellow, playing with the toys I thought I might buy you. I saw in my mind your big brown eyes and the beautiful smile they described. I saw your big afro I would learn how to tame. I imagined the clothes I might pick out for you and wondered if you would like them too. I thought of you running around after your big brother, giggling and squealing with delight. I imagined too the teasing and the tears, the saying sorry and the making up.
And I researched and learnt. I thought about the books I would read you and the stories I would tell you to try to help piece your story together. I found out places I have never visited, cultures I knew nothing about and food I would learn to cook. And I was asked to write. I wrote for them all the things I would do to help you be proud of your heritage and who you are. I went to those wiser than me for advice and with their support I believed I could do this – be your parent.
I read your profile and believed I could meet your needs. I imagined how at times it would be tough for sure. I had already questioned the support that might be put in place to help us. I thought about the struggles you might face and I pictured how we might all support you and help you to stand strong. But I believed I could do it…be your Mummy.
But then, with a few words it was all shattered. My fears that had grown from the silence were confirmed and the bubble burst. I learnt now there was a miscommunication. Those higher up believed you were ‘harder to place’, that I was a good match for you and your SW would jump at the chance to place you. But they didn’t know you or what your SW had in mind. My own SW jumped the gun and thought it was a done deal – that your SW would see my profile and simply say yes. But your SW actually had something more specific in mind – a family who would reflect your cultural and/or religious background. A family without other children, where you would be the only focus of their mind. Your SW already had a family finder scouring the country looking for the perfect people – I was not the first port of call as my SW believed when she was given your profile to pass on to me. Had she known all of this I would never have read about you or known about you as I simply wouldn’t have been shown your profile.
And so I wonder, my little girl who never was, what will become of you? How long will you wait? Will they ever find you that perfect family – the one with the right colour skin and the right religion? I hope with all my heart they do and that you get to have a forever family who love you as you deserve…because we would have loved you of that there is no doubt.
And what of us? I am required to pick myself up, dust myself down and start all over again. I don’t know how long it will be until I am asked to try to imagine myself parenting another child. For now I don’t really want to think about it. Already I’ve been told, ‘The right child is out there’ and I know in time I will believe that is true again. But for once I am happy just to sit and wait. I don’t much care if the phone doesn’t ring for a while.