Listen to five black women talk about adoption

Liam’s new family

For the last year Liam* and his foster carers have – like all of us – managed a life in lock down. One year on, and now Liam is approaching four years old, Jon and Adam* reflect on caring for him while he waits for a new adoptive family.

‘Liam has been through a lot in his early life, and he has made progress since coming to live with us. He is a determined survivor, who knows what he wants. He’s curious and is satisfied spending time on his own or with his sensory toys. Liam is non-verbal, so we’ve learnt to understand what he needs and when. Jon has knowledge and training with children with Autism, but through living with Liam, we can see we’ve all come a long way. Now we recognise the signals he gives us. He does show affection and love towards us, and when tickled, his laugh is a joy to hear. If Liam can’t get what he wants, he can sometimes become frustrated and we give him what he needs as he won’t accept an alternative. If his routine is disturbed, we know we need to get back on track quickly, but then we’re off to nursery for Liam, where he enjoys his day and spending time with his key worker, and Jon and I work.

On a typical weekend, we might have a morning of breakfast and Peppa Pig on the TV – the sight and sounds keep Liam occupied. Sometimes we visit family, and Liam will walk into their house and start exploring the room (everyone knows to keep anything they value out of reach!) once he’s done that, he’ll either want his sensory toy, an electronic devise or the TV on and he’ll be settled. He won’t really interact with anyone – except me and Jon, but sometimes it’s so lovely to see, when he’s ready, he’ll take one of our nieces by the hand and lead them to the trampoline in their garden. It’s his way of saying, ‘I recognise and trust you; come and share a game I love’ and that’s it, he’ll enjoy that for … well, a little while at least, then it’s back on his gadgets!  And that’s OK, the girls know him, accept him and love him, whatever he does!’

Support for adoption

The team at Adopt London is looking for a family – one or two parents, with or without older children (at least four years senior) to care for Liam. It’s important he knows that you, as his new family, will be his forever family, and to support this, we can offer a package that will allow you access to therapeutic support and help with his education and health.

You will need patience and love, and whilst an understanding of Autism would be beneficial, it’s not a necessity. With the commitment to understand his world and to seek training and support from professionals and other parents, you’ll be able to support him to become the best version of himself. As an adopted child, you’ll help Liam understand his early life experience and promote his identity.

Contact us to find out more

We know caring and loving a child with Autism can be incredibly rewarding and recognise it has a range of challenges for parents and carers. Growing up in a nurturing and accepting family environment can significantly help children with Autism. Liam’s social worker Amy* has known him for over two years, and says, ‘He is a real fighter, an amazing little boy to come from the circumstances he has to be able to enjoy life today. He connects with people wherever he goes in his quirky, affectionate and cheeky way.’

If you could be Liam’s parent(s), we’d like you to contact us. His Family Finding social worker, Veronica, will help the right family understand more about him, and the uncertainties in his life. Please call on 07826 904639 or email [email protected].

*names changed