15000 kids and more

It’s 00 30. I should be asleep, today will be day 4 of 7 of work, and I’ve just came back from an oncall shift 2 hours ago. My second out of 5 oncall days this week. 

I’m just happy it’s the middle of the week already, cant wait till Sunday and get this week over and done with. 

So I thought I’ll write this before I go zzz cos I know I won’t if I procrastinate. 

I’ve finished watching a three part documentary on the processes of foster care and adoption in UK. Quite emotional really. 

Working in paeds now for the last 4 years, I’ve seen so so so many cases of child abuse or suspected child abuse/neglect. Most of it are young kids, usually less than 3 years old. A lot of them babies. I’ve seen kids with bleeding in the head, multiple fractures around the body, bruises, burns…. and these are the ones that are obvious (marks of abuse), the ones that makes it to us. Pretty sure I’ve only seen a trickle of what is out there. 

Working in a bigger, much busier hospital – I kid you not but there is a ‘safeguarding’ case all the time. Maybe once a week or two. Not all of them are proven. Sometimes we just suspect it and we do the work to try to rule it out. But it’s worrying that we even have to come across it that often. Are we being too cautious? I guess in the lives of children, I’d rather be cautious than not. I’d rather say – ‘sorry this is a horrible thing to go through, this is not a pleasant conversation but we need to do the examination and investigations to make sure everything’s ok’. Well, of course being the more junior member of the team, I don’t get to say those stuff but I will be soon insyaAllah. (3 more months to being a reg!)

Anyway, the documentary is called 15000 kids. And that’s 15 000 kids in the last year that needed adoption in the UK. The show was about kids that had to be taken away from their family due to unstable or abusive environment. I feel so so so much for these kids. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, and I just want the hug and keep the lil ones (pretty sure M would not be happy if I do bring one home for real!) Whenever the kids are in hospital awaiting investigations and their parent(s) are not allowed access except for supervised visits — these are the ones that usually have unexplained bruises/bleeding in the head/multiple fractures —, so they’re in their cubicle or cot and have no one visiting them. My heart really goes, you know. They’ll be sitting in their cot, some crying for attention. Once I was on night shift and I was walking past, noticed the kid crying and crying and crying. The nurse was busy preparing the morning drugs. She said he’s been awake since 5 am and crying but she couldn’t give him all the attention. So I went over to him, got her to give me his milk and gave him a feed. I feel for these kids…I wish I could be that person who is there for them. 

And the thing is, these kids are so so innocent now. They’re just like any other kid. They like to play. They love attention. They know nothing. But come a decade or two, what they’re going through might just influence and shape them. They’ve come from a difficult upbringing and then into foster care… adoption if they’re lucky. And the stats are not good.

“27% of the adult prison population has been in care and almost 40% of prisoners under 21 were in care as children (only 2% of the general population spend time in prison).

Only 6% of care leavers go to university – compared with 38% of all young people.

One third of care leavers are not in education, employment or training – compared with 13% of all young people.

I think there was a point in the documentary of a kid awaiting being adopted – saying she wants a mummy. She’s been in foster care for 2 years since she was 6 years old. She knows that’s not a long term option and they’re not her ‘mummy and daddy’. I thought – I never had to think that. I’ve never been in a position as a kid thinking – there’s no one out there for me. There’s no one who doesn’t want me. I am so blessed to have a childhood where I took having parents, having a home, for granted. I never had to think about it. I just knew that someone would be there for me. 

(Of course, now I know parents are not immortals. But I’m not a vulnerable child anymore, am I?)

And I cried watching the show, for all the kids who is waiting for a home. For all those who just wants a nice place and nice people to live with. ‘Who loves you, and looks after you when you’re poorly, and who you’re with forever.’ <—- Girl in documentary’s definition of mum and dad. 

I cry because I’m happy Zayan has that. Thank you, Ya Rabb, for everything you’ve blessed my family with. 

Much love, me





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