So. The forthcoming move to London seemed to suit Lucy and Anna, and Sam’s school place had been secured. I had to give in my notice to the International Voluntary Service, where I worked part-time. I had enjoyed that job very much but I just had to hope to find a new part-time job in London once we were settled.
D. and I were relieved that most of the problems seemed to have ironed themselves out. Sam looked rather pleased about the forthcoming move. In fact, we all were.
However, D and I both felt a bit bothered about moving Jah again.
He enjoyed the school in Leicester. He had quite a few friends. He loved playing in the garden. The new garden would not be so child-friendly.
He was quite happy at school. One of the things he was best at was running.
He had invited friends to his birthday parties.
He had a small bike and enjoyed cycling round the “block” with Sam. We couldn’t imagine that he would have that freedom in London.
But life is full of surprises. When we mentioned moving, Jah did not seem worried. He took it quite well.
D. was busy preparing for his new job, so Jah and I had one further thing to sort out before we moved. That was which school he would attend.
So now, to re-cap, The church had bought the house for us in London. D. and I thought that since it was near enough to the school for Sam to walk there every day, it would be obvious that the school would accept him. But clearly we did not know anything about pressure on school places in London or school placement policies. London was very different from Leicester.
We wrote a simple letter to our chosen Secondary comprehensive, explaining where we would be living and applying for a place for Sam. We then sat back for a letter of acceptance.
However, back came a reply that he was not going to get a place there and that he should attend the school that was even nearer to our selected house. If we really did want to apply to our chosen school, we would have to write again and explain why we thought this was necessary. The letter would then have to go to an appeal tribunal.
We put our heads together and compiled a three-page letter. We worked on it for a few days until we felt we had covered every point.
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We explained that we had adopted Sam as a baby. Now that we were moving to London, we realised that we needed a school that understood the need for an anti-racist policy. We thought it was an excellent letter. And perhaps it was?! We posted it.
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Eventually we received the welcome news that Sam had been granted a place at the school. It proved to be an excellent environment for him from the age of eleven until the end of the Sixth Form.
It is not often in life that parents can say “We got this thing right”!!
Fortunately I called my blog “Adoption Reflections” as well as “Multiracial family”. I think that allows me to indulge in sundry reflections now and again.
I have just spent several days in bed with a virus. Many other people have had a similar virus. Nothing very dramatic. However I just want to say that sometimes things that are not even dramatic have an impact on one.
Some forty years ago, when our first adopted son was a toddler, I contracted mumps. Mumps in an adult is no fun! Kind friends came to take Sam out for the day and all went well. However, there was the matter of restoring my appetite. Husband D. was willing, but the person with special culinary skill, time and patience to cook for me was a member of our church congregation. She was the wife of a retired police officer. Everyday she came round with a new delicacy, bland at first . . .
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and then more and more tasty. . . . . .
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….until I was fully recovered..
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I am sure that many people can remember quiet acts of kindness. I am simply pleased to be able to mention this lady Mrs Collins today. She must have died many years ago but her memory lives on.
In my next blog post I shall return to the Story of Jah and describe our attempt to get Sam enrolled into the London school of our choice.