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Can the forums recover?

Donatella September 23, 2019 12:17

What Safia said. I’ve tried but the log in thing drives me potty. It’s not logical given the boards are open - and it often takes more than one attempt to actually log in. Who knows why but it’s a pain. There’s such little traffic now. I know lots of the more experienced adopters just don’t bother - the whole message thing is bonkers. My kids are all teenagers so being a member really doesn’t offer me anything. Lots of stuff is geared towards parents of younger children. I’ve fought those battles and in the main won them. I now have one son at university and two other kids who are doing really well in school. I have a fair bit of hard earned knowledge and experience - but can’t pass any of that on via DMs because I’m not a member! And I’m not forking out to become one just to be able to give back.

This forum helped hugely when we were struggling - now I find my support elsewhere as I know many others do.

Edited 17/02/2021
Agape September 25, 2019 02:06


Have you ever thought about writing a book? You are right, you not only have helped your own kids but hundreds of others that your input cannot just go because the AUK forum is slowly (dying) going (despite Scott’s best efforts but now he’s leaving). Could AUK publish your book???? Just think the amount of writing you’ve done already in this forum. That’s your book!

Anyway, just a thought.

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia September 25, 2019 09:14

Agape - that is a brilliant idea! You can see how strongly I feel about it by the fact that I have logged in to reply - so not a lighthearted decision!

Donatella - I have followed your story for many years - since your second son was a toddler and before your daughter joined the family (I think - my memory is not as good as it was!) I remember all the struggles you have had yourself to work out what you are dealing with and your long and hard fought battles for the right support and intervention. I remember some of your personal issues too which you were always very open about. You have been a role model to me and an inspiration - as have many others - now long gone unfortunately. I never contributed for years and in fact have only on a very rare occasion posted for advice - but on something so obscure I never got any replies. I have got all my information from this forum - books to read / conditions to investigate and websites to explore.

i agree that you should seriously think about writing a book - it would not just be an amazing book for adopters but also for parents of children with SEN if not all parents and an amazing story of human resilience. I would like to know all the factors that have led to your children doing so well too - how you have contributed to your son developing art talent for example and what you have done for your own support. So do think about it seriously - as Agape says - there is lots of information already there to provide the outline

Edited 17/02/2021
bluelizard September 26, 2019 11:25

I think this is a great idea! There has been so much good advice on the forum over the years that has helped me. Some was useful information about very practical matters, some has challengde my approach and set my thinking in different, often useful directions and there have been so many anecdotes that have made me laugh and some that have made me cry. All has been shared openly in the spirit of supporting our adoption community. Without doubt the forum has helped me navigate some tricky times with my AS and helped our relationship grow. Like many on here, I certainly don’t want the treasure trove of information and advice to disappear and I do try and log in, as often as I am able, and given that I am a working Mum that isn’t always that easy.

Anyway, back to the idea of the book. Donatella, your words are so wise, and it would be great to capture that in a book. However, writing a book is a time-consuming thing. I’m sure there are plenty of old hands on this forum who would happily write perhaps an article or anecdote for a book. Perhaps a collaborative approach could be the way to go? Would AUK be interested in such a book? I know there are many more books than when I started my adoption journey. I remember reading lots of American publications, useful, but somehow don’t necessarily reflect all the experiences that UK adopters have. I'm sure there is room for some more UK publications.

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia September 26, 2019 12:17

There are some really good books about - but this would be something quite different - as you say lots of people could contribute - or it could be written from the archives - if AUK are interested - maybe a new project for Scott?

Edited 17/02/2021
Zora September 28, 2019 09:26

Fantastic idea to write a book.

Sadly, it cannot replace what we have lost here which is a community. A book cannot speak back to you, provide the comfort of 'I know how you feel' at the moment you require it. It can be informative, it can help with strategies, even let us know others have walked this path before. What it cannot do is reach out and reply to us, it is a one way conversation.

Sadly, this forum has been eroded, people have moved on to other platforms. I frequent other forums, but would prefer to post more here. I do not like the fact that Facebook will keep track of all of our sensitive comments. Yes, we may access a closed group there, but the data can still be used by Facebook.

I find it astonishing that people think they have to change things all the time, there is this obsession that new means better when the forum in its original format was well-frequented, user friendly and met the needs of its users.

Every time changes happened no-one ever said 'I like them'. Calls to return to the old format were not taken seriously and bit by bit people fell by the wayside. And no-one thought of the easiest solution, which would have been a return to the original format, a tagged post re. proposed changes enabling folk on here to vote for them or not. Maybe even give feedback of what they would like to see. I am sure this would have been far cheaper than this massive overhaul.

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia September 28, 2019 11:06

Agree completely - a book would definitely be second best! Also the point you make about why changes were ever needed at all! And the point that no one has ever said anything positive about the results - that definitely should tell AUK something - it’s not as if there were some complaints from old diehards but lots of positive praise from everyone else!!!

Edited 17/02/2021
Serrakunda27 September 28, 2019 13:15

I'm sad to say that I think I am done here. When I first started out I learnt so much from these forums, far more than I learnt at prep groups and any official training I had. I attribute the successful adoption I feel I have with Simba in large part to this forum. I have stayed because I felt it was important to give something back.

I agree wholeheartedly with what Zora has said. AUK has probably invested a huge amount of money and time in these developments. And the result has been the destruction of a conmunity which no amount of tinkering around the edges with like buttons and emojis will bring back.

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia September 28, 2019 17:03

That is very sad Serrakunda - I know you are very committed to the boards and supporting others but can perfectly understand your decision - I keep saying the same but keep on returning!

Wishing you and Simba all the best in the future - I think I followed your story since Simba was very new and you have done amazingly together - long may it continue!

Edited 17/02/2021
CatLady1 September 28, 2019 17:09

Serrakunda, I just wanted to echo what Safia said. I have enjoyed your posts and you have always been so helpful and supportive to other people. I'm very sad to see you go. Very best wishes to you and Simba xx

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Serrakunda27 September 28, 2019 23:02

This is what is so sad isnt it, So many of us have followed each others stories for so long. Its a loss of shared history - thats what AUK really doesnt get.

Simba and I are facing a life changing moment which I still can't talk about yet. I will come back ( if anyone is still left!) and let you all know what happens. Its all good, we aren't ill or anything like that, but it involves other people.

I wish everyone well and hope to see you on other forums.

Edited 17/02/2021
Agape September 28, 2019 23:34

Serrakunda, like the song “please don’t go”. I agree with Zora, we are loosing (I find it hard to say we have lost but I must admit I may get there) a very important community here. Prospective adopters have simply gone and AUK don’t seem to bother at all about it. But I remember someone saying “we are AUK”, are we?

The book idea is separate from this forum. I still think it would be very important to summarise all the wisdom shared here.

Serrakunda, I hope you won’t go but if you do my very best wishes and thank you very much for all your help.


Edited 17/02/2021
Serrakunda27 September 30, 2019 18:47

To be honest Agape I don't think I have much left to give at the moment. I feel crushed today. I have been fighting for something for over a year, I thought we were there. Today I am told we are not. It may happen, it may not, there is no thought to the child involved, or Simba, or me. The law is an ass. I despair - why do LAs never learn.

Edited 17/02/2021
Bop September 30, 2019 18:49

Serrakunda - sorry to hear you feel its time to go - I wish you and Simba all the best with whatever is coming next. I've loved following your story over all the years and its been lovely to hear how well you are both doing now.

Having been part of these boards for many years, I think its time for me to bow out too - the boards are dying and AUK seem unwilling to listen - and now even Scott has gone... I feel really sad as I'd hoped to pass on all I've learnt to others coming up behind, since I had such great support when I needed it.

If anyone wants to find me - I'm still on Potato - which I think fits with the ages of most of my AUK contemporaries children.

Good luck to all

Bop x

Edited 17/02/2021
Agape October 24, 2019 01:31

I’m sorry Serrakunda I only saw your post today - almost a month after you wrote it! As others have mentioned, it’s becoming harder and harder to engage in this forum. You mentioned you don’t have much to give at the moment. You have been so generous already! What you’ve shared in the forum is not in the past - wisdom is outside time!

How are things now? Don’t give up. There must be a door. I wish I could help you with whatever is troubling you but at least I can offer my prayers.

As I said, I hope you won’t go - hence this message.


Edited 17/02/2021
Serrakunda27 October 24, 2019 18:43

You are very kind Agape, I am feeling less fragile than a few weeks ago and gearing myself up for the next round of the ongoing battle.

Its been a difficult year, I was very poorly for about 9 months with gallstones which can be excrutiatingly painful. I finally had surgery in June so all recovered now but it was a difficult time trying to keep working and Simba going, He was convinced I was going to die so managing his anxiety was as bad as managing the health issues.

As for other things its difficult to talk about. Simba's younger brother is in residential care. I applied to foster him a year ago. Its a complete and utter mess. The LA have completely failed this child. There have been safeguarding issues in the placement. He has no treatment/therapy which he desparately needs. I have complained formally to everyone there is to complain to. It was being planned for him to move to us in the summer, that opportunity went, then Christmas, this now won't happen. My fostering application depends on me taking a year career break so I have had to inform work. My managers are supportive to a fault but they can only bend rules so far. My replacement at work is starting in November, but I'm not going anywhere now. There is plenty of work to do but I will end up doing 'projects' ie the rubbish which no one else wants to do.

In the middle of this is a 12 year old who needs a home not a 'placement' . I will be encouraging him to sue for neglience when he is 18.

I'm not sure where we go now to break the deadlock we are in. A move at Christmas was critical for me because of Simba's GCSEs. If we get it sorted I can't have little brother land in the middle of GCSEs, so the next window is June. He will have been in residential care 2 years by then.

Edited 17/02/2021
Safia October 27, 2019 17:16

Sounds very hard - trying to do what’s best for everyone when you don’t really have the power to do what you know is best. Hope it all goes well and works out as you hope x

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chestnuttree October 28, 2019 13:32

Serrakunda, I hope you are okay and I am very sorry Simba's brother is being failed. I hope there will be a solution for all of you to live together.

Edited 17/02/2021
Serrakunda27 October 29, 2019 13:31

Thank you chestnuttree

A week in Amsterdam with my lovely boy eating cake and drinking hot chocolate has restore my fighting spirit. We do see him, but he needs permanence.

Edited 17/02/2021
Agape December 8, 2019 00:17

Hi Serrakunda,

I’ve been meaning to get back to you for weeeeks but kind of lost use of my right arm and the left hasn’t been too clever. I’m getting there but typing is still a bit of a nightmare.

I just wanted to tell you I’ve been thinking loads about you and I do hope things are better for you all including Simba’s brother.

The forum? Dying.


Edited 17/02/2021


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