It’s a complete honour to share this Q & A with you. It’s with Darcy and Ellie (the names they use in the podcast) who share, in their own words, their views about being adopted. The questions were asked by their mum who you can follow on Instagram. Their wonderful Podcast (which was the girls’ idea) is The Adoption Podcast.
I absolutely love their honesty. I love that they have big plans for the future. And that Darcy gets that ice cream makes everything feel better. And that Ellie knows how many cuddles we all need a day to be happy. Thank you so much to Darcy and Ellie for sharing your thoughts with us.
My Adoption: By Darcy and Ellie, as told to their mum Feyaza Khan
How old were you when you were adopted and did you want to be?
Darcy: I was around six, I think. I was quite worried at first. I don’t know why. Maybe because I hadn’t met my parents before. You can’t just meet a person and then suddenly they’re your mum and dad, I always thought this is weird. It was like two weeks and then we were home and that was very weird.
When we came home, I loved the house and my room and it was full of toys and things just for me, so it felt good. I guess it was still weird but I had all these toys and couldn’t think really.
Ellie: I was six or seven. I really wanted to be adopted because even though I liked it in my foster carers, they kept saying, “You have to go to a mummy and daddy, you can’t stay here forever.” I had many foster carers so it was annoying.
I loved when we went to our real home because we had a lovely room and a box full of toys and walkie talkies. I thought about my foster carers sometimes, but I don’t properly remember them or their house now.
How much of your life do you remember before you were adopted?
Darcy: I remember a little. Like the house I lived in and the garden where there was this huge hole full of junk. There were a lot of people around, some in my family and some people I didn’t know. I don’t remember what I did all day because I didn’t go to school much. I’m not sure how I kept busy. I was probably just mad and running about.
Ellie: Not much. I remember we had a big house and wooden stairs with no carpet on. We had a fridge that didn’t work and I mainly ate sweets. Before I came home, I had to go to hospital to get some of my teeth taken out, but they have grown back and Mummy says I have a lovely smile.
What do you think of adoption?
Darcy: I think it’s an amazing thing. It changes children’s lives and I think parents probably feel good about themselves making their children’s lives better. I didn’t know what adoption was when I was in my old family. We all loved each other but I know when I think about it now and how everything is in my life, I still love my birth family so much but I don’t think we were safe in that house. I know it wasn’t their fault and they couldn’t look after themselves either so it would have been hard for them to look after the kids properly as well.
Ellie: I feel happy about it. I know my family love me and I like that my house is clean. I think adoption made me a different person and before I didn’t used to think about things or notice anything. Now I think about every single thing. And sometimes I think about dying and it scares me and I think about how old the world is. And I invent things all the time. Today I made a light before breakfast and it was like a torch.
I didn’t have any equipment before to make inventions. I never thought about anything before. Also now I don’t eat so much. I used to eat three bowls of everything every time we had lunch or supper, but now I think about my belly, so I don’t get a belly ache.
How do you feel when people know you’re adopted?
Darcy: I am so proud of being adopted. It’s a privilege to be able to choose your family, especially because our family now is so good. We’re all different cultures and colours and we have learnt so much about each other. It’s like an adventure when we do this.
Ellie: I don’t care. It makes me happy but I don’t talk about it much.
Do you tell people you’re adopted?
Darcy: Sometimes, but not always. It’s not the most important thing to talk about when you meet someone. People think weird things about adoption and when I told people at school, they kept asking about my “adopted mum and adopted dad” and I had to say that they were just my mum and dad.
Ellie: I do tell people, but only when I want to talk about it. Sometimes I just want to get on with my life and not talk about adoption because that is not my most important part about me.
How does adoption make you different?
Darcy: It doesn’t. I’m not different. I’m still me but in a safer place and with more things.
Ellie: I think it makes me special because I have done so many things. I learnt how to behave in a restaurant and other surroundings. And I like to do different things like gymnastics. Now I know how to make jokes and also we have manners sometimes. I say please and thank you and I think about other people and making them happy.
What is your family like?
Darcy: My family is quite adventurous and we liked to travel everywhere before Covid happened. I think we suit each other because we’re all pretty cool and like to do fun things. My sister is hilarious when she isn’t shouting. But I think I’m the funniest person in the house. My dad thinks he is but he makes dad jokes so I don’t need to tell you how not funny they are.
Ellie: It’s loving and caring. I think I’m the favourite child, but don’t tell my sister. I like talking to my mum, we talk about everything when I’m happy or sad or if I did something silly. My sister is a good friend but we do argue. Darcy thinks she is very funny, but actually I am because my mum and dad always laugh when I make a joke. I like that.
What is your birth family like?
Darcy: It is big and crazy. I have a niece who’s my age, and I get along with her a lot. I don’t know them as much as I used to, but maybe I will know them better when I am older.
Ellie: They are good people, but I don’t think about them much. I feel like my mum and dad are my real family and my birth family are extra people who love me, which is nice.
Do you get to see them?
Darcy: Not in person because of Covid. But we Facetime and phone each other a lot. When we moved home, I didn’t want to speak to my birth family but now I’m happy that my mum found them and we get to ring them and be friends.
Ellie: Yes, on Facetime. We chat sometimes. Darcy chats more but I’m not always comfortable and I’m quite busy because I have gymnastics and I have to invent things.
What are your plans for the future?
Darcy: My mum tells us to be whoever we want to be in our lives. I want to be like Lionel Messi or maybe better than him when I grow up.
Ellie: I want to be a famous gymnast. I train for 10 hours a week and I love it. I am so good at gymnastics and if I can do it all day, I would. I’d like to also be an engineer or inventor because I love making things. Maybe I will also volunteer to be a fireman because I like saving people.
Have these always been your plans?
Darcy: No, I didn’t know who he (Messi) was till I came home. But I am a very good footballer and I am in two academies. I love playing football and I could play every day if I was allowed or if I didn’t do chores or want to watch TV. I love watching YouTube in my pyjamas but I always do my chores first because I like to be organised.
Ellie: No, I wanted to be a teaching assistant when I was small. I didn’t know I could be a gymnast or engineer. But now I think anyone can be anything. Just give it a go. I give everything a go at least one time. Except new foods, which I have to try two times before I can say hate it. I’m so glad because I don’t have to eat mushrooms anymore as they are too disgusting.
For people thinking of adopting, what is your message, if you have one?
Darcy: You need to be prepared that kids scream. And they might say horrible stuff they don’t actually mean. Love them as much as you can because they will love you and they need to know you love them. And don’t ignore them. Kids need to be listened to and they need to speak, even when they aren’t speaking to you then just listen.
Don’t shout at them when they scream, maybe just cuddle them. It works on my sister because she stops screaming. It’s very stressful when children are screaming in the house for other children. But sometimes I get ice cream or gummy sweets when my sister is screaming so that is nice because ice cream makes everything better. That’s what my dad says. My favourite ice cream is the one with marshmallows that is vegetarian.
Ellie: It is going to be very difficult for about one year but then it will get better. Your children will be stressed but it’s okay they just need cuddles because you need four cuddles every day to survive and seven cuddles every day to have a happy life.
Adoption does help other people’s lives and makes children happy. Sometimes it makes children sad because they have been taken away from their birth families. But once you can message or Facetime your birth family, and you know they love you and they didn’t want you to leave. Then everything feels better. You just feel more comfortable and relaxed. Anyway you are just a normal family but you didn’t come out of your mummy’s belly.