I’ve been trying to keep my column light-hearted over the past few weeks. I wanted to put a smile on your face, and hopefully I have.
This week I want to change the tone a little.
I want to talk about an underlying problem that we are having right now because of the virus.
Sadly it’s going to get a lot worse.
In these dark times of uncertainty there are many worrying things happening.
People are wondering if they will have a job to go back to, especially when you hear horror stories about companies like BA and Ryanair.
Other worries people have – where’s the money coming from for the next mortgage payment?
How will we put food on the table?
How can we deal with isolation?
Will the world ever be the same and will we eradicate the virus?
So many have lost money from cancelled concerts, weddings, holidays, flights and they are concerned whether, or when, insurance companies will pay out because right now they are desperate for that money.
Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on nearly every aspect of life, people who lack stable housing or food supplies are amongst the most vulnerable.
These are worrying, difficult times facing the whole world, not just us.
Here’s the problem I want to mention – adoption and fostering – which as you know is dear to my heart.
It has always been a problem as there are so many children and teenagers that need help and love.
Now it is going to become an even bigger problem because of these uncertain times, loss of life and domestic violence.
The reason I am writing about this today is it’s the anniversary of my mother’s death.
Hilda May Price, died in Clatterbridge hospital, May 7, 1977 and believe me, it’s still as painful today all these years later.
She adopted me as she couldn’t have children of her own.
There isn’t a day goes by when I don’t thank her for giving me a chance in life.
That’s why I will always champion adoption and fostering.
I remember growing up, and the problems she went through with an abusive, violent marriage.
When dad went bankrupt, mum got a job at the Ring O’ Bells, West Kirkby, cleaning, to put food on the table, while he went drinking.
All those problems I used to think she would send me back to the orphanage. That was my insecurity because of him.
I once asked her that question when I was 10 years old.
She started crying, and was angry and hurt that I could even think this.
She hugged me until I could hardly breathe and said: “All this is for you, the only thing that gets me through this terrible marriage is you Peter, you’re my life.
“From the day I adopted you, it gave me purpose. The love, joy, warmth and affection I get from you fills every day of my life.”
That was my mum, and I count my blessings every day for Hilda.
To all you people grieving, who have lost loved ones and couldn’t say goodbye properly, I can’t imagine the pain you must feel.
I was lucky, I got to say goodbye.
You read stories, and see them on television about families going through enormous pain because they can’t be there at the end with their loved one.
I am lost for words.
So let’s talk about adoption and fostering.
At the best of times this subject is challenging and complex as the authorities have got to get it right.
They are always desperately looking for foster parents.
With these uncertain times during this crisis, domestic violence on the rise, and increased loss of life, more and more children will need help.
As someone who was given a second chance because my birth mother gave me away I implore everyone who is thinking about it, and are sitting on the fence.
Go for it – give a child a chance.
In Liverpool alone, 1440 children are in care – 993 of them are in foster care. Around 212 are placed more than 20 miles from Liverpool.
This is because there are not enough carers registered with the council.
We need 50 more foster carers now, you could make a difference.
Remember Liverpool City Council official fostering service is a not-for-profit service with 24-hour support.
- Tel: 0151 515 0000 or visit their website at fostering.liverpool.gov.uk/get-in-touch