“That isn’t how we do things here.”
Those were the words that struck fear and trepidation into ten-year-old Oliver’s soul. How many times would he have to hear the throw away comment which reinforced his feeling of not belonging?
Each placement, every new ‘family’ he was placed with eventually spoke those words when he did something wrong. How was he supposed to remember all the different rules?
He was just three years old when he was removed from home. The only place he’d known, the only mother he’d known.
Sure, she left him alone sometimes, but she always came back. He just needed to be patient. Until one day, she didn’t.
He can’t remember what happened, just that he was told Mummy wasn’t coming home and he would go to another family. There would be toys and other kids to play with. Was he even promised a puppy? He seemed to think so, but maybe that was just the first of many lies.
Always, eventually came those words, “That isn’t how we do things here.”
He tried so hard to fit in with those temporary brothers and sisters, but what was the point?
This last place though, he’d managed to be here for a whole year. His case worker had told him that he would stay with this family, that they wanted him forever.
As he blew out the candle on the cake, on which, “Oliver. 1 year at home,” was written on the blue frosting, tears fell. Not just his tears but those of his new family. “Well done, Oliver, that’s how it’s done here.”