I’m Toby, I’m 12 and I was adopted when I was 7. My brother is called Thomas – he’s 9 now and was 4 when we were adopted. We have two Dads now. Some people thought it was a bit weird at first, but no one is really bothered now. We have four other brothers who all live in different adoptive families but we’re lucky that we see them three or four times a year. 

I was 4 when we were taken away from our birth mum. She wasn’t looking after us properly and wasn’t taking us to school and nursery. This has really affected me at school as I’ve had to work hard to catch up. My Dads say that everyone’s brain is like a jigsaw puzzle - when you’re growing up, your parents are meant to help you put all the right pieces in the right place. But I wasn’t given all my first puzzle pieces when I was little so I’ve got some gaps – but our Dads are helping us fill them in now.

And now I’m at secondary school, they’ve done some tests and they think another reason I find things tricky sometimes is because my birth mum drank alcohol when I was growing in her tummy. So now I’m going to be getting some extra help and support at school. And I have a mentor now at school too.

I find it hard to make friends and, even though we’ve lived with our Dads for five years, I still feel scared that they’ll suddenly change their minds and won’t want us anymore. I’ve been going to see a lady who helps me talk about my feelings and I think I feel like this sometimes because of everything that happened to me when I was little – leaving my birth mum, then living in foster care, then having to move to a new town to live with our Dads - it’s hard to forget about it. I like being nice to people though so they’ll want to be my friend… but, what if they don’t want to be my friend? So sometimes I think I just stop them getting close, just to be on the safe side, so they can’t make me feel sad.

I think I’d like to be a social worker when I grow up, to help other children like me and my brothers who had a hard start in life.  

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