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True Life Stories about Mixed Race Britain

October 7, 2016


tr-book-coverMost of the time I make up stories and concentrate on fiction. However, for about two years I worked on a Memoir about our younger adopted son, who joined the family when he was nearly four years old. The whole Memoir has not seen the light of day. In other words, I have not found a publisher, but I was happy to have a short extract published in an anthology edited by Dr. Kate Massey.

“Tangled Roots – True Life Stories About Mixed Race Britain”.

My true-life story is one of at least twenty five varied and moving stories. It is entitled ‘A Rock for Jah’. It tells about the first time we saw Jah. He was with a short-term foster family, where he had been staying for eighteen months, which was far longer than planned. The family was wonderful and they had been preparing him to move on to a ‘forever family’, but it must have been difficult for a little child, not quite yet four years old, to understand why he had to move onto an entirely different family again.

The reason why I called my story “A Rock for Jah” is because the first time he saw my husband and myself, we showed him a photo of our other three children. It was a holiday snap of them sitting on a big rock in Scotland. Jah examined the photo solemnly and he then pointed out something nobody else had observed – a little rock next to the big one. “There’s a Rock for Jah” he said. It was moving to witness how deeply he wanted to belong somewhere. He had spotted this tiny rock where he could ‘belong’.

Jah’s birth family was partly African, partly from the West Indies and partly white British, so clearly his story belongs in a collection dedicated to multicultural Britain. However, we had already adopted a son from a Caribbean background and we were already a mixed race family before Jah joined us.

The back cover of the book, states “12% of UK Households are mixed race, although experts estimate the actual number of mixed race people may be more than two million – double official figures..”

The collection is described as “a shockingly honest, funny and heart-breaking collection of memoirs revealing the human dramas behind the phenomenal success of ‘mixed Britannia’.”

You can find out more about Tangled Roots on the website

Once I realised that I was not going to get my Memoir published, I started writing a blog – Adoption Reflections. It is a very interesting way to communicate to others around the world. More about this in my next Buzz About Books blog post.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 18, 2016 5:26 pm

    I thought this was a very moving post, Odette. Does Jah remember much from that period of his life? – John

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