Skip to main content

Lemn and Native Culture

Prince Alemayehu at age 7
 Adopting children outside their native culture does present some difficulties. How those difficulties are handled could depend on (a) the quality of the community to which the adoptive child is introduced and (b) how culturally aware the new parents are, etc. Prince Alemayehu's story is certainly a sad one. He was kidnapped by British invading forces and later died in custody.
One way to prepare for the road ahead is to share stories of adoptive parents and their grown-up children. Please send us yours. Here is the story of the prolific poet Lemn Sissay for today:

"When somebody takes a child from their native culture, that is in itself an act of aggression. People will often say, love is all you need." More.

Let There Be Peace
Lemn Sissay

Let there be peace
So frowns fly from foreheads
Like seagulls from cliff edges
So war correspondents become travel show presenters
And magpies bring back lost property
Children, engagement rings, broken things

Let there be peace
So storms can go out to sea to be
Angry, and return to me, calm
So the broken can rise up and dance in the hospitals
Let the aged Ethiopian man, in the block of grey London flats
Peer through his window and see Addis before him
So his thrilled outstretched arms become frames
For his dreams

Let there be peace
And tears evaporate to form the clouds, cleanse themselves
And fall into reservoirs of drinking water
Let harsh memories burst into fireworks that melt,
Melt in the dark pupils of a child's eyes
And disappear like shoals of darting silver fish.
And let the waves reach the shore with a
Shhhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhh.