I have received e-mails, messages on Facebook and Tweets from many people who have been affected by Justin’s story. They have expressed that they are wondering how he is doing right now, and that they worry for his future.
I didn’t realise the impact Justin’s story would have on people when I wrote it, so I’d like to address this now. Justin visits with us regularly, in fact we see him most weekends. Any foster children we have in all grow to love him, and see him as part of our family. Our grandchildren adore him and he often takes them out for burgers or to the cinema.
Justin still finds it difficult to live within a family setting, preferring to live in supported accomodation by himself. This means that he lives in a flat owned by social services, and he has a support worker calling in twice a week. They help him budget his money and ensure that he buys food etc. They are on hand if he struggles and he can phone them at any time.
He now works as a general labourer for a local building company, and says he enjoys this but doesn’t really ‘get’ the site humour from the other men there. As he grew older, he came to realise that his relationship with his mum was always going to be tenuous. He now accepts that it is her that is at fault and that she has problems that are not his to deal with.
He visits her a few times a year, but only stays for a short time to check on his siblings. He is at last happy with the situation, and he says that he feels in control now.
I’ll end by saying that, yes, Justin will be spending Christmas with us, and yes, I have already put up my Christmas tree!