You’re born into a family. A poor family. They struggle to make ends meet, but they get by.
A rich family from another town come along and decide that they want to adopt you. They want you, not your brother or sister, just you. They don’t really care about you or want to help you, it’s about power. They want to show that they’re better than your family. It’s what they do. They go to different towns and do the same to other children. They want to show that they can take what they want because they have the power. Money always has the power.
Your family don’t want to give you up, but the rich family come with lawyers and papers and a legal battle that your family can’t afford to win. They aren’t able to fight them off and keep you.
So, you grow up in the rich family. But you’re never really a part of it. Your adopted parents don’t pay you much attention, and God knows your new brother doesn’t like you. He doesn’t want you in his house, you’re a burden. You should go home. Where you belong. But that’s where you were when they took you. You were home and you were happy. They adopted you but didn’t want you. They treat you with hostility and disdain. You get money, yes. You get clothes, yes. You get things your own family couldn’t give you. But it’s still not “home”. You talk like them, you dress like them. But you’re still not one of them.
When they take you home they rename you, to take away your identity and ties to your real family. They can do this, you see. They have the power to do so. You’re called by this name, but you don’t answer to it. You correct people when they say it. Because it’s not your name. It never will be.
As you grow up, you revisit your old town. You see your family and friends. You’re happy to see them, you missed them, you want to be with them. But for some reason they don’t feel the same. You’re not one of them anymore. You don’t dress like them, or talk like them. You’re an outsider. What are you doing here? You’re a traitor. You’re one of “them” now, so go be with them. But you didn’t choose to be one of “them”. They took you. You had no choice.
Your adopted family couldn’t be bothered with you anymore, all you do is cost them money and you don’t give them much in return. You were a waste of an investment really. Your real family could try to get you back now, it’s been a long time and they have more money. But it seems like they don’t really want you back now. It seems like they’ve moved on. They’ve learned to live without you. They can sustain themselves. Your old town is different than it was, you see. People are no longer poor. They’re wealthier and happier and the rich families don’t come around anymore, thank God. They haven’t been around in a while. The rich families aren’t nice. So you aren’t nice.
So, what do you do? You’re living with a family who don’t like you. They mock people like you, like your real family and from your old town. They make jokes, dress up, they attack people like them. You hate it. You try to stop them, tell them it’s wrong. But, if you don’t like it, go home, you’re told. Go back with these families because it’s where you belong.
But where do you belong? You’re not happy with the rich and they’re not happy with you. But you can’t go back to your real family because you’re not welcome there either. It’s too late now to go back. You tried and tried when you were younger, put up numerous fights. But what’s the point if don’t want you anyway? You spend your whole life trying to make them see that you want to be with them, you never wanted to be taken away, you had no choice.
But one day they’ll see. One day they’ll realise how desperately you fight and have fought to be back with them. The rich have less control now, they can’t own you forever. Maybe in a few years, when you’re 18. There’s a court case then. Your family can decide if they want you back. You’ll always be one of them at heart. You never changed. You dress differently, you talk differently, but you act the same. You’re still the you that was taken away. Your old family may not know who you are, and your new family may not either. But you do. You know where you belong and that’s home. Home is Ireland, and you are the north.