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What NTL Humans Can Learn From
The Heart That Silence Built 

“you've painted the walls of your house the colour of silence. 
when you did it, you handed me the roller and asked me to help 
and I didn't think to say no
because I thought it will just be easier this way

it's not easier this way,”
The Heart That Silence Built, Poetry Anthology 
So far, my favorite question about my book has been “What does a heart built by silence look like?”. It’s a complex answer, but I also think that it’s one that deserves some pondering. Consideration for a ‘how did we get here and how can we reduce the possibility of it happening again?”

I don’t have the answers to that. But I do know that we can grow and evolve only when we truly listen to the voices of lived experience. When we sit in the discomfort those voices create and reflect on it, when we humbly accept what our children have to teach us.

Silence was what stifled the relationship with my parents through adoption. It became an environment where my needs became secondary to the comfort of those around me. I was seldom in an environment where I could really be myself. I accepted less than I (and in my opinion everyone) deserves. I published this book as an act of radically unsilencing myself. 

In the spirit of silence’s impact on my mental health and identity, here are four conversations we need to be radically unsilencing in adoption and permanency journeys.
  • Critical thinking about motivations and intention behind adoption 
  • Importance of family of origin and history 
  • Joining families together, not separating them 
  • Heart-felt belief in tricky topics for cultivating safety and relationship 
Above all else, validate emotions regardless of your intentions. Be humble, honest and admit mistakes (that includes giving yourself permission to make them)! Talk about the hard things, because silence never built a relationship worth having.
I am so honoured to be donating a portion of profits of The Heart That Silence Built to Never Too Late. The community and support that NTL has given me has helped me through some very difficult spots on my journey, helped me heal, and helped give me the courage to publish this work.
About the Author
Wendy is a First Voice Advocate, marketing professional, and NTL team member. The Heart That Silence Built is a collection of poetry written between the ages of 12 and 30  about adoption, trauma, permanency and family.


Thanks to all who attended our “What it means to be a Human at NTL” orientation on Sat September 18th, 2021. Check out some updates below on what's going on at NTL! 

Training for Humans - 8 Week Series 
We have very limited spaces left for anyone who wants to do the 8 week series “Training for Humans” that begins Saturday October 23, 2021 and runs until Saturday December 11th.  All sessions are 10am-1pm and run on Zoom.  If you have attended the orientation either recently or in the past, please be in touch at to register.

Dates: Saturdays, October 23 - December 11th
Time: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Platform: Zoom Webinar (Details will be sent out closer to the event date)

Our next orientation will be held in early 2022. We will send out information when the date is set. In the meantime, part one of our orientation “The Importance of Permanency” is available free on demand.
Profile Night
NTL is also participating in an AdoptOntario profile night that will also have an educational component on Harm Reduction. AdoptOntario is another program of the Adoption Council of Ontario and we are looking forward to this collaboration!

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Platform: Zoom Webinar (Details will be sent out closer to the event date)

November is Adoption Awareness Month 
NTL will be involved in many events hosted by the ACO as part of it’s Education Month.  We will send an eblast with the entire month’s calendar and highlight specific events we think extra good fits for the NTL community!  Watch out for that sometime later in the month

FYI: Educational Support for Youth From Care 

One of the many challenges youth face as they age out of foster care is access to education. There are many reasons why so few youth from care have been able to attain post-secondary degrees, and therefore, there is no silver bullet solution, but educational costs are undoubtedly a significant one. There is great news on this front, however, as there are now over 232 placements in Canada at 19 post-secondary institutions across 5 provinces providing financial assistance to youth from care, including 11 schools here in Ontario, according to Child Welfare PAC, for which improving access to higher education is a top priority, and with good reason. According to a 2016 study, men with bachelor’s degrees average 47.2% higher earnings than those with only a high school diploma; the number is even higher for women at 58%. Apprenticeship degrees and college degrees offer lesser, but still noteworthy improvements for earnings expectations, with the curious exception of apprenticeships for women which do not appear, as of 2016, to offer any improvement in earnings outlook when compared to a high school diploma; that anomaly is worthy of a study of its own.

It’s often overlooked but higher education has benefits beyond just career prospects and earnings potential. Education is one of the great gifts of the modern age. Knowledge expands the mind, and shrinks the world; it enables us to learn about each other and the world we share. It enriches our lives far beyond the important and practical considerations that we usually focus on when we discuss educational outcomes. Our youth from care too often then miss out on the chance to not only enrich their bank accounts, but their minds as well.

While it remains true that a plethora of other educational challenges remain, even for youth from care receiving financial support towards post-secondary degrees, and further study, particularly here in Canada, is undoubtedly warranted, the growing list of more than 232 placements currently available are surely a welcome and encouraging development.

For those interested in learning more about which schools are currently offering financial support, and further information, download the PDF.
Of course, at NTL we recognize that financial support is a very important part of access to higher education but that having supportive people behind you to help weather the ups and downs of post graduate studies can be a key piece of ensuring ALL youth who want have the opportunity to thrive!

Gordon MacDonald, part of the NTL community put this together for this newsletter.  We love when members of our community want to contribute!  Thanks Gord!

One of the great suggestions for our newsletter from our Never Too Late community is that we share a tip each month. A tip can include a strategy, or reminder, that is particularly helpful when providing permanency to a foster care alumni. It's a reminder to communicate with trauma awareness which means to remember that life trajectories and needs are different and unique when you've experienced disrupted attachments, multiple traumas and loss. And as humans to youth it is our responsibility to try differently and shift our expectations in order to better meet the needs of our youth. 

If you have a tip to share we'd love to hear it. Please feel free to share it here.

NTL tip of the month:

Transitions. We all have experience with and sometimes navigate them without much thought. But for people with experience with child welfare, transitions involved profound loss and often unrecognized trauma. Remembering that something that may seem small to you, may be huge for your youth as a result, is important. Giving space to talk, journal feelings, connect with peers with lived experience, take other stressors off their plates, and have calming sensory experiences, is important. What that looks like will be different for every person because people who experienced child welfare aren't a homogenous group. What's consistent is their right to supports, understanding and compassion, with a lens that understands these transitions will be far more weighted for some and require us to grow in our understanding of how to best support them. 

Please forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested in finding out more about the movement to promote permanency for all children and youth in and from care. 

Looking for more information on the Never Too Late Program? 
Visit us at and follow us on Instagram @nevertoolate.on.
Copyright © 2021 Never Too Late (NTL), All rights reserved.

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