Friday, 26 December 2014

The greatest gift - A Fostering Story

As I have often said in my blog and through my AudioBoom podcast's, Fostering has its challenges!
This Christmas, we were asked to help with an 8 year old boy over the Christmas period. At first, we were reluctant to agree to this as we had just finished a placement and were in the middle of re-decorating the room. However, after some serious discussions with our Fostering team and some soul searching we agreed to have him for Christmas.

Things have been hard, this little lad is eight years old (Chronologically), however developmentally he is still around four years old. This causes real problems with his emotional development, dealing with anger, social interaction and understanding boundaries and rules. It has been a roller coaster of a Christmas, lots of problems to deal with and many tantrums! That said, he has had a loving and safe environment to spend his Christmas and lots to keep him occupied.
One of the most memorable moments for me was to see him opening his gifts on Christmas Morning. He was so very excited! He had asked Santa for some Hot Wheels and a Mousetrap (the game), and this along with a kiddie zoom camera were all wrapped up ready for him to open.

It has pulled at our heart strings to see how frustrated and angry he gets. He just cannot express himself like a child without learning and development difficulties can do. This global delay is the result of severe neglect, and all within the first eight years of his life. It is so sad to realise the amount of kids that are similar to him and a great deal more that are worse!

My own Son has been fantastic with him, helping him to play safely and being patient with him. We have all learnt so much from this little man.
We are just so pleased we have been able to give him a good Christmas.
Happy Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Making Time

Friday, 5 December 2014

What else is there?

As most of my subscribers will already be aware, I have a 10 year old Son who took over a decade to arrive (it was a long Labour!). Since his birth, my Wife and I have dedicated our lives to his Education and upbringing.
As a Foster Carer, it is obvious to me that there is a huge difference between one person's idea of 'dedication' to another's. This could be for a multitude of reasons, lifestyle, background, housing status or religious beliefs. Even as a professional carer, I sometimes struggle to understand the reasons behind why people do not prioritise their children.

Yes, I struggle with the understanding, however I also accept that life is not easy for the majority of the parents that are faced with having to deal with the social services and Foster Care within their lives.
We have been very lucky, in that we are healthy and have a good work ethic. We have been fortunate enough to of had consistent employment during my Son's first decade on this Earth, and now we are both Qualified to look after other Parent's children.

I used to question myself wether the way our boy had turned out was a 'fluke' or maybe he was just 'special' and we were lucky. As we have grown, matured and had training on different aspects of Childcare and the dedication needed to raise a well rounded child, we have realised the amount of effort and the sacrifices we made to ensure our Son had every opportunity that presented itself to him. The daily 'fun' maths and English lessons we gave him after School that he loved to do and were fun! The emptying and counting of a 'piggy bank' at his Nanny's house that taught him more about Maths and Currency. Above all, the TIME spent with him. That was the essential ingredient - Time. To enable that time to be spent, sacrifices needed to be made. Those sacrifices were made through freindships, outings and socialising.  It would of been easy to 'get a sitter' or 'palm him off' with a family member tyo enable us to go and enjoy ourselves. However, when you have tried for children for over a decade you come to realise just how important your role as a 'Parent' really is. You are not only responsible for their young life, but they are relying on you to go above and beyond to ensure they have every opportunity in life. I mentioned earlier that we had been lucky, there is always an element of luck to anyone's life but we never left it to 'luck' when raising our child. Planning was important, essential even, enabling us to make the necessary arrangements that would see him carried forward into adulthood. 


To become a parent, is to sacrifice the life you lead and commit yourself to the upbringing and welfare of another human.  These are things we gave up to raise our only Son. After all, when you really think about it, what else is there?