Imagine

Imagine you took a phone call where you answered & asked a couple of questions and at the end of the conversation, you were going to be caring for a little baby. You had volunteered to step in when the family of this child could not.

Imagine that what was initially going to be a six month period turned into 3 years. The little baby turned into a little boy. While he was in your care, he learned to sit, crawl, walk, run & jump, to laugh, learn, share, explore, to give kisses, to trust, tell you his secrets, give & receive love.

Imagine that unexpectedly, you had to choose between helping your family or helping his.

Imagine being willing to continue to care for him and not to help your family.

Imagine that when his family do decide to care for him, that they slam their door. Shut you out. No kindness offered for the years of service you gave to their family. No interest in supporting his important relationships. His attachment to you is inconvenient to them.

Imagine the feeling of letting him go. Still loving him. Him loving you.

IMG_0953

Although many children have passed through my home and I have truly loved them (and still do) this experience has been the most brutal. I’ve cried a million tears, lost many, many hours of sleep, overwhelmed by sadness and the pain of feeling that these circumstances will have a lasting impact on a vulnerable little boy who deserves so much better.

I have to trust that he will be OK. It’s out of my hands now. My part in his story is over.

Foster care is not for the feint-hearted.

Advertisements

Adios mi Querido

Dear R

If you are reading this – you must now be at least 18 years old. Your first 7 months doesn’t sound like much time compared with all those years you have now lived – but at one time, it was your entire life – and this was the life you had while you lived with me. I was your foster carer from birth until you were adopted.

When I went to pick you up from the hospital, you were just 4 days old. I knew nothing about you except your name and that you were a boy. It was the Thursday before Easter. When I arrived at the hospital, your birth mum was still with you, giving you a feed and helping you to settle down for a sleep before she said goodbye.

You were a beautiful baby. I used to call you my ‘golden child’. I had a strong feeling that you would have a charmed life – that things would work out for you in a really good way. I hope that has been true so far – and that you have had a happy childhood, that you feel loved and that your birth mum gave your mum and dad a most precious gift.

We had a wonderful time together. While you were with me, you went through a lot of your early milestones: learning to smile and then laugh, learning to sit, learning to eat (something you loved to do!) and cutting your first teeth. But I guess the most important thing you learned was about love. You thrived on love and gave it right back to me (x millions!!).

I’ve included a few photos of us from that time. You had an older foster brother who was 2 years older than you and a younger foster brother who was two months younger that you . It was pretty busy with three kids. You all looked so different, people used to give me funny looks and sometimes would say things like ‘oohh how did you do that???’ I’d smile and tell them ‘magic!’

Saying goodbye to you was hard. Although I was happy for you and your parents, I was sad to think I may never see you again. I hoped that the transition from the only world you knew wouldn’t be too hard for you. I knew you would be OK, but I really missed you – and still do. I have a photo of you on my wall and so I often think of you, wondering how you are going and imagining what an amazing man you are becoming.

My door is always open to you and I would love to hear from you – anytime. I’ll be happy to share whatever memories I have from that time in your life and to answer any questions you might have. To meet you again and to see who you have become would be very, very special to me.

Take care and never forget that there are people in the world who love you very much and that you will always have a place in my heart – forever.

Lots of love,