Saturday, June 01, 2013

Little Fostering Moment

One of our foster children is a permanent placement.

Poor child, she can never go home. Has no home to go to, no family. Nobody.

She's facing up to being alone in this world, yet she's barely tall enough to be allowed on the flume slide at the swimming pool.

Alone and angry.

Probably terrified beyond imagination, but she bottles up the fear.

Doesn't bottle up the anger, lets it out, mainly at me, for some reason.

Been with us nearly two years now. 

Always given me the cold shoulder. Routinely rude. Bit cruel sometimes. Only to me, not the rest of the family, charming to them. Won't hold my hand even to cross the road, gives me the brush off if I rest a hand on her shoulder. I've shed the occasional tear about it.

I've managed to keep the kindness going; it's my job.

The child likes to be watched doing things.

Little things such as sitting on the table and hopping off  "Look at me, watch, watch"

One evening this week she was on the sofa playing a game called Minecraft on the Kindle, and I was required to watch.

Sit next to her and watch, watch, watch.

Try to get the comments right; I mustn't show too much knowledge about Minecraft, she doesn't like that. 

"You're on good form tonight" Is fine.

"It was brilliant the way you climbed up there".

But here's the thing, it's late and I'm tired.

So tired that I'm drifting in and out of sleep, and my comments are starting to get weird and dreamlike.

"You're great at Minecraft... but we're out of milk for the Spanish holiday, bananas and Jeremy Paxman...."

I rambled a few times and she dug me in the ribs to keep me from napping.

Then it happened.

She snapped off the Kindle and leaned towards me. 

"You're tired" she said.

"You should have a nap"

Then she leaned over and gave me a peck. A mini-kiss on my forehead.

On the hairline, where my widows peak is getting noticeable.

I felt like the whole of the great outdoors had been wrapped up and squeezed into a moment, and given to me, to keep.

And I'm filling up, a little bit, tapping at my laptop keys at 5.30am this morning, remembering.

Isn't life grand?

Is there any better way of feeling grand than these little fostering moments?

The Secret Foster Carer


  1. Lovely, well done you!

  2. Just lovely. I know that feeling. You must be doing so much right....

  3. Thank you. She does love you, you know. That's why she can trust you with her anger.

  4. The Secret Foster CarerWednesday, June 26, 2013

    Thanks folks, for your supporting comments. It means a lot. You need your back slapped quite a bit in fostering; it's not why you do it, but it does seem to make you a better foster carer for a long while.

  5. She thinks a lot of you which is why you get the back lash, she feels comfortable with you.
    These little moments are what makes our jobs worth while, little snippets of love from our looked after children.
    Me and my family have been fostering for almost 7 years, it's the best decision we ever made. Now we have a little girl with us who, after 18months is starting to show affection, it's the best time of the day when she asks for a cuddle!
    Well done and keep up the good work.

  6. The Secret Foster CarerTuesday, July 02, 2013

    Thanks for commenting, I think you're spot on about the back lash from feelings of guilt. Funny you should notive it took 18 months, that almost exsactly hw long it took for our little girl, I wonder why. We've noticed that she likes it being her second Christmas, her second birthday with us, etc, as she knows what to expect and the fact there's a routine seems to helpm her feel part of us.
    Keep up the great work.
    The Secret Foster Carer

  7. amazing to read :) thanks for sharing


  8. we work for months for just that little moment in time, and it is the best feeling in the world

    1. It is the best. I'm sure accepting an Oscar or saving a life in hospital is spectacular, but in fostering it's the equivilant.

  9. One thing Eve and I never had much of in the Children's Home was people taking an interest (only the cook bothered) even when we got good GCSE it was just a shrug and a casual "oh good".

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  11. I feel for you. Every success should be celebrated so the child knows how good it is to do well. As you might expect, even a lot of real parents are rubbish at taking an interest and rewarding success. It seems less important to us as adults, but praise is still the best thing. For example I mean it from the heart when I say I haven't read a better book than yours for ages, and that people like you are proper heroes and role models for everyone, young and old.