Monday, May 16, 2016


Ordinary children go through their phases in fairly orderly fashion.

Newborn baby.

With each phase the relationship between the child and their parents moves to a more sophisticated level. During the first stages we supply the basic needs to survive, but as they move up our responsibilities graduate towards emotional needs and spiritual support, not that they stop expecting a full fridge and a lift home at midnight; "Only please don't come in mum, wait at the end of the road."

The phases with a new foster child are the same only at Warp Speed. 

Romeo has ben with us 6 months now. When he arrived it was about meeting his basic needs; food, liquid, a good night's sleep, a good balance between his different physical requirements.

I always wish I could get closer to the distressed child more quickly, but it takes time; you have to get to know them to meet their individual emotional needs, and they need to build up trust in their foster family. You can't rush it. 

Before they can achieve a loving friendship with us, they need to be properly fed and watered, then given a sense of security and territory and possessions.

Then they move on to being kind to others out of a sense of confidence and pride in  who they are.

In ordinary children those processes take ten years.

In foster children it takes about six months, give or take.

In many ways when Romeo arrived he was like a newborn baby, so dependent on us for everything. 

Now that six months have passed he has reached perhaps an even higher level than the average child his age. He turns out to be an 'enhanced' child. Certain parts of his brain developed quicker when he was small to help him cope with challenges that other children are spared.

He still struggles with basics at school, but he's catching up. 

But when it comes to raw emotional intelligence he's 8 going on 28.

He's asked for a dog of his own.

This won't be likely, but it's a profound request. It's underpinned by a desire to move up the pecking order in the house, a belief that he can care for a complicated organism. These facets he's totally self-aware  of, he breaks his own emotions down into their components;

"It'd give me someone to boss around. Everyone else has someone below them."

"I'm ready to look after a dog, I'll do it all, don't worry, what you don't think I can?"

Most interesting is his take on his big reason to have a dog of his own;

"It'll mean I have to stay here because my mum doesn't allow pets."

Naturally as a foster parent I'm working on re-uniting him with his natural home. But that's beginning to look like a long shot, and he knows it. 

I think his worry is he might get moved to another foster home, and the dog is his insurance.

Imagine. In six months he's gone from being helpless to being able to conceive a scheme which flatters his foster family - which he wishes to do out of mutual respect. Not only that he has a grasp of the subtleties of himself and the rest of humanity that are beyond the man who might be the next President of the United States.



  1. Now I hadn't thought of it that way. We have a request pending for a dog from Dramaqueen and Brightone (we also have a request for a baby siblilng, birth, adopted, foster - they don't mind). We have said there is some work needed on the garden fencing first, but the current real sticking point is picking up the poo. We have said we'll properly consider a dog when they are ready to pdo this task. And it will be tested when we walk our friends dogs. So far there refusal to do this means we don't need to get the fences fixed just yet...

    Good luck, maybe a gerbil or a goldfish to start with?

    1. Hi Mooglet. Love your codenames for your foster children.If you do get a dog I'm looking forward to finding out what you call her. The poo thing is big, you're right there. In fostering you have to keep that yard safe. Goldfish or gerbil deffo first!

    2. I've just read that back - it sounds like I was implying we can get a baby sibling when we fix the fences and can deal with the poo!! hahahahah..

  2. Bless his heart. It's not that I haven't been thinking of you all but I've been in a difficult place. I went for my medical check for fostering - should have been the easy bit as I'm robustly healthy - always have been. So how did my lovely GP manage to find a completely asymptomatic bladder cancer? But he did. February. It was removed in March, and panel (originally to have been in March) re-set for July after my first follow-up check. Fine, until April, when a routine mammogram found breast cancer - unbelievable. Still not a symptom in sight. The little beast will be removed next week. I won't be beat. Panel has now been put forward to September. So a bit of a dark few weeks when I couldn't tell you how I was feeling, or how I admire what you are doing. Will check in again, though, now I'm on an even keel. Keep up your work with Romeo - he's the story of how I imagined it, and how I want it to be in my home. Helen

    1. You are one warrior Helen. You're going to be one hell of a foster mum too. Reading your recent story I can't help thinking that the universe is making sure you're the 101% fit strong and healthy Helen it wants for the job.
      I'll be thinking of you all day today and much of the days until your next update. If that's prayer I guess that's what I'll be doing.
      love, SFC xxx

    2. Oh Helen, what a horrible few months you've had. I agree with SFC, that it seems you are getting all the medical concerns out of way now, before you have children to focus on. Hoping the rest goes more smoothly and things are good. xxx

  3. Thanks, both. (-; Helen xxx