Saturday, December 02, 2017


Helped at the school Christmas Fair. Well, one of the schools we are using  at the moment.

School A is where out eldest "real"  child goes, school B is where one of our foster children goes as does one of our "real" children.

That's a fostering complication I'll come back to another time.

The thing about the Christmas Fair was this; the man running a stall next to me was in fostering. And neither of us knew each other, nor was it any organiser's intention to put us side by side.

But it was great!

Him and me could have very easily downed tools, gone to the pub and done about 8 hours on fostering.

Fostering is such a huge a thing to do that whenever you bump into someone else who does it, you're off into deep and meaningfuls. 

I was running a hoopla stall where you had to get a hoop over Rudolph's antlers. He was running some kind of quirk on the basic tombola.  But every 10 minutes we'd each be free and we could natter.

He told me a story about one placement I'd like to pass on with only one glitch;

I'll fill up before I finish.

This other foster carer has a child staying with him who is very challenging. But she has her outlets, and her big one is photography. They bought her a decent camera, and she likes to take images that relate to her experiences, including fostering. 

She understands the importance of privacy, respects her subjects and doesn't publish any of her work on the internet.

The foster dad told me about one of her images.

And here I go filling up even before I start telling you...

It's a picture of a pair of shoes. Not a normal pair of shoes, you wouldn't see them in Russell and Bromley. And they're finished, knackered. Worn right out, hardly any leather left.

The picture is of them in a box, a cardboard box. And there's nothing else in the box.

It's a "Memory Box". Blue Sky encourage foster carers to help foster children fill a box with important memories, it helps stabilise their past as they get older.

So who is the kid with nothing in the box but a pair of shoes that are falling apart?

He's a kid who ran away from Syria and all its horror.

I didn't get whether he left family behind or whether he was an orphan or whatever.

He snuck out of Syria by himself, alone. Then he crept, crawled, scampered, hiked and just plain walked across Europe until he got to a place where he believed he would find kindness and love.

That's us folks.

And the shoes, the shoes he wore on his unbelievable journey are the only thing he allows in his memory box.

Well, whatever odds and sods would come close?

Filling up...

Anyhoo, the bloke running the stall next to me at the school Christmas Fair, him and me decided to meet up for a coffee or lunch or maybe a meal. But then we started to compare diaries and the fact is that in fostering there are not quite enough nights off for much of that sort of thing.

I raised £46 for the school fund. I also raised my hopes about humanity.

Fostering can do that for you.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing life journey, and how heart wrenching. It is people who open their hearts and homes to children (foster parents of all kinds) that restore my faith in humanity.

    Thank you too for your lovely replies on the other posts. We are still waiting....