Tuesday, March 27, 2018


We've been prowling around the idea of taking one more child, it's always a big decision, in our case especially so because we've managed to arrive at a fairly happy balance in our home, and that doesn't happen every day in fostering...

Our happy(ish) home didn't happen overnight. We had a lot of things to work out. But our eldest Foster Child is now pretty much family. Youngest is settled, and set to go home when a few legal hurdles are cleared. Our own children are more than okay with fostering; they have something to moan about when the bathroom is occupied or they can't get a lift to town because someone else is getting a lift in the other direction, but on the whole; pretty contented.  In fact, I genuinely believe they are the better for it when all is added up.

So. There's a strong temptation to tootle along for a bit, all bright and breezy, no surprises. 

But life's like a game of twenty-one isn't it? Whether to stick or twist, whether to hold or bust.

I've always liked to move forward in life, not at breakneck speed, but bit by bit. That said, there are times to pitch tent and re-charge the batteries.

I must admit the temptation to stick was immense. And no-one would have blamed us. 

I suddenly saw myself getting a long lie-in on Sundays, watching my favourite TV programmes as they are transmitted instead of having to catch-up due to being needed everywhere else in the house all evening except in front of the telly.

I started daydreaming about the 'perfect' family set-up, hallucinating where us two parents are in a hot tub on a Sandals holiday knowing that all is serene and joyful back at the ranch.

But it's not going to happen, because we're committing to having another foster child. 

I'm going to tell our Blue Sky social worker when she next visits for supervision.

It feels fantastic already, and I'm really looking forward to the look on her face because the social workers get almost as excited as we foster parents. I can't wait for the phone to start ringing with the Placement Team asking us the wonder-words;

"Would you be willing to take a child who..." 

Can't wait for arrival day. Can't wait to start helping a young innocent start to fix themselves and their lives. Can't wait to start getting to know them, getting to understand them, helping them feel helped, supported...and loved.

So what happened that made up my mind?

Lots of things contributed to the decision. We'd talked about it amongst ourselves as a family, with our social worker and the Blue Sky team. I talked with my friends and my own family. Friends and family tend to put me and my welfare above everything else, so it's useful to get their views. They ended up agreeing that though they worry about me when I look tired, they know I love it.

I was hesitant though, tempted by the prospect of same-old same-old for a while.

But my heart kept reminding me that fostering is what I do best and it suits me down to the ground.

I'll tell you what gave me a big nudge...

On Saturday we downloaded Paddington 2. It turned out our eldest FC hadn't ever seen Paddington 1, so we downloaded that and had a marathon evening. We O/D'd on popcorn and the bear. 

And I cried my eyes out from start to finish.

Because, as foster parents spot straight away, Paddington isn't about a crime-solving bear. It's about fostering. 

Paddington Bear is the Universal Foster Child. The Browns are Mr and Mrs Typical Foster Parent.

So for me, every time Paddington did anything, it reminded me of one of our past foster children or another. For three hours it was one long celebration of what we foster parents do, and how our foster children are. No need for any spoiler alert, I'm not going into detail.

Except for one titbit of info; the celebrated Movie website Rotten Tomatoes gave Paddington 2 a mark of 100%, the first time ever they've given any movie the perfect score.

I think Paddington Bear, and all it stands for, touched the heart of everyone who saw it and wished they could be the Brown family.

And of course, they could become the Browns if they thought about it.

They can pick up the phone, ping off an email.

I can promise them the ride of their lives. I can't promise Hugh Grant...


  1. We went to panel yesterday as new foster carers, we received our first call this afternoon. We need more info on the child before making a decision but I just cat sleep hence writing this at midnight! x

  2. Good morning! In fact GREAT morning!
    Hope you nodded off eventually. Wouldn't be surprised if you woke up early too...
    Welcome to fostering. Here comes a roller coaster of mainly ups and a few downs, but what a ride.
    If you get a moment today, and if you say yes you probably won't get more than a moment, let us know.
    All our love.