Saturday, December 05, 2020

FOSTERING FAMILY MONTH

 December is Fostering Family month at Blue Sky.

We (me, my other half, and our children) used to be a family, now we are a fostering family.

When we were just a family we were typical of many families; we managed to stick together through thick and thin, we had likes and dislikes about being a family, and like most families we didn't pay enough attention to the likes, instead harped on mostly about things that got our goat.

If we got anything wrong big time it was that we never once realised how lucky we were to be a family.

Fostering changed that, totally, and overnight too.

In a trice our being a foster family made us a happier family. Not merely because helping someone less well off than yourself is something that should make everyone feel better about themselves, it went deeper.

They say you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, well our family didn't have to go our separate ways for us to begin realising how lucky we were. We got to know and understand the sheer horror facing innocent children whose families are no more; probably never were.

We had failed to notice and enjoy the warm feeling of connection you get when you struggle home through the door and someone is prepared to shout an enquiry as to whether you were born in a barn. We missed how lovely we felt when someone moaned that we'd used all the hot water and they wanted to wash their hair. 

Instead we had to imagine what it must have been like to have your single mother screw a padlock onto the outside of your bedroom door so she could go to the pub every night, and burn your toys in the garden on Boxing Day to teach you a lesson. Those things had happened to our first placement, they were there in black and white in the child's case notes.

Such things bring you to the surface with a jolt and make you appreciate the things you've got going.

You can't learn about things like that happening to children and not feel like hugging every one of your family. You also can't help wanting to give the world to that poor kid, every foster child who comes your way, not just because they deserve it but because they help you see your own family in its true light. They help you feel warm feelings for the home you've created.

Fostering is as good a tonic as "It's A Wonderful Life".

Which it is, obviously (a wonderful life). A Fostering Family has a wonderful life twice over, once because of the good we get to be involved in (with Blue Sky along for the whole ride, and as rides go it's the best roller coaster in the world) we also get to realise how lucky we are as a family to have avoided chaos, to have swerved the crash and burn stories of all too many families.

If you're one of the growing number of people who are wondering if fostering is something you might be able to do, now's the perfect time.

Contact Blue Sky the minute you click away from this page.


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