Saturday, December 11, 2021


 Every year Blue Sky organise a Christmas lunch for their carers at each of their many offices around the UK.

One's heart goes out the agency's head honchos who dutifully attend every single one. On one ocassion one of them had 2 Christmas lunches in one day, so there to the Vicar of Dibley (UK sit com about lady vicar who accepts invites to 3 Xmas lunches on the same day).

`I remember trying to explain what all the fuss was about to a Muslim fellow-carer one year. You should have seen her face when I recounted the hymn claiming that "Man will live for evermore because of Christmas Day".

Look, it's all a bit silly - yet for many absolutely essential. 

Whether the glow is down to memories of happy childhood Christmases or looking forward to lots of family being together or what, I don't know. Even a cynic like me sheds a tear when the Snowman and the kid lift off for the North Pole.

But back to the fostering Christmas lunch. 

It's always fascinating seeing a roomful of fostering folk. So diverse in every way; singles as well as doubles, all ages, all types of background, veggies and meat eaters, teetotallers and non-teetotallers, all races and creeds etc etc etc.

And, big bonus; one or two carers who have themelves been fostered as children. Now there's a double conversation that has to be had every time.

Some remember dark days. How could they not? They remember the fears and uncertainties, which they sometimes say was - at first - worse than whatever went on at their home.

My first Blue Social Worker, the one who visited us monthly to assess us, he'd been fostered and he only remembered it as happy days. He was fostered by a farmer's wife. He told me she let him drive the land rover on their land when he was just 14 years old and how the kitchen always smelled of fresh baked bread.

Anecdotes are the lifeblood of fostering talk;

One of the loveliest stories I heard at one Christmas lunch was from a carer whose placement - a boy aged 14 - got to go home for Christmas. They drove him to his real home on the Sunday before Christmas Day and were scheduled to pick him up exactly a week later on the 28th. However. On Boxing Day there was someone at the door.

The boy.

He wanted back. Said his home had imploded. Said he knew it would from the off but still wanted to give it a go.

Quick call to Blue Sky (they're open all over Christmas), they called the boy's Local Authority Social Worker and the boy's early return was signed off officially.

The carer filled up in the telling, a mark of how deep fostering can go. The family agreed they felt blessed to have their simple lives so richly celebrated that a child from outside their family longed to be back with them so much he actually trecked the pavement for the best part of two hours to knock on their door and ask for shelter.

All a bit like the Christmas story in a way.  Except they did better than offer him a manger..


Post a Comment