Less than 12 hours to go..................
Well, tomorrow is the big day, we collect child 4 from his foster parents and bring him HOME! It's just like Christmas Eve in our house tonight. It was really, really hard taking him back this evening, it would have been so easy just to keep him here. In fact he cried when we put his jamas on and when I left to take child 1 out he said "don't go." Now that tugged at the heart strings.
I don't know if you read the blog update "An insight into my fears" which was about the irrational fear I had of meeting the foster mum, well I couldn't be more wrong. Child 4's respite foster mum, has been amazing. From day one when she first saw us arrive at the the practical planning meeting and recognising us from the Forever Family book made us feel so very welcome. Having both fostered and adopted she had a real insight into how we would be feeling and she tried to make everything as easy, efficient and friendly as possible.
From the first moment we met child 4 she called us mummy and daddy, she stepped back to allow us in to take up the role of his parents. She encouraged us to take him out and shared her own experience to help pave the way for our next few chapters.
Foster carers have to be a special breed of person, they offer themselves and their homes to vulnerable children of all ages at what can often be hours notice. The average allowance paid is around £150 per week. That I know at first sounds a lot, but that covers 24 hour care for those 7 days. The children they often care for have been removed by social services in what is likely to been a traumatic experience. Then they love, car and nurture them whilst birth parents have some respite time or whilst adopters are found. Then they have to support those same vulnerable children into returning home or prepare them for a new home.
I am sure that there are some foster carers who see this as a way to make a living from home and possibly don't live up to expectation. However the respite Carer, child 4 has been with the last 5 weeks has taken really good care of him, whilst waiting for us to work our way through all the rec tape. We truly could not have had an easier transition period or felt any more supported than we have done by this family. They have a couple of children and child 2 has swapped mobile numbers with one of them and is texting most days with updates.
I take my hat off to these types of people, those of them that carry out their roles of foster carers with each child in their care being the centre of their lives - good on you and thank you