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Blog – Before fostering

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

Blog – Before fostering

Saturday’s Foster Care Blog

Charlie’s brother and sister-in-law came to visit this week.  We don’t get to see them very often as they both work long hours in London and Charlie works weekends, so finding a time when we can all meet is tricky.  In fact we haven’t managed to get together since the beginning of last Autumn.  So we have all been looking forward to this visit for some time.  We wanted to make the most of our time together, and as they had both travelled a couple of hours to get to us, we opted to stay at home and have a home-cooked meal. I still had a turkey in the freezer left over from the Christmas sales – so roast dinner it was – all the trimmings too!

Although a big roast dinner is something we very much look forward to, it does create a lot of tension for Alice. She is not the greatest of eaters at the best of times, and if Christmas dinner was anything to go by, today would prove to be no different. We all try to carry on regardless but as soon as dinner was served the moaning started.  She doesn’t seem to care that we have company.  Although we are very much used to this kind of behaviour at mealtimes, you can’t help but feel a little bit disappointed when you have put such effort into a meal, and the first words that leave her mouth are “I don’t like it”.  Both Lauren and Annie find it difficult to not make a comment to her but after a few glances from Charlie and I they keep their comments to themselves.

Mealtimes have never quite been the same since Alice has been with us.  I have to admit that I miss the days when I could just serve a meal and everyone ate it without complaint.  We do enjoy the odd meal together just the four of us from time to time when Alice is at respite, and although we miss her presence with us in the family, we do enjoy a quiet meal without all the objections!

Before fostering, I would have said that I wasn’t that bothered about when the girls (Lauren and Annie) were just being fussy at mealtimes.  After all, we all have likes and dislikes when it comes to food.  As the person in the household that prepares the most meals, I certainly do not make meals that I do not like or enjoy.  Fostering has made me realise I’m definitely not so relaxed about it.  Actually it doesn’t feel very nice when you prepare a meal and it is rejected before it has even touched her lips.  What I need to do is keep reminding myself that this is not personal.  Alice is a product of four years of neglect.  It is going to take a long time (if ever) to work this through.  Until then, we try to maintain our cool, focus on the positives and enjoy the meals we have when she is at respite.

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