Helen’s Fostering Blog.
Last Minute Preparations Before the Children Arrived.
When I woke up that morning and I knew my life was about to change, I was also acutely aware that wasn’t just how I would be feeling today.
I couldn’t get out of my mind how might these two young children be feeling. I was a bag of mixed emotions that I knew I didn’t have time to understand and I was a grown women who was surrounded by all that makes me feel safe, my husband, my home and all of the things that made me me.
I got up early that morning and armed with a short list of things the emergency carers had stated the children needed I rushed off to the shopping centre to purchase some new school trousers, socks and PJ’s etc. I also picked up a welcome gift for each of them, which was tricky as I didn’t really know that much about them.
As soon as I arrived back home a Social Worker started transporting over all of their belongs from their previous carers. Bless her she made 3 journeys back and forth including a pet hamster that unfortunately we were unable to take as I feared my cat might think it was a treat for him and that definitely wouldn’t have been a good start.
With my hallway full of two children’s worldly belongings I wasn’t really sure what the best thing would be to do, should I unpack them and make their rooms feel more familiar, or would they want to do that themselves?
After a bit of dithering I decided to pick their bedrooms for them and put a few things out. And if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, I then had to start wrapping all of my stepdaughter’s birthday gifts and sort out decorating the lounge with her birthday.
There wasn’t even any time for lunch let alone to collect my thoughts.
It was explained to us that the children would be met after school by their Social Worker who would tell them a little about us before driving them to our home. As we had not had an opportunity to meet the children prior to them coming to live with us, we decided to send over the short video that my stepdaughter had made.
In the video Libby had included photos of us, our home, what would be their bedrooms, and a photo of our cat. Besides each photo she had written a little bit of information about us. The video finished with us not only welcoming children into our home but to our lives. This video still gets mentioned by the children a year down the line, they tell us it really helped them and whilst they were still very nervous this had helped make them feel excited too.
4pm came round quickly, there I was sitting in my lounge with my husband, our supporting social worker all making small talk about these two children who would arrive any minute now, no-one would have properly noticed but I felt like I was standing too close to the cliff edge.
I was so worried about getting it right, what if they didn’t like me, what if I didn’t like them and that was how I was feeling so god only knows how a 8 and 9 year old child who had just been moved from yet another foster home was feeling.
The doorbell went and in burst two very lively, chatty blond hair children who have now become the centre of our lives.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer