Sunday’s Fostering Blog
We have just got back from a weekend in London. Some time ago, I had booked Alice into respite for the weekend so that we spend the weekend with Lauren and Annie. After I had booked respite, my friend Sally invited us down to London. It was her sons birthday and they were having a family party. They were then intending to go to the Star Wars Exhibition at the O2 Centre in Greenwich. I have known Sally longer than I have known Charlie. We met over twenty years ago when we were on the same team on our gap year. We lost touch a number of years ago but have reconnected recently. She had remembered how much our girls love Star Wars and wanted to include us in their plans.
It worked well that we had already booked respite. I am not quite sure how we would have managed Alice in her wheelchair on the London Underground. It is not something that we have tackled before. There is one thing travelling from one place to another in London, but a very different thing when you want to visit several places. Out of sheer curiosity I looked up “Accessibilty in London” – I was pleased to find lots of information on the Visit London Website about travelling when you have a disability. (http://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/accessible-london#RmYVoTfttjzsGuLW.97) We didn’t need this information this trip, but it was very useful to know – just in case we brave it with Alice in the future!
We had a great weekend, it was good chance to spend time with the older girls without the interruptions that often come when you foster or have a child with additional needs. It was great visiting our friends too. It is always good to spend time with people who have known us for so long. We have found since we moved last year, we have got to know lots of people, but we haven’t got any deep friendships yet – that takes time. To be honest it was also good to have a break from the routine, medicines, catheter changes, etc. Life seems to be planned around endless alarms that go off to remind us of various things throughout our day.
Charlie and the girls loved the Star Wars Exhibition. I finally got to visit the venue previously named The Millennium Dome! I realised that respite was a blessing for Alice too, she would have struggled with the exhibition, a lot of it was in the dark, it was very sensory, lots of striking visuals and sounds. Alice can be very sensitive to sensory experiences, so it was a relief she wasn’t there.
Our respite carer brought Alice home and put her to bed. This meant we didn’t have to rush back. It felt like we had been away for a week. We had so much fun, and despite the busyness of the weekend we felt rested and refreshed. We are ready to tackle the next half term. Only 6 weeks till the Easter break!
A Less Ordinary Family Foster Carers Blog