Emma’s Fostering Blogs are by an experienced foster carer who gives you an honest and revealing insight into the ups and downs of foster care. A great resource for other carers and those interested in becoming carers.

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Frogs and Alice

Fostering Alice Blog.

Sunday.

We have been waiting for this day for several months. Today, we are travelling down to Watford to the Harry Potter tour. Lauren and Annie have been fans of the Harry Potter books and films for a couple of years and they have been desperate to go to the studio’s where the films were made. Although Alice has never read any of the books or seen the films, we felt that she is now old enough to enjoy the tour. We had been recommended it by several friends who said that she would enjoy or the visual stuff there and it wouldn’t really matter that she hadn’t actually seen any of it.

I think they were right, she had a lovely day despite not really having a clue about any of it. Annie and Lauren enjoyed it too – but they had a clue about everything – every prop, painting, costume and set – they were totally enthralled with it all. It was well worth the wait and the effort of getting down there. I loved seeing their faces as they went round, as they recognised things from each of the stories.

One thing none of us were prepared for was the prices in the shop. The girls had all taken their pocket money and had saved their Christmas money too – but it was not enough. I nearly choked when they told me the cost of a chocolate frog – £9 each!!! Wow!! I can see where they are making their money. Lauren managed to scrape enough money together to buy a map, Annie bought a scarf and Alice chose a soft toy. In the end Charlie and I bought them each a chocolate frog – that is definitely the most expensive chocolate we have ever bought (£27 for 3 chocolate frogs!!!) – let’s hope it taste good!!

All in all it was a good day out!! No major drama’s from anyone! Everyone had a souvenir, but mostly we came away with happy memories – and a hankering to go back and watch the movies again – think we will wait till Alice is in bed!!

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.

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All about Alice Blog

Fostering Alice Foster Care Bog

Tuesday.

There are lots of days when I feel like I am juggling too many things. I am pretty sure most people feel like this from time to time – but from my perspective they are definitely hiding it better than I do. Maybe they are just ok on the surface and underneath they feel like me. Today, I feel like I have gone from one thing to the next, without a breath. It started after the older two girls had gone to school, I had to get across town for Alice’s community dental appointment. I don’t know what I was thinking getting a 9 o’clock appointment. I usually get something after school, so not sure what I was doing. Getting across town during the rush hour is not my idea of fun. It is not helped by the commentary coming from the back of the car. Alice has no inner monologue, it makes sitting in traffic jams less than ideal.

I never know from one appointment to the next how Alice will behave. On occasion she can be angelic and we can be in and out in a few minutes. It was wishful thinking hoping we would get an appointment like that today, particularly as I had a meeting to be at afterwards. Alice started the session by asking the dentist and her assistant lots of questions. They always think its cute that she wants to know so many things and they indulge her by answering everything and showing her all the equipment. I know that it is simply a delay tactic and she has a string of questions up her sleeve to delay the dentist and stop her actually going anywhere near her mouth. I know she picks up from me that I am getting annoyed. I must have looked at my watch a number of times. More than ten minutes has gone by and she is now flicking through a ream of good child stickers – she’s choosing the ones she might like to have after the dentist has looked in her mouth.

It is no use, I have to say something. I remind her that the dentist needs to look in her mouth and we need to get back to school. Of course I am really hoping the dentist picks up from my cues – that Alice is wasting time and we need to get on with what we are here for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as the community dentists have much longer slots for their appointments, so they don’t feel the urgency to get her to open her mouth. After thirty minutes she has had a good look at Alice’s teeth and says she needs a follow up to have some fluoride coating put on her teeth. I couldn’t help but think, if she had got on with the inspection a little quicker then she could have done the coating there are then. I quickly get Alice back in her wheelchair, we make a follow up appointment (for a time after school!!) and we are back in the car and on our way to school.

As soon as Alice goes in to class, I head off to my foster carer training at the independent agency – back across the other side of town! I arrive a little late and quite a lot flustered. Fortunately everyone understands – they are all in the same boat. It is always good to have a catch up with fellow foster carers, you realise that you are not on your own!! Today’s training is about dealing with stress!! How apt!!!

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.

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January Christmas

Fostering Alice Blog

Friday

It was Charlie’s works “Christmas Do” at lunch time today. I’m not sure exactly why they have it in January – but apparently that’s what they always have done – and its definitely not our place to question why!! Anyway they invite ‘spouses’ to the lunch too – so that means me!! I hate the word spouse!! It just doesn’t sound very nice! I am happy to go along though – it is good to spend time with Charlie’s colleagues. It is a good opportunity to get past the small talk that usually happens when I meet them in passing and actually have time to get to know a little better the colleagues that Charlie spends much of his working days with.

It is nice to be invited to a ‘Christmas Do’, it is something that I don’t get as a foster carer. There have been times when our Fostering Agency have put on events around Christmas – but it’s not quite the same as going out with colleagues and letting your hair down a little.

They opt to go to a local pub for lunch which is perfect – low key, and it means I haven’t got to dress up. Dressing up is not something I do very often and certainly not in the middle of the day when I will have the school run straight after. Unfortunately, it was not quite the time out that everyone had hoped for. The service was really slow. Although we had all sent our menu choices in beforehand, that seemed to have no idea who was eating what. When my meal eventually came – it was the wrong meal, so I had to send it back. Eventually they brought out the right dish but it turned out to be stone cold. I sent it back again. Everyone else was tucking into their dinner while my stomach was rumbling rather loudly.

Eventually my meal came, fortunately it was the right meal at the right temperature. Only problem was that everyone else had finished their meal. I felt very self conscious, and under pressure to finish quickly so they could move on to desserts. In the end I told everyone to carry on with desserts. I was running out of time anyway and had to leave to get to school. The older two were on a 2:15pm finish day and needed collecting from school. So it wasn’t quite the meal out we were hoping for.

I think next Christmas I am going to organise my own ‘Christmas Do’, perhaps with friends rather than colleagues!! I will be choosing the venue and it will definitely be before Christmas not after!!

A Less Ordinary Fostering Family Blog.