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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Christmas starts

Saturday’s Fostering Blog

Today we went to our first “Christmas” event – it was a Christmas craft fair run by our church at the local village hall. I have to say these events are not really my cup of tea, not just because it is still only November – but I know we will end up spending far too much money on what I consider a lot of old tat. I am not wrong!

The minute we get through the door we are accosted by old two ladies wanting us to have a go on the tombola. When the girls didn’t win on their first go, they had three more goes until they did win! The prize was a little underwhelming. Call me grumpy – but I just paid £4 in tombola tickets for a £1 selection box. The rest of our time was spent looking at knitted tree decorations, lavender bags and second hand books.

I really didn’t think the girls would be that bothered about anything other that the home made cakes that were at the other end of the village hall. Lauren and Annie had a quick glance at the rest of the stalls and decided they would go on ahead to choose which cake we would take home to have this afternoon.

Alice however, wanted to stop at every stall and wanted to buy all her Christmas presents there. She engaged in conversations with every stall holder. Fortunately, we had given Alice some pocket money to bring and we made a deal that she could spend as much or as little of it as she liked, but if she chose to spend it all we wouldn’t be giving her any more money.

After three stalls she had spent everything. She then looked to us. We reminded her that she had already spent what she brought.

A Less Ordinary Family Foster Care Blog

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Alice’s stage

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Thursday

This evening Annie and I went to her school for a Careers Evening. The school had organised the evening for all year nine students who will be making their GCSE options later this year. It was intended to give them an opportunity to think ahead about careers they are interested in or might take an interest in, and to therefore think whether they need to take specific subjects for that career.

It is probably fair to say that it is pretty early for 13 and 14 year olds to know what career they have in mind, but I am sure it is useful to broaden their horizons a little and at least show them a variety of options.

I have to say on reflection that the school had only managed to get pretty academic professions represented – engineering, medical, lawyers etc. Whilst Annie and Lauren are potentially academic enough for these kind of careers, I couldn’t help but think ahead for when Alice is at that stage. There must be other children at the school who are not so academic and will be looking at more practical / vocational jobs. It is such a shame that these kind of professions were not represented at all. It is certainly something I will give feedback to the school on and hope that by the time Alice is at this stage other career options will be represented. Otherwise there will be little point a child like Alice even attending such an evening.

At least for Annie, who is thinking of something within medicine, it was a very useful evening, and she got to talk to a few professionals who were very helpful giving advice about doing some extra curricular things to add to her CV and help her stand out in an University application. Until then she needs to continue to work hard, and keep her mind open to all the possibilities of careers open to her.

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Fostering Alice

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Big Fireworks

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Monday

Last week was Bonfire Night. To be honest I wasn’t feeling 100% so decided not to mention it to the children. I thought to myself, if they bring it up then I will gather myself and make the effort to take them to a display. I have to admit that I was secretly pleased when no one mentioned it, especially because for most of the week we could hear fireworks going off pretty much all the time. It would be fair to say that Charlie is not a massive fan of fireworks, so it’s usually me that gets to organise finding a local display. We have never done our own display in the garden – I guess being a fairly cautious person I would be concerned about safety!

Just when I thought all firework displays had been and gone, my good friend and neighbour popped round and asked if we’d like to join them for some fireworks that evening. The kids overheard our conversation and were over the moon and couldn’t believe they had nearly missed seeing fireworks this year. So just when I thought I had got away with it – we were soon getting on all our warm winter clothes ready to join our friends – at least we didn’t have to travel too far and only had to go over the road to watch them.

One thing I had definitely failed to remember from last year is Alice’s growing sensitivity to noise, and in particular sudden unexpected noises. Our neighbours did reassure us that there wouldn’t be too many big fireworks as they had only bought them at the supermarket. However it became apparent very quickly that they were much louder and bigger than expected.

Within seconds, Alice made her feelings known and there was no way she was staying to watch any more. Charlie volunteered to take her inside where they could watch from the window. Lauren and Annie weren’t bothered at all, think they were just please to be watching the display without the whinging and whining from Alice. I must remember this in future. Am sure Charlie will be only too pleased to take one for the team and stay at home with Alice.

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Fostering Alice