One year has passed

I can’t believe myself but one year has passed since we become foster parents.

This is also my first post since November. I’ve stopped posting when our children moved in. I do not have any particular reason why I stopped blogging. Well, maybe a few 🙂 First of all I am not sure what I can write now: I am confined by confidentiality – I cannot just write about our boys. OK, there are ways to keep confidentiality and still share some thoughts with others but I wasn’t sure if I can do it. Secondly, our life has changed very much, time management is difficult. And on the top or bottom of reasons: I am lazy 🙂

I will try to summarise last 12 months of our life. In my previous post I wrote:

And how we feel about fostering now? Wow, that was the best decision we have made in our life!

Do I feel like back then, now? YES! It was the best decision! Our children brought so much to our life. I know that we both changed men now: more responsible, caring, more patient, punctual, more verbal and more advocating for us and children. I did not realise that I can be so persistent getting what we need. But more important we are happy, we wouldn’t change our family life whatsoever.

OK, I still didn’t write what went on for last 12 months 🙂

Boys moved in at the beginning of November 2015. From start, they all settled well. Only our Middle One had small doubts. We gave him a bit more attention and he quickly calm his stress down. My partner C. made sure that boys understood all rules and expectations. We made clear that we will respect them, listen to them and care as best we can; we expect just this same. Boys responded to the boundaries very well. They thrive on routines, small chores and playtime together. Days become weeks and we slowly get used to school runs, bigger shopping and lovely noise in the house.

Shortly our first Christmas together arrived. C. went totally “mental”: Boys ended up with 40 present each! They said that they had best Christmas ever. No surprise. Next: during winter school break we went to Devon for a week. We spent time on excursions and swimming in the massive hot tub.

After that time passed very quick. Summer holidays arrived. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go abroad as boys do not have the passports yet. Long story. Despite this, we had great summer.

After the long battle, we managed to move all three boys to local school. No more 3 hours of the school run per day! Boys walk to the school. They love it.

This is our year in 218 words 🙂

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Waiting is over, Boys are here

It was long time since my last post. Our live speed up immensely since then. After 5 months of wait we have children in our home! We are very happy and more important they seem to be happy. I will tell story of few past weeks briefly.

We received first news about this children a few months ago. It was short e-mail asking for placement for three pre-teen boys. From short description it sound interesting; we said yes straight away. Next we received official referral documents. We liked description of children. We also found out background why they are in care. At this time children were under Interim Care Order and lived in temporary foster placement.

Around mid-September we met Boys Social Worker. We found out more details about Boys. I cannot give any description or personal characteristics here but we liked it very much. Shortly: they are 3 brothers, ages from 10 to 13 years old. All very “lively” (this word was repeated by anyone who meet them!) and intelligent. Their family had some ups and downs and parents could not look after them. LA was applying for Full Care Order. We were asked if we can wait until Final Court Hearing? Three hours after Social Worker left our home we received e-mail confirming that we were chosen as Prospective Foster Carers.

In September court postponed hearing till end of October; we had to wait longer. On the day of final hearing we received phone call that Full Care Order was granted and next day we were to meet Children.

On the 22nd October we meet young people at their current foster home. We were kind of nervous and I guess boys also. Difference was they did not show any shyness and was totally relaxed. Meeting went better than we expected. We had planned 2 hours but did nearly 4. We had great chat and good time together. After 15 minutes children’s SW left us. She said that nobody needs her assistance. 🙂

Two days after introduction week started. Boys arrived to their new home early afternoon. They stayed with us for 7 hours. We had our first dinner together. We made man’s steak pie. They loved it. Comment from Little One: “That was the best mash potatoes I had in my live!” Bless him! All boys are very good eaters. Actually they less fussy than me! They like “grown-up” food: more savory than sweet. Gravy, vinegar and chili are favorites. Brilliant as we did not planned to cook two dinners. We showed them their bedrooms and rest of home. They see pictures before and they couldn’t wait to see and explore playroom and cinema. But they couldn’t find it. On the pictures they couldn’t see that playroom is located in separate building on the bottom of garden. The loved it.

They had hundreds of questions but one was repeated many times: “can we really stay here until we are 18?” We assured them that even after theirs 18th birthday they will have a choice to stay longer, until they ready to live on their own. This answer made them happy.

Introduction week had 3 night-overs and plenty activities. It was during half term school holidays. We were lucky with weather: we spend lots of time outdoor exploring local sport venues, parks, playgrounds. We went to Jump Giants and we ice skating ring.

Boys decided to start moving their belongings during this week; it was nice to see them happy and pleased. They like their new home and we heard a few times words: family, our home, my room.

Home was converted in no time to family with kids home. We love it. After few days we found ourselves with socks in the pockets; slightly embarrassing but fun taking it out in the supermarket 🙂

All introductions went very well. We had lots of fun and laughs. They are very outgoing, well-spoken and interactive kids. Home is full of chatter and noise and we constantly keep hearing them calling our names. It looks like they enjoying company of two male carers. We were asked on the second day to confirm that we are gay couple. They needed to hear it from us.

Now, we are back to school days routine. We took all routines from previous foster home. Previous foster carer did amazing job with the Boys. All boys are well organised, tidy and clean. There are no problems with hygiene, swearing or bad behavior. We understand that we are still in our “honey-moon” period and some issues will arise. We already see that they are very different characters and some sibling rivalry is there. But this is part of childhood and growing up.

And how we feel about fostering now? Wow, that was the best decision we have made in our live!

We are tired, exhausted and falling asleep at 9 PM but happy like never before 🙂

Little worry

I read blog post of Secret Foster Carer about feelings she felt when one of her foster children left home. This post make me worry a bit.

I did not experienced emotions and worries of “child’s leave” yet. It must be not great feeling. I do know the feelings of awaiting for a child. I am going through it now and it is not easy. We are waiting for our first placement, waiting for care order decision.

I can only imagine real worries about child; I’ve read many referrals and often find myself worrying about children I read about. Never met them, do not even know how they look like, sometimes I do not know theirs real names. But for some strange reason I worry and feel for them.

I do not have children on my own so where from those feeling and emotions are coming from? No idea. Sometimes I worry I am too soft for fostering …

Online training

When you are become foster carer training becoming part of your life. There are a few compulsory courses to do. Also there are many courses to choose from depending what we need. Online courses offer the flexibility to study when and where suits us — all we need is a computer with access to the internet. The courses are easy to follow, engaging and interactive helping you pick up new topics quickly.

Also every foster carer have to do Training, Support and Development (TSD) standards form. This is part of a foster carer’s induction in the role. TSD provide a national minimum benchmark that sets out what foster carers should know, understand and be able to do within the first 12-18 months after being approved.

We have finished: First Aid, Skills to Foster and recently Child Protection Skills. It is very important course. Took us 2 days but we did enjoyed it.

c s

 

Little Boy Tadpoles

Funny post from one of my favorite bloggers 🙂

Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog

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Communicating with a daughter who is deaf can be particularly challenging, especially because my signing skills are not at her level I have always said, however, that I have enough signs for her to understand what I am saying.

For instance:
Marie loves camouflage shirts, pants and sweatshirts. One day she asked me why the clothing looked like leaves, and I told her it was made that way so people could hide in trees in the woods to shoot deer or other animals. As expected, her mouth opened wide and the surprise showed in her glinting blue eyes. SHOOT an animal? She would never do that! She thought for a minute and then told me she was going to say the leave shirt is for playing hide and seek in the woods and no one could find her. I tend to think they might be looking for her for a…

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