Recently we had a phone call when we were away on holiday. It was our apologetic social worker with a possible placement that we she thought would work for us and time was of the essence. We had a million questions but most of those would have to wait and instead we chose the key ones which we knew would be the make or break of whether we could continue to see if she was right for us. Most of these could be answered there and then and we decided to setup some meetings when we got back for our kids to meet her and for us to get to know her a little as a family before we proceeded.
After the phone call I found myself in quite an anxious state which surprised me. The anxiety seemed to be from the fact that we were about to open our doors again and to give a young person a home (hopefully forever) and what it would mean. We have only done small amounts of fostering over this year and here we were in the same place that we were five years ago when we opened the door to Alice. As we shared in previous blogs the ride with Alice had massive ups and downs and so I found that this was the set of emotions that presented themselves when we heard about our imminent new friend.
I’m sure some of you are used to lots of phone calls and adapting at the last minute. Maybe some of you do respite and those calls of a quick move do not bring the flutter of butterflies like maybe it did in the beginning. For me though I found that it bought forth a worry as to whether I was ready to foster long term again even though we had been awaiting just that call.
The reality of the situation is that we are more than ready and so are our kids. I find it amazing however that for me there was a need to transition from one placement to another to remind myself that only am I capable but previous experience only informs us how to be better carers for the future regardless of our fears of worthiness. As I write this I can hear Holly playing minecraft downstairs and signing to herself. She is a completely different kettle of fish to Alice and it’s my job to be the best foster dad I can be to her.
I guess any fear that we may feel in moments like this can only be mirrored by the kids who end up in care. What will my family be like? Will I fit in? Will the rhythms of their life fit with how I like life to be? Since Holly has moved in I have tried to be more aware of this and have folded her questions in with mine as we develop relationship. I guess we all have trepidation of big changes don’t we? Maybe the test of us as carers is how we model what to do with our fear and turn it into positive learning experiences so that it will help our kids learn how to look at change to.