A letter to our little one

Dear placement. That’s what we call you at the moment. As we do not know your name. In fact we know nothing about you. Not your age or gender or your situation. 

Only that you will be coming here to live for a while. It may only be a short time or it could be a really long time. Our job is to keep you safe. 

Even though we do not know each other yet, we have prepared a bedroom for you. It’s a beautiful room ready to be filled with wonderful chaos.

All of the toys and books and clothes that are in this room are yours. We are looking forward to doing lots of fun things together. 

We’re so close now. It’l be a matter of weeks before our house is turned upside down. I can’t help thinking about where you are right now. Your situation will be getting pretty desperate right about now. 

I hope I do good by you and your family. I can only imagine how your family are feeling too. I know you will be pretty confused when you arrive here. I promise we will give you time and lots of smiles. We will wipe your tears and will be here for you, when you are ready. 

Lots of people are excited to meet you. We have been talking about you for over a year. 

We’re as ready as we will ever be. I know you are going to teach us lots. We will make mistakes, we haven’t been parents before. I promise we will try our best for you and will always put your feelings first.

Take care little one. We will see you in a matter of weeks. In the meantime we will be waiting here, ready to love you. 

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Identity Crisis

I’m in limbo.

I am not a teacher and I am not a foster mum.

I am sick of talking about what is going to happen. It hurts that it’s not here already.

I need to get this house finished. I’m trying my hardest, but there is so much I cannot do. 

I don’t want to leave until it’s done. I don’t want to see people until I know who I am, what I am doing and what I am about.

It’s all up in the air. Too high for me to catch.

I know I’m turning into a recluse but I just can’t face people right now. They come with questions and problems, both of which I just don’t have energy for right now. 

I feel tired and angry and bitter and quiet and out of control and disappointed and lonely. So lonely. 

One year.

It has almost been one whole year since we last saw you. 

Someone said to me the other day, “it’l get easier now, you’ve done all of your firsts.” I used to think the same, but for all that are yet to feel this, that is not quite correct.

Yes I have, but the first time you experience all of those meaningful dates you are so numb that you can barely believe that things have actually changed. You are in such shock and your whole body is completely denying the whole thing. You find an inner strength from somewhere that kind of carries you through each day with minimal injury. 

But nearly a year has passed and you still aren’t here. I feel more grounded now compared to last year. More able to ease in the reality and the pain. That’s all I’m doing, I’m easing into it, still not fully accepting, still not fully submerged. Just dipping a toe in. Still lots of me feeling numb. 

The reality that when I think about my future I’m having to mentally erase my dad from the mental image each time. The reality that I still hate counting how many people there are at family gatherings when setting the table. The reality that I equally want to avoid and speak about him, the constant battle in my mind. The reality that I can’t ask for his advice and tell him what I’m doing with my life now. Not now and not ever. 

That’s the point. You can’t fully come to terms with this, because it’s not now and it’s not ever.

Forever is a long time.

I am slowly coming to this realisation, my body has protected me this far. But I know for a fact that this year is going to be far from easier for any of us. My dad is even further from us all. I can never get used to that. 

Part of me actually doesn’t want it to get easier also, because with the pain of grief is the memory of my Dad. It’s all knotted and twisted into one. I don’t want to loose grip on any of it, as it’s loosing hold of him also. 
So if you know someone that has lost a loved one and it has been over a year, please still be there. Still comfort them. Still assume that they need support more than ever. Because the reality is, they probably feel the exact same way I do.

First World Problems

We get so caught up in the day to day sometimes don’t we?

I’ve got to go to work,

I’ve got to do the groceries,

I’ve got to get out of bed… etc.

How many times do you use the phase “I’ve got to”

Well I’ve been thinking about this a little while now, what if we change “got” to “get”. It changed the whole meaning…watch

I get to go to work

I get to buy groceries

I get to get out of bed…etc
All of a sudden life doesn’t feel as bad as before. There are a lot of things that we get to do that others only dream of. Try it out, I promise it will put your whole world into perspective. 

Well it certainly works for me.

Infertility

We’ve been trying for a year.

If it worked straight away, I would be complaining of sleepless nights and sore boobs right about now. Instead we are booking doctors appointments to find out what is happening.

I don’t know what they are going to say. I honestly don’t mind either way, it’s just time we know now. So we can plan our family together, what ever that looks like.

It excites me that our children could be out there now, living and breathing and needing us now.

It sure is becoming a momentous year for us, in every which way.

 

But why foster care?

It’s a really hard question to answer, but one I am getting more and more in recent weeks.

Even our head decision maker on the foster care panel asked us if it’s the right time.

I can’t explain why in one answer. There are so many reasons. The main one is just my instinct.

You know when you just get a feeling in your gut?

I can’t explain it anymore than that.

I have a pang in my tummy that it’s something I have to do. These thoughts are like a screensaver to my brain.

Whenever I’m not thinking about anything else, my mind veers back to dreaming of foster care.

Other people’s main concerns:

Q. Do you think you’ll be able cope?

A. I don’t know. I know it’s going to be incredibly hard and emotionally draining, but I’m hopeful it will balance out with success stories. I have an amazing support network around me that I know will help us through this.

Q. Why now?

A. If not now, when? Is there ever a good time for anything?

Q. What if it’s dangerous?

A. The truth is there is a little risk, placements sometimes don’t work out and that’s okay. We have amazing trainers at our agency that teach us how to deal with possible situations. The truth is these children are in far more danger now than they could ever put us under.

Q. What if you want to keep them?

A. If appropriate for the situation and placement we could file for adoption. But I am also okay that may not be best for the child, or us or others linked to the placement. The fact is there are going to be lots of adults involved in the upbringing of our foster child.

Q. What if they give you a child that you don’t want?

A. Firstly it doesn’t really work like that, you don’t just get given a child. You read their profile and they read yours and you can decide yes or no before they arrive. It is normal for 1 in 3 placements to break down and we will be supported through this if that is the case.

Q. What if it’s too difficult?

A. I just need to try.

Q. What does Jim think about this?

A. (I just asked him) “It’s not something I would ever have chosen to do, but it really excites me how passionate Jordan is about it and that makes me want to do it.”

If you are interested in Foster Care or have any other questions please get in contact with  me. I would love to speak to you about the process.

I am also hoping to update you all in either blog/photo/video form in the coming months as we accept our placement and welcome them into our home.

Me and my councellor

I’ve been seeing a councellor for three weeks now.

I wasn’t loosing it, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t bitter or having twisted thoughts, I wasn’t crying all of the time, I wasn’t tired or depressed, I wasn’t suicidal or struggling with my marriage or at work.

But I don’t want any of the above to happen if i don’t have the toolset to help me cope with that.

I don’t want to be bitter.

I want to face grief head on.

 

It’s good too.

I like speaking about Dad. Remembering and enjoying telling a stranger about how amazing he was. Sometimes it all sounds to good to be true, like I am making it up. This makes me appreciate how truly lucky I am to have him.

Don’t get me wrong, its not all silly anecdotes and fond memories. Some feelings are raw and hurt very much. I need to learn to express and work through these feelings too. They are just not as easy to come through, when I am so used to looking for the positives all of the time.

I’m just saying, I’m pleased I am having councilling.

I am not ashamed of it.

I think it is a fantastic and free resource available to everyone and anyone and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Every week I feel more and more accepting of my new reality.

Farleigh Hospice really do life changing work, with all that walk through their doors.