Sunday, 15 September 2013

Fostering before having your own children

When we initially looked into fostering, we wondered whether not having previously had our own children would count against us in the assessment, but in reality we found the opposite was true. Our social worker Jane and her manager both seemed quite excited by us - here was a couple who could focus all their attention and energy on fostering as they had no other children to distract them. We were convinced of the benefits too, and looked forward to a new life as foster carers whilst planning to add to our family by other means later on.

Now that we're getting on for our first annual review and have said goodbye to two foster placements our outlook is somewhat different, and at the moment we would caution anyone who was considering short-term fostering without also having had their own birth/adopted children, or without any foster children on permanency.

There's very little I can say that can accurately describe how it has felt since Jack-Jack has moved out. Of course we miss him, but it's much much more than that. The house feels empty and too quiet. There's no one shouting at us to wake up in the morning so we keep oversleeping, we've both been absolutely shattered (the intros really take it out of you) and haven't had the energy to cook so we haven't been eating as healthily as usual, plus there's no one to set a good example for! Without a child we both feel a bit like frauds right now and we've been avoiding the friends with children we've made since starting fostering.

Of course there's the practical aspect too - fostering is my full time job so between placements I have not only nothing to do, but no income, which makes it rather more difficult to do the things we haven't been able to do with a baby in the house, like going out for dinner, to the theatre or the cinema.

We didn't have any of this when Andy left. It wasn't easy and we missed him, but our routine didn't change as we still had Jack-Jack and his routine to focus on. It's made us want to look at bringing forward our plans for starting a family so that as we continue to foster and placements come and go, we'll have our own children to hold that bit tighter and appreciate that bit more.

No comments:

Post a Comment