Covid 19 Lockdown Foster Children.
Rhiannon ( names changed ) went out for a drive with her friend Elaine last night. Alan’s friends came over and lit the fire pit in the back garden. Michael ( now 16 ) stayed home, on his computer, as he has done throughout lockdown.
We suspect that his future is with computers . He uses them to play games, but also to socialise with friends from across the town, to watch films and Youtube extracts, but mostly to research his passion – computers. While he is “online” the house is filled with laughter – but then he turns it off – to come and snuggle up on the sofa for an hour or so to watch TV. Last night it was Grand Designs !
This afternoon Michael assisted my husband in cementing some steps in place on the garden. Then at 4.00pm he came with us ( and his sister ) to drop off his brother Alan at his retail job, before we went on to the Birthday Party Celebrations for a family friends 2 year old.
I would say that ours is a “normal” family home – except that most of our friends who have teenagers report that they fight, backchat and want to be as far from them as possible. This isn’t the case for us. I don’t think our parenting is perfect, but by being “professional parents” much of the stress of day to day work is removed and the children are your main focus.
Watching Michael socialise with so many of his adopted aunties and uncles and their young children was indeed a joy. He has become relaxed, self-assured and confident. This is a million miles from the child who was terrified of rejection, defensive and would frequently be verbally abusive and afraid.
As foster carers when we are going through the pain of supporting a young person we hope there is light at the end of the tunnel. Today gave us the proof, as if we needed it, that the part we have played in his life has been thoroughly worthwhile. He frequently talks of how he has been with us pretty much half of his lifetime and it is evident that the memories of his very troubled early life are fading and no longer trouble him.
My husband and I laugh about how in the early days if we were together he would somehow pop up between us, while walking or watching TV.
It is now so clear that the bond and attachment that has developed with us is going a long way to repair the difficult start in life that sadly was his experience. He has indeed shared our life and all of the memories that we talked about today with our friends were his memories too.
Children who are fostered genuinely need unconditional love and to be included as full members of the family in order to have a chance to thrive. Sadly not all do – but they all deserve the opportunity to have a chance at a secure family life !
Jayne Robbins – A Foster Carers Blog.