Oooooh Christmas is coming and I cannot wait! It’s such a magical time of year! But of course, it’s only magical for those of us lucky enough to be surrounded by family, friends and loved ones! It’s easy for me to say what a special time of year it is, as to be honest I suppose I have taken Christmas for granted my whole life. Even now at this ridiculous age I get a Christmas stocking from Santa AKA Lorraine my Mum!
Sadly, for many people out there Christmas is just a stark reminder of how much they have lost in life or what little they have! Foster kids can fall under this category and I know for many foster kids Christmas can really bring out the worst in them as they struggle to cope with overwhelming sadness and anger at their own situation. Many are faced with the reality that they are not surrounded by parents, siblings, aunties and cousins and it can be an incredibly isolating sense of loss for them. Can you imagine the feeling’s that must go through their heads and hearts? I can’t even begin to!
As a foster carer and a foster sister, I have spent my whole life having Christmas’s with kid’s in care! One of the biggest and saddest things for me which I have seen happen over and over is when the kids build themselves up so much to expect that a Christmas miracle will happen. Mum is coming back for them or the most common one is Mum or Dad is sending something huge to them for Christmas! Sadly, in my experience the majority of the time nothing ever comes other than tears and heartbreak! What can you say? What do you do? Do they ever forget such a devastating broken promise? Somehow I doubt it!
“When you’re in care and move from one family to another, memories can be harder to hold on to!”
Christmas in fostering is not all bad though and for me I have so many happy memories. I will never forget as a foster sister waking up one morning to my Dad screaming STEPHENNNNNNNNNNNN (my foster brother who was aged 8 at the time). As I rushed down to the kitchen and looked out the window to see my Dad’s shed his pride and joy where he kept all his DIY tools. It had toppled, collapsed on one side into a huge crater!! Oh, he was effin raging mad and cursing away! Everyone else of course was sniggering which was turning into fits of laughter as he left the room! The previous day Stephen had been out all afternoon digging in the snow as little boys do. He was out for hours enjoying himself and even my Mum had commented ‘well he will sleep well tonight’!
As he returned in from his marathon digging session in the snow as night fell, little did we know he had gone through the snow and into the earth and dug a huge hole next to the shed! Overnight, snow had become rain and the hole had flooded and the shed had sunk and then toppled into the hole! Oh, my god how we howled with laughter over it for the next week (apart from my Dad of course)! And that was so so long ago now! Those silly family memories we create are what makes this time of year so special! But when you’re in care and move from one family to another, memories can be harder to hold on to! It’s even more important for us as carers to make these memories last for the children. Memory books, photos, videos, the list goes on! It really is a vital part of our job to help make these last!
Thanks for reading, my name is Amee and I’ve been a foster carer for GLF for 4 years and to date have been lucky enough to have fostered 9 amazing kids.