The first rule of fostering is ‘don’t get too attached’ right?
I mean ‘they’re not yours’,
‘you’re just filling in for a bit’,
‘it’s like you’re a kindy teacher…just 24/7’.
We’re not talking about inanimate objects here!
We’re not talking about a nine to five job where you can clock off and go home at the end of the day.
And let’s face it, the very thing these kids need is a genuine attachment.
But is it what I need? This hurts!!!
Our foster daughter loves the phrase ‘Fabulous Good’…so for the sake of anonymity, within these meandering thoughts, she can be called Miss Fabulous.
Initially, I thought we’d only have Miss Fabulous for a short time.
So I kept my distance…emotionally that is.
Physically she was HARD WORK
24/7 HARD WORK.
The problem with hard work, while you’re trying to keep your heart hidden away, is that it’s even harder…know what I mean?
After years and years and years of looking after Miss Fabulous and the aching process of bit by bit handing her my heart….I’m still asking the question:
When do I get to call her ‘mine’?
Technically I am her ‘carer’ not her ‘mummy’.
Technically she is my ‘foster child’ not my ‘daughter’.
Early on in our fostering journey I read an article about a fostering system …I think in England…where the biological parents have 2 years for reunification. After this period has passed, if reunification hasn’t been achieved, then the foster child can be adopted/permanent placement.
I’m not an expert in child psychology… but from my limited experience…
that sort of system seems to make sense to me.
Security, certainty, permanency…
If the child and carer have formed an attachment bond why keep tearing it apart?
Recently we experience a terrifying ‘incident’ which left our whole family shaken. As I held a sobbing, trembling Miss Fabulous in my arms the words that soothed her came from deep within me:
I’ve got you
Mummy’s got you…… and I’m never letting you go.
‘You’re MY daughter,
you’re mine …..and I’m never letting go’.
I hope we don’t see a repeat of the melodramatic scene from the Titanic movie where Rose promises Jack, with great conviction, ‘I’ll never let go’ ….and seconds later does exactly that…physically let’s go of him.
I realise the point is that emotionally she never lets go….and I guess that’s the truth of this matter too.
One day we may have to physically let go, but I know with great conviction that I can never emotionally let go of this child…………. who really deep down is ‘mine’’.
This blog is written by an experienced, anonymous foster carer. Feel free to share your thoughts in the contents below.