It gets better

Little “Terrance” was only with me for 36 hours.
A short one off respite placement so his carers could go to a wedding.
I spent a couple of hours in tears after he went home. I wondered if I had it in me to do this. By this I mean, foster, give them back, get attached, have my heart broken.

I am blessed, I don’t have lots of friends but those I do have are amazing.
With friends living all around the country we stay in touch online, so I got onto Skype. Hopefully, someone would be around, and they were. There were a few around, and they knew that I’d had my first placement so they were waiting to hear how it all went. I was able to chat to them and cry at the same time. It was so good to be able to talk to friends and with their help I was able to focus on the awesome weekend that I’d just had and not on the sadness I now felt at the little man going home. By the time I spoke with my support worker the next day I was feeling much better about the situation.

About 3 months after this placement the agency that supports me had their annual Christmas Picnic for families and I was reluctant to go, not yet being a “family” (MM was living interstate and as I don’t do long or short term care I didn’t really think I belonged) but, with some encouragement from MM I went. Best thing ever….thanks MM for pushing me to go.

When I got there I was told “Terrance” was there. Where he was playing with his new family was pointed out to me, but I thought I wouldn’t intrude. I really didn’t think he would remember the lady he spent a day and a half with.

An amazing thing happened shortly after arriving. The little fella run across the picnic area to come and give me a hug. His first words to me “When can I come for another sleepover?”

All afternoon he kept popping over to see me. He even brought 2 of his bio-siblings to meet me.

I just don’t have the words to explain how awesome it was for this little man to not just remember me, but to also give me a hug when he saw me and when he was going home, and to ask for another sleepover. Words just can’t explain the feeling adequately.

“Terrance”, thank you for saying hi to me at the picnic. That small action from you means the world to me.

What’s your most memorable moment from your first placement?

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Terrific Terrance

“Terrance” was my first respite placement, and like all first ‘babies’ will always hold a special place in my heart.

I was so nervous. My first placement, and a boy. I wasn’t even sure I knew how to entertain a little man for a weekend.

I had planned so many activities for the weekend and we stayed busy. Busy kids aren’t bored, and non-bored kids don’t whine.

We did jigsaws, baked gingerbread men, made mini pizzas, went to the park, made things from the making box, and that was just the first day. The second day included a trip to the farm, patting all the animals, playing soccer, hiking around the rocks, before coming home to print out pictures and make a photo book of all of the things we did for the weekend.

My highlight of the weekend had to be when he went to bed, I know, all you parents think that’s the best time of the day because that’s when they are quiet, but for me it was different.

I was told by his ‘mum’ that he could take up to 2 hours to go to sleep and because he was not going to be with his foster brothers I was warned, he would probably cry for a while about being lonely.

Well, bedtime arrived after his favourite dinner and movie and I prepared myself for a long couple of hours.

He got himself ready for bed, and chose a book from my collection for story time and without any requests for more drinks, stories, toilet trips he snuggled into his bed and I read him “The Very Cranky Bear” by Nick Bland. We said goodnight , I turned out his light and not a peep was heard from him.

About 20 minutes later, I couldn’t help myself. I tiptoed up the stairs to peek into his room, and he was out like a light. What an amazing feeling. This little person that normally has sleep issues, fell straight to sleep. I can tell you, it was the best feeling in the world.

“Terrance”, thank you for the best introduction to respite care.