Hello all. I would like some advice. We met up with DS's former Foster Mum and her birth daughter and (new) foster daughter last weekend. (DS was with them for a year from 11 months and SWs placed with us aged 23 months 2 years ago). We have met up with them regularly since placement. Sometimes DS has a reaction afterwards (nightmares, challenging behaviour - particularly towards/around me). He has always pretty much ignored his FC, but has a very sweet and enduring relationship with her daughter - which is something we value. This time at the end of our time together, our DS asked FC for a hug and gave her a huge hug, lasting minutes. This is the first hug in 2 years. That afternoon, he was defiant and tantrummy and that behaviour has continued. I have tried to talk to him about his feelings and he has told me that he feels sad and thinks that his FC (and her partner) don't love him any more. I have tried reassuring him that they do. Once when I said that, he promptly responded 'well, I don't!'. My feeling is that it's probably healthy for us to have these difficult feelings exposed, and that he will appreciate having maintained a relationship with his foster family when he is older. Given the emotional and behavioural consequences what do you think?
I agree with the others. It's been a bumpy road for DD coping with meet ups- big highs and then big lows with big feelings to go along with it all. Huge reaction when FC had her first placement following DD moving to us but in the end seeing that LO move onto adoption helped her realise it's not just me that my foster family didn't keep- that little scarp moved on too...
What she has realised too is that her FC has many memories of her as a baby so when we get a 'I wonder what I did when I was little moment' we can say oh lets ask your FC when we next meet.
It's come good for us but it's taken a while...
Married to Grumpy Dog and proud mum to DD Potato (5.5) and DS Spud (2.5).
I am interested in this as we have agreed to meet up with Sqk's FC early next year. She is not taking on any more placements - just going to foster the 2 older children she has currently who she fostered before they were placed for adoption (which disrupted unfortunately). Sqk was with her from 5 weeks old so over 2 years and the other foster kids are like a brother & sister to him- she is like another grandmother in many ways - always known as 'Nanny' by her foster children. We are hopeful for maintaining the relationship but nervous of first meeting as we are fairly certain that Sqk has not yet grieved for the loss so suspect this may come after meeting. Problem is he is still a little too young to truly be able to discuss his feelings so is will be an interesting time. His FC has a good relationship with most of the children she has fostered and is still in contact with them whether they were adopted or went back to birth family,
Married to Droroin, Mum to DS Sqk (12) moved in Oct 13
We have had mixed fall out from meeting up with FC with our LOs.
I, like you thought it was healthy for feeling to come out and be processed and to realise that she still cared about them.
Having said that, after a visit with a lot of fall out we put things on the backburner for a bit, still kept in touch with FC by email and text and mentioned her from time to time, but no face to face visits for almost a year.
Meetings after that have been great, LOs have moved to calling her Aunty X and have just been like seeing a close family friend. LOs have been interested to ask her various things about when they were babies too which has been good for them processing their past.
Due to meet up again in a couple of weeks. I still get nervous everytime though...!
Thanks for all your posts. It's good to hear your thoughts. I think we'll wait a bit, then see FC and family again. DS was much calmer today - only a couple of melt-downs : )
I have found doing structured 'quiet time' with him has really helped as he loves to get my undivided attention and it's good to get him to drop the energy levels a bit (not always possible with a baby wanting feeding at the most awkward moments). So, today I made up stories in which he was the hero (he got given a big green tractor in one, and drove it down the Lane to show his friends), and wrote (dictated) a decorated letter to Father Christmas. So so nice to have a better day!
Hi Just wanted to add that it works well for our dds.
Squirrel (now 3 placed at 16 months) and howler (nearly 2 placed at 8 minths) were both in same ff. after squirrel was placed we were still having contact monthly contact with ff to see howler. Squirrel didn't really take much notice of FC or fc's dh at first, or her littler sister for that matter, but loved seeing her foster brother, they had shared a room and been together for all of her placement and they v obviously missed each other. She was sad after contact, but clung to us and us reassuring her I think helped us to bond. We have kept contact up every few months with FC and she sees them as an extra set of grandparents and went to see her at her house last week. With no 3 coming home we have talked a lot about when she lived with FC as a baby and for the first time when we were in the house she wanted to know where she slept and where she played and what she played. FC has always had at least one tiny fosterling with her and it has really helped squirrel to see how beautiful and loved and nurtured the children are with FC, it has helped her enormously and I hope as she gets older and wants to ask about her baby years and bps as FC had met them and we haven't.
For us it's worked mainly because FC are wonderful and have always supported squirrel and howler in their move us and we have always felt they love our Los in a v selfless and nurturing way
Mummy to DD Squirrel Monkey (9), DD Howler Monkey (8), DS Curious George (7), DS Silverback (not quite 1)