Thursday, 27 August 2015

Older and adult foster children and birthday cards

One of the little sadness's of being fostered and having few, if any, family around is how few birthday cards you receive. It probably sounds horribly silly and trivial to normal people but it was an annual reminder that I was different from most folk.

When I was in foster care from 14 to 16 I used to get one card (plus a postal order) from my Dad's parents up in Yorkshire and one card (without a postal order!) from my Mum's sister who lived in Southern Rhodesia in Africa. My Mum didn't know where she was in time or space and as she was in a mental hospital anyway she couldn't pop out to the shops - so she had an excuse!

My foster parents probably should have brought me a present or at the very least a card but they didn't bother. That was how it was back then, many foster parents regarded their young visitors as little more than lodgers and not somebody to be cared for or nurtured. Because I didn't have a birthday party (or an event like 10-pin bowling) I tended not to get invited to other peoples celebrations.

When I timed out of foster care I moved in with the lovely Mrs H. She used to buy me a present and bake me a birthday cake and once I met Jane - who later became my wife - I started getting presents and cards from her as well. Jane's family were very good at remembering events like birthdays and for our whole time together we used to receive and send little gifts and cards. Jane used to write all the dates on the calendar we kept in the kitchen so nobody would be forgotten.

Now of course there aren't many people around who remember my birthday except when I was 60! - then lots did!

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