Friday, 18 September 2015

Family traditions and the foster child

Although I am quite old (over 60) my skills in Information Technology are not too bad. Not as good as the youngsters I know of course but much better than the retired people I see doing the Beginners or Intermediate courses in the local library.

I thought that this site was quite interesting.

In a strange way reading what foster parents are supposed to do now makes me both happy and sad at the same time. It is good that more is done now to make the foster child feel loved and wanted but it makes me cross that nobody seemed very bothered about that sort of thing when I was being fostered in the 1960s and 1970s.

My foster parents were white working class. They were not religious, except at Christmas time when they used to play Christmas carols on an old mono record player. Christmas and Easter were just holidays from having to go to work and would involve them sitting in front of the TV watching old films or various Christmas Specials. Most of my non-fostered pals would be expected to stay at home with their families over the main holiday time so I used to get bored with having nobody to have fun with. I used to go out to the park when the remains of the Roman walls are and walk round and round the lake just to pass the time. Quite often there would be families there with the youngsters trying out their new bike or other toys and it used to make me rather left out of things.

For some reason my foster parents were far more generous at Easter rather than Christmas. I used to get 1 big chocolate egg and 6 of those small cream filled eggs from them. I used to make them last a whole week.

Obviously my foster parents must have had some family but I cannot remember much about them so I am guessing that they either lived a long way away or that there had been a family row sometime in the past and they had stopped talking to them. I certainly don't remember any family visits, phone calls or letters.

All this meant that when I left foster care I didn't really have any family traditions to take with me when I went into lodgings with Mrs H.  Mrs H was quite old, but she was lovely and she made my birthday and Easter and Christmas feel like special times. Decorating the Christmas tree always made her cry a bit because she had been doing that when the police called to tell her that her husband had been killed in a factory accident.

When I moved away to live in Wolverhampton to live with my new wife Mrs H made me promise to put the little angel she gave me on top of the Christmas tree every year. And every year I still do!

1 comment:

  1. Oh crumbs, this has made my eyes all teary. It's good to know that the little things I do to try to make my fostered children's special times special will have an impact in the long run.