Do you stay in touch with the foster kids after they’ve left you?

Football is a common language spoken the whole world over.

Fostering Chelsea fans will have clear memories of that great night in 2012, when London’s finest won the Champions League with a superb Didier Drogba penalty.

I was watching the game with my son and a 10 year old foster child.

He wasn’t English, but he did claim to be widely travelled.

He’d been to a variety of Eastern European countries, Norway, and Gulliver’s World of Adventures.

I tried to explain, that though very exciting, Gulliver’s World didn’t actually constitute a sovereign Nation State.

He begged to differ.

We decided not to fall out over such trivialities.

For various reasons, he left our home.

We had a goodbye tea at his preferred restaurant, a local Maccies.

As a goodbye gift, I gave him a Chelsea Fernando Torres shirt.

For a short while we kept in contact, and then, eventually, we heard no more.

This is not unusual.

Foster Carers have no right to be informed about what happens to the kids we look after.

They’re not ours.

Occasionally, events would trigger memories of this young boy; mentions of his home country in the news, passing the same Maccies, or mentions of Gulliver’s World.

Tonight, on May 29th, Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time.

My thoughts went back to that evening in 2012, and for just a brief moment I wondered where he was.

Somewhere in Eastern Europe, a 19 year old was thinking the same thing.

I know Social Media can be an absolute PITA, but our foster child, now a 19 year old, used Instagram to track us down.

His message was short, simple and beautiful

‘Hi, I remember you. We watched the Chelsea win Final in 2012. It’s great to win it again. Thank you for what your family did x’

I don’t know if other Carers have had similar messages.

We’ve never had anything quite like it.

We may never get anything like it again.

It’s great to know he’s alive and thriving.

When we foster, we only know our part of the story.

If you are someone who needs to know ‘what happens in the end’, you will have to watch football matches or Disney films.

Published by

fosteringandadoptionwithphil

Birth parent, Foster Carer, Adopter and Recruiter of Foster Carers for Liverpool City Council

6 thoughts on “Do you stay in touch with the foster kids after they’ve left you?”

  1. Fabulous to have news of him!! I think of him every time we go to Gulliver’s! This one definitely tugged at the heart strings Phil x

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  2. Wow, I received my care records this week and it’s painful reading BUT I was fostered out 3 times during my time in care (13 years) each family has left a small Influence on me, all positive, all still enjoyed today, Reg and family from Bicester – my love of sport came from your willingness and encouragement, I still run, cycle and swim all thanks to you. These are things that make me feel good about myself, something I can do each day that leave a sense of achievement and satisfaction. To the Belands of Marcham, Abingdon who shared with me “family” living, the values of education and work, but the one thing that sticks is eating together as a family 40 years later we still do this, it’s my favourite time of each day, and something I hope to have passed on to my blended family and finally to the Bellmand of Charlbury who shared there family with me and allowed me to play, be inquisitive, fail and feel safe, thank you all, these things may seem trivial but they’ve shaped my life.

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  3. It rarely happens but occasionally. And it’s so special. New parents want to start from scratch and forget about the past. Not sure that’s always wise – but certainly understandable. The fostering phase of a care experienced child’s life is part of their full life story – and we hope to make it one of the best bits too – so I think it’s important not to try and brush it under the carpet. The one’s we’re in touch with are doing well. The others – we sometimes hear snippets but we don’t really know… But spot on – we have no right to know. There’s no doubt we want to though.

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