Panic is setting in, and I am feeling so conflicted.
I began to clear out our “box room” the other day, which is the room where we would welcome a foster child.
My computer and computer table, with all its gubbins, is now downstairs in the playroom. It feels weird to see my sanctuary, my place of escape, in our family room. I took down shelves in the room, cleared out the chest of drawers (I mean, how much crap can be stuffed in to one set of unused drawers?!) and took everything else out that the social worker doesn’t want to see.
I have booked someone to come and paint the room this weekend, as it’s currently looking shabby and very pink. A neutral colour will replace the walls that are adorned with stickers, pen marks and holes. We have a single bed in there, but I know that we will have to change it for a cotbed – IF we get approved. I am loathed to buy one right now because we don’t know if we will be approved or not. We are applying to foster children under the age of 4 initially as my girls are so young and we feel this would be the best fit for our family. If all goes well then we might consider older children as the girls get older.
I feel like our lives will be scrutinised – rightly so, as we need to be able to offer the right setting for a child, but I wonder if I am doing the right thing. I flip between being scared of the process, scared of them approving us, to being annoyed that the process is too long and wanting a child NOW. We have months of this ahead of us – social workers will “pop in” at any time to check up on us and get an idea of what family life is like for us.
Ava is still bouncing off the walls with excitement. We have been open and honest with the girls over the last couple of months as the process started and we have attended meetings. Yesterday I let Ava’s school know that if they hear her talking about social workers in our home, it’s because we are applying to foster, not anything else! Ava hopes we will get little ones under 18 months as she loves, loves, loves to be a mummy and help look babies. She is especially fond of my friends one year old and clucks over him like a broody mother hen.
I remain frightened. Frightened that we wont be able to meet the needs of a child, frightened we wont be able to be 100% perfect for a little soul placed in our care. We need to do this perfectly and with love and compassion. I know we can, but I fear I am making a mistake. I wonder how my girls will take to it; after all, they remain my main concern and all I hope is that the experience will be positive enough for them to be the next generation of foster carers. What if we get “failed”? How will I feel if the social worker comes and assesses us over the coming months and says a big fat “NO!” Will I feel like our family is a failure? We have love in our house, a lot of it. We are happy. My girls get on (most of the time) and the rest of the time I am a psycho and shout and scream at them. Am I a bad parent? Will the social worker think I am incapable?
Even typing this out, I am getting myself in to the mindset that its ok. Whatever the outcome its going to be ok. If we are not good enough then so be it, we tried. There are hundreds of children in the care system right now who need families and if we get rejected then we have to accept that the social workers have got it right and they need more than we can give.
15th June… A male social worker called “A” will come and meet us, the girls and inspect our house. The next chapter starts or ends there.