He's Unlocked A Bit Of My Heart I Didn't Know Existed....My husband and I have been trying for a family for about 4 years. I was never in a hurry to jump into motherhood so was 34 when we started and I had 3 miscarriages and then nothing. Although we're still trying, my husband expressed an interest in fostering about a year ago and I was happy to go along with it (he's the primary carer). So eventually we got approved and J moved in with us a couple of months ago. He's 17 (which surprises most people) but the knocks he's had mean he's not yet ready for independent living.
I have to admit to being completly overwhelmed by the strength of feeling I had as soon as I set eyes on him. It was like some kind of alarm inside me going 'boy without mother - mother without child - hey, there's space for you here!!!!' (in fact, he does have a mother but has no contact). This surprised me because I'm not normally very maternal (don't go gooey over other peoples' babies, etc) but think maybe I've been repressing it all these years.
I think my reaction has made it really hard for my husband for several reasons: he's meant to be the primary carer so expected he'd be closer to J the kids than me; he's desperate to do a good job and help J become independent but I keep running round doing stuff for him; initially he probably wondered if I had more than a parental interest in J; initially he was worried J would develop romantic feelings for me because of how I was acting; he planned to do this on a very professionally detached level and I'm obviously completely unprofessionally attached.....
Anyway, after 2 mths, things are finally settling down and I think hubby and me are more comfortable about how we are. J is also settling in well but it's still quite hard for him and we've had 3 dodgy spells - but I would say that after each dodgy spell, things seem to move forward a lot in terms of his settling in, trusting us and starting to open up to us so I suppose in a way, it's all to the good.
My aim out of all this is two-fold. First, knowing that we are J's last stop before independence, I want to make sure he knows we're a permanent connection in the rest of his life whether it's people to call on when he feels low, somewhere to come for Sunday lunch or, hopefully, people to be invited to his wedding. The second bit is to build his self-esteem so that he can be more able to form positive relationships of his own in future and reach his full potential in life. Part of me thinks I'm being a bit naive and maybe this is too much to hope for but, hey, I can only give it a go. As I've started telling him, 'he's worth it'!!!
As for future kids we might foster, can't even imagine that at the moment but I hope I can keep up the momentum and don't become jaded over time - but probably depends how successful we are this time round......
9Jul10: J's therapist visited the other day. She confirmed it's good (necessary event) that I feel the love for him I do because he needs to have the 'whole family experience' in order to then start the detachment process and move into adulthood with a hope of forming postive relationships himself. Am soooo relieved by this news! Hubby's still struggling though, can't get his head round having to put his heart in this. Still think it's a self-protection thing but it was all his idea in the first place. Is it just me or does it seem weird that you'd apply to foster because you want to help kids but then be able to put your heart into it.....hopefully I'll have the answer in a future update!