Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lucy's Birthday

Birthday cake inspiration

Lucy’s 8th birthday is coming up in the next few weeks, and we want to make the day as special as possible for her.

Lucy’s background has meant that she hasn't experienced many special birthdays where she has been spoiled and treated, so we try to make them wonderful for her. This will be Lucy’s second birthday with us.

Last year we felt very nervous about how to approach her birthday – whether she would feel emotional about not having her birth parents present, and wondering what she might want or expect.

Luckily it was a wonderful day, and I thoroughly enjoyed throwing a party and buying presents for a little girl for the first time.

These are my top tips for spoiling a foster child on their birthday:

  • Let her choose what she wants your family to do for the day – where does she want to go, and what does she want to eat. Does she want a party? Perhaps she would find this overwhelming if she isn’t used to this kind of treatment.
  • Throw in some surprises that she wouldn’t expect, but would make her feel extra special. Try decorating the house with balloons and streamers, getting party poppers, or decorating a dining chair to look like a princess’s thrown for when she comes downstairs in the morning.
  • The issue of her birth parents may be a tricky one. Each situation is very individual, but if your child is keen on seeing them on her birthday talk to the agency about whether this is a possibility.
  • Create something fun and different that is especially for her. For instance, Lucy’s favourite treat foods are jelly, chocolate muffins and chocolate sauce. She was delighted last year when I created a sort of sundae, with jelly, broken up double chocolate chip muffins and ice cream, drizzled in chocolate sauce.
  • If you have other children, make sure you include them in the planning. Make them feel involved by asking  for suggestions, and explain why it is so important that your foster child is treated to a special day, so they don’t feel that there is any favouritism.
  • Obviously presents are central to any birthday. While you may feel like splashing out a lot of money on your foster child, try to put careful thought into what you buy, rather than buying a lot of expensive gifts for the sake of it.
  • If you have really taken the time to understand what your foster child enjoys they are sure to love their gifts. You could use the opportunity to encourage a hobby or interest, or buy something you could enjoy together – maybe materials for crafts or painting.

Whilst you may well feel that it is important to make this day special, try to relax and enjoy it, rather than worrying too much.

Tim and I were quite concerned on the run-up last year, but we needn’t have been. Everybody had a wonderful day, and it was terrific to see Lucy with such a big smile on her face.

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