Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Our Last Weekend with Lucy

Yesterday Lucy returned to her birth parents. This was tough for us, and Jack especially, who had started to think of Lucy as a little sister. We put on a brave face for Lucy’s sake and enjoyed a final weekend together.

While she was happy living with us, of course it is best for Lucy to be with her mum, and I think she was pretty excited about being able to return to her.

On Lucy’s last weekend we took her to Alton Towers. We wanted to have a day trip that Jack could enjoy just as much as Lucy, and it certainly proved to be a hit!  Lucy had never been to a proper theme park before and was a little nervous but she loved it.

Air Alton Towers

Lucy enjoyed a lot of the children’s rides – it was only Jack and his Dad that went on the scarier ones! I’ve included a picture of Air. I don’t know how they did it! 

We had a trip into Birmingham on the Sunday and went to Ed's Diner in Selfridges. Both Lucy and Jack love it there, and although I try to eat healthily most of the time burgers really are my weakness! We had a lovely couple of days as a family and Jack didn't ask to see his friends once! 

It was a bitter-sweet weekend however as we know it will probably be our last with Lucy, but we have spoken to the agency and they said it will be fine for us to exchange christmas and birthday cards which we look forward to doing, as we would like to see how she gets on over the coming years.

There is at least a light at the end of the tunnel – we are hoping our next foster child will move in with us in the next few weeks. Other foster parents have told us that saying goodbye to their first child was the most difficult, so hopefully we will get used to the process and it will get easier in time. 

We are looking forward to having the chance to help another child and do what we can to shape their future.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Saying goodbye to Lucy: The end of our first foster placement

When we agreed to foster Lucy we knew how difficult it would be to let go of her, but we have always had to bear in mind that this time would come and prepare ourselves mentally for it.

Achieving the right level of attachment can be very hard when fostering, and as Lucy was our first foster child the process was really a learning curve for my family. 

We treated Lucy like a member of our family and did our best for her, as we wanted her to feel loved during her time with us. However, it was important to keep a certain amount of emotional distance, and accept that although we feel an emotional bond to her, she won’t be a part of our family forever.

Lucy’s birth mother is now in a position to care for her again, and we know that it is best for Lucy to be with her real mother.  It has been wonderful to see her flourish and grow in confidence since she came to live with us, and I hope Lucy will continue to do well at school now that her mother can care for her properly.

We know it is important to stay positive for Lucy and talk about how wonderful it will be for her to return to her home, as her well-being must come before our own. We would like Lucy to email us and stay in touch if her mother is comfortable with this, as we would love to keep up our bond with her.

We were lucky to have such a lovely, well-behaved child when we fostered Lucy, but we are ready to accept that our next fostering experience may not go so smoothly.

Our family will be very sorry to lose Lucy, but we wish her well and hope that she is happy when she returns to her biological mother. 

If you are considering fostering, I recommend you read some fostering stories, to get a better idea of what the everyday reality of foster care might be.

Have you fostered? How do you cope when it is time for a child to move on? If you are a foster parent I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Weekend Treat: Chorizo and Haddock Sandwich

I like to treat the kids and Tim to a more exciting lunch when we're having a lazy day at the weekend and have the time. Usually they have rushed packed lunches that I make in the morning, and it can be difficult to make varied lunches all the time. 

This is the first time I tried this particular recipe out - adapted and simplified from a Jamie Oliver recipe. it proved to be a hit with Tim especially!

I try to get some fish into the kid's diets but they're not too keen on it, so mixing it in with lots of tasty ingredients in this way is a good way to make them forget they don't like it.

Ingredients for four:

2 haddock fillet
1 piece of chorizo
some rocket/lettuce
Fresh loaf of bread
1 large red onion
1 lemon, zest grated
red wine vinegar
greek yoghurt/creme freche
1 tablespoon mustard


1. Cut the chorizo into thin slices and fry briefly, then set aside
2. mix the chroizo-infused oil from the pan with the yoghurt, lemon zest and mustard, then spread on the bread and season
3. mix the sliced red onion with sugar and vinegar, then add to the sandwiches with the rocket
4. Fry the haddock over a high heat for a few minutes each side.

You could serve up with some home-made chips as I did, or a salad if you're trying to make it a little more healthy.

Me and Tim enjoyed the meal with some pimms - it was the weekend after all! We gave the kids lemonade with fruit in it in the same style, and enjoyed the first relaxing lunch time together we've had for a while.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Gardening with your Kids

The weather’s set to be lovely this weekend, and I’ve been working on getting my veg patch ready for planting. I think it could be a nice opportunity to get the kids involved. It is sometimes a battle to get Lucy to eat her greens, so I’m hoping that having a hand in growing them will make her keener to eat them.

I love my little garden, and last weekend I let Lucy pick out some pretty flowers from the local garden centre, which we planted. I hope that this is something we can bond over, and the garden will become a fun project we can work on together.

I also hope to get Jack out for some of the afternoon in the sunshine – he’s always stuck playing the play station inside!

You can see an extensive list of what’s good to plant for June here on the Channel 4 website, and the Botanico website is useful for more detailed information on how to plant your veggies. Here is my brief description of how I’m going to plant the following below:


These will take around 16 weeks. You need to sow the seeds thinly in shallow drills, and then cover them over. They need to be kept well watered, but apart from that little extra attention is necessary while they grow.


Sweetcorn grows best in moist soil. Use a dibber to make 2.5cm holes in the soil, and sow two seeds every 35cm, with 60cm between rows. Cover and water, then when they get to about 2cm tall remove the weakest of each seedling pair.

Spring onions

This a quick growing crop, which is useful to keep Lucy interested. You need to plant them in a sunny area with good drainage. Rake the soil to make it fine and crumbly, and make drills 12 0 20mm deep. They need to be spaced around 10cm apart, then sprinkle the seeds in and cover with soil.

Other plants for June include kale, chicory and squash, but Lucy is less likely to enjoy these I think!

If you are currently growing leeks, celeriac, celery and brussel sprouts indoors, it’s warm enough to move them outside. We have leeks in our green house that are now ready to get in the sun.

Are you planting vegetables in your garden? Is this something your children enjoy getting involved in? Let me  know your thoughts!