Fly, Baby Bird, Fly…

my life as a mother of many

Sons and Daughters October 14, 2015

Filed under: A Foster Family — Mandy @ 1:24 pm
Tags: , , , ,

October is always the month where birth children of foster carers are celebrated.

They are often overlooked, but they play a vital role in the provision of a stable foster placement. Our children have to change and adapt to allow for the complex needs of some of the children we care for. Their plans are often second place to contact, meeting or appointments. When a child moves on they grieve. They go through so much…

…however, all the children of foster carers that I have met are always positive about their experience. They know that a loving family, a nice home and emotional support are not to be taken for granted. They are understanding of peoples needs and circumstances. I believe my children are growing up to be tolerant, empathetic adults because of the role they have at home.

I will leave the final words to Mr11, Thank you x

“Living as a foster family is nice because you get to help all different ages yeah it can be hard but most the time it’s fun and normal you learn a lot and know how to look after a child when you are older.” Mr11.


National Adoption Week 2013 November 4, 2013

Filed under: Adoption — Mandy @ 2:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

National Adoption week is always special to be, but this year it is especially so as we are just going through the adoption process with my baby bird. He will be flying the nest in a couple of weeks.

Adoption, for me, is the end of my role in my baby birds life. More importantly, it means the beginning of a new family.

Since I became a foster carer I have been involved in 4 adoptions.

Four fabulous, emotional adoptions.

Four couples have had their lives completely transformed.

Four couples can start and put their heartache behind them and look forward to a future they thought they’d never have.

and most importantly, four babies have the beautiful, devoted forever families that they deserve.

If you have thought about adoption, you probably have many unanswered questions. My advice would be, enquire, find your answers, you may be surprised.

I’m not saying adoption is easy, but neither is bringing up birth children.

This parenting lark is tough, no matter how you got the role! but it’s also rewarding, heart warming and fulfilling.

Could adoption be right for you? You wont know, unless you find out more..go on..just ask xx



Moving on.. February 5, 2013

Filed under: A Foster Family — Mandy @ 6:12 pm
Tags: , , , ,


We have just completed the moving on process, and another baby bird has successfully flown the nest.

Lots of people ask me what the moving process involves so I thought I would share my experience from my view-point.

Once the social workers have identified a possible match, I get to meet the potential adopters. I always feel very nervous, I could possibly handing ‘my’ baby over to these strangers in the next few weeks. It truly is a strange feeling but however nervous I am, I know it is not a patch on how worried the adopters must feel. I never know their story, but experience tells me that not many get to this stage without facing heartbreak and disappointment somewhere along the way. It is a brief meeting, all very polite. They say first impressions are important, well they certainly are in this case as soon after social workers are asking for my opinion of the potential adopters. I feed back my thoughts and then they social workers carry on with the next stage and I carry on caring for my baby bird, knowing that it will soon be time to fly the nest.

The next I hear is about matching panel, where the couple are officially matched with ‘my’ baby and if successful, a date is set for a Life appreciation Day. Photographs of the new parents are sent to us so baby gets used to seeing their faces, we have mummy & daddy time every day.

Life appreciation day is a day long event, bringing together everyone who has been involved in the child’s life.  For our babies this is usually social workers, health visitors, the adopters and us, the foster carers. Around the room are pictures of the child, for me it is when I have to choke back the tears, these are my pictures, my memories. Introductions are made and everyone shares their information. As the meeting goes on, people start to relax. It comes to my part and I tell everyone my story with baby bird, routines, likes & dislikes. I blink back the tears and soon it is time to break for lunch. After a break we begin the planning meeting, where we set dates and times for the introductions and a date for the final move. This is the bit I cry though, I have been very lucky to work with some fantastic social workers who really understand how hard this is. We all have a little joke as I pull out my family size box of tissues and tell them just to carry on and ignore me. I write down dates and nod my head and there is, all written down in black and white, my last 10 days with ‘my’ baby. There is a sense of relief when the meeting is over, I have a plan and I work best with a plan. I know have a very important job to do, I have to help baby bird transfer his attachment from me to his new parents. I know it will be done, I’ve seen it before. Amazing how, when handled correctly, it can happen in a very short space of time.

And so we begin introductions. On the first meeting, I hand over baby bird to his new parents. I always feel so increadibly honoured to be a part of this. I get to be there when a couple meet their baby for the very first time, it truly is an amazing moment.

We build up visiting times over the next few days, baby is thrilled every time his parents arrive and is happy to spend time with them. I potter around in the background, a little like a visitor in my own home. Soon they are taking care of all baby’s needs, getting him up in a morning, feeding, dressing, changing, bath and bed time. I am on hand to offer advice if needed, but I generally just get on with all the jobs I don’t get chance to do when you have a crawling, inquisative baby around!

Half way though we meet with social workers and if everything is going well, we progress to the next stage which is them caring for baby in their own home. So for the rest of the indroductions baby is collected from me in a morning and brought back at bedtime. Baby is still very content with all the change, still smiling, chatting and eating well. On the 3rd night of this, baby comes back to me all smiles, but I notice him watching his parents putting their shoes on and he’s looking between them and me as if he is thinking “where are you going?” “why are you leaving me?” and I know he is ready. He has made the switch and I know he now recognises them as his primary carers, his parents.

Moving day arrives and as I wake up, my stomach is churning. I feel like I have a lead weight in my chest. Soon the social workers are here, we make small talk, I cry, I make cups of tea, The parents arrive, my tears are now heaving sobs, my heart is pounding in my chest and it hurts, it physically hurts as I had my baby bird over to his new parents. We move very quickly now and they drive away.

Once the car is out of sight, there is a huge sense of relief. We did it, another little family has been created and we played a part in it, I shall never lose sight of how precious that is.

In the week that follows we feel very loved. We have cards, presents and flowers sent from baby bird and his parents, even cards and flowers from social services.

I love my job, but if you don’t mind I’m going to have some hot cups of tea, long bubble baths and some unbroken nights sleep before I do it all again 🙂

A xx





Fly, baby bird fly… October 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mandy @ 3:13 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This was the post (from my other blog) that made me think about starting this one, I hope you enjoy it.

* * * * * *

Today I began the best, and the worst part of my job.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a foster carer and today I got the news that my little baby bird will be flying my nest.

When people find this out they often ask “how can you let them go?” the answer is simple “because they are not mine to keep”

The next thing they say is “Oh, I couldn’t do it, because I’d get attached” This used to really hurt. Do people think I am a heartless witch? Hard as nails?

My babies have been hours old when they have joined my family. A precious, tiny newborn for us to care for.

I do everything that any new mother does. The night feeds, the walking the floor, not to mention the endless washing. But most of all I feel the overwhelming surge of love.

Then, after 6 months or maybe 2 years, you get the call I had today. A date for the final move. This call is never unexpected but when it arrives it hits you like a tonne for bricks. It’s like someone sucks all the life out of you and there is a physical pain that I can only describe as heartbreak.

Plans are made and there is much to be done to prepare for a move. The pain eases as you watch your baby transfer their affections to their new parents. When my baby looks to them instead of me I know I have done a good job. I know I can no longer call them “my baby”

To see a family created right in front of your eyes is a truly amazing experience, it is an honour to play a part.

As I watch them drive away the pain is unbearable, it’s time for a cup of tea and a good cry. Then you dry your eyes, take a deep breath and get on with your life, knowing that you have just been part of something incredible…

…and knowing that in a day or so, you will be doing it all again :-)

So, fly baby bird, fly. Stay safe, be happy and remember that I will always love you xxx