We always thought there were four in this new forever family. That was until recently when we realised that in fact there are considerably more. Mum, Dad, Pumpkin, Rhubarb and then you, their foster families who looked after them while they waited for us.
Ever since placement we have accommodated a number of views which centred on the idea that staying in touch with you, where possible, was in the best interest of the children. Therefore, within six months we agreed to direct contact. We were always a little wary but went along with it as you were all so loving and caring to Pumpkin and Rhubarb. We indulged the not so helpful cuddling and kissing. We ignored the slight hints of criticisms that were so clearly directed at us as the new forever parents not being good enough. We even rolled our eyes but held our tongues when Social Services were criticised, who are only trying to do their job, after all. All because it’s the right thing for Pumpkin and Rhubarb; they need to know people don’t just disappear.
In truth what should really have happened was that you took on a different role if you truly wished to remain visible to us and the children, one of family friends rather than once-upon-a-time parents, otherwise it’s just too confusing. But of course this didn’t happen, and now Mum and I are in the awful position of being made to feel like the bad guys if we just say no to you when you want to visit more often than we feel is appropriate.
You would like to see more of us – or least of Pumpkin and Rhubarb – but it’s not helpful; particularly for Pumpkin at this time. It is also not great for the parents in the room. We don’t even see their forever Aunty more than once a year. Your agenda is so clear – to retain a constant, pseudo-parental role in their lives – and no one can see this but us. Having said that, we will be forever grateful for everything you did for Pumpkin and Rhubarb. You will always be part of their life and story but now it’s time to show your love in a different way by giving them the permission and the time and space to continue growing into the beautiful pumpkin and rhubarb we all know and want them to be. And also to give us the respect and time and space we need to ensure that happens in the environment we choose; when we feel ready, we will be in touch, be assured.
Forever Mum and Dad parents to Pumpkin and Rhubarb