Mo and her husband have been fostering for ten years. Her parents fostered and she always knew it was something she wanted to do one day. Mo explains what makes Christmas magical for her fostering family
Our young person
Mo currently fosters a thirteen-year-old girl who has been with her for two years. She can’t imagine life without her now.
Mo says, “She’s an angel. She will get things wrong and has gone through a lot. But we can’t image her not being here. It wouldn’t feel right if we weren’t fostering her. She’s staying with us for the long term. We treat her as part of the family."
What Christmas looks like
“We change the Christmas for the child. For example, the idea of having lots of people around with hundreds of presents can be way too overwhelming for some children, so sometimes we’ve kept Christmas simple”.
Mo and her husband have a big family with lots of children and grandchildren around. The young person who lives with them now loves a busy Christmas and can’t wait for all the family to visit.
Before she came to us, she’d never had a Christmas stocking
“What our young person is most looking forward to is the meal and the games. The main reason is knowing everyone is here, happy around the table, playing games, watching the Christmas film and playing Secret Santa. We're games people and create a lot of fun, it’s so lovely how excited she gets.
"Before she came to us, she’d never had a Christmas stocking. I’ll never forget the first time we gave her one. Her face lit up and she couldn’t believe there was so many presents.
"They were just tiny things, but she said thank you for every single one. I kept saying you don’t need to say thank you for every one. She was just so grateful."
Mo helps nurture the relationship with her young person's birth family. She also creates Christmas traditions to help build a sense of identity and positive memories for her young person.
“Our young person still has contact with her family, so we make a point of her always having her own Christmas tree in her room with her presents and cards from her birth family. I take photos of her opening them and send it to them.
"Every year when the main Christmas tree goes up, the children choose a Christmas decoration for the tree. Then we take a photograph of the tree and what year it is.
"The plan is when they’re 18 they take all the decorations they’ve had every year and can put it on their own tree when they move out. It creates memories for them and something they can always keep for themselves.
Part of the family
"Another tradition we’ve started is Christmas breakfast together. The children and grandchildren come over and we have crackers, gifts, cappuccinos, lattes, eggs and bacon. I make my own crackers and buy individual presents to put in them for everyone. My young person loves it!
"We want to show her that Christmas can be fun. She may not be able to be with her family, but she can be part of ours”.
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