Foster Carers play a vital role in children's transition from foster care to adoptive placement. In this blog post, Patrick reflects on his gratitude for the excellent work of his sons' foster carers.

We knew from the preparation groups and from talking to other adopters and social workers how important it was to have 'good' foster parents. It is extremely important when it comes to meeting your children for the first time and the way in which they prepare them for that situation.

We were very lucky!!!

They had brought up the boys from babies

The first time we met Dawn and Richard was just after we had been approved by Panel to adopt the boys. We met them at their social worker's office.

They came armed with pictures of the boys and invaluable information about them. They were friendly and chatty. We felt that we could ask them any question about the boys. The boys had been with them for the best part of three years, and they were obviously close and fond of them.

We felt from our conversations that they were preparing the boys well for our upcoming visit.

They were obviously experienced foster parents, but we were in no doubt, that this was going to be tough for them as well. They had brought up the boys from babies, and there was obviously an attachment.

nothing was too much of a problem

These lovely people, that have looked after our lovely boys for the first three/four years of their lives, were about to let us in to their family home for the next two weeks.

They made us so welcome on day one. We were so nervous at meeting the boys, and they just let us get on with it. We were only there for an hour or so, and we chatted about our plan for the next few days. We would be arriving at six in the morning for when the boys woke, so that we could bath them.

They would have a cup of tea waiting for us, and nothing was too much of a problem.

They told us all about their routine, likes and dislikes. They would offer advice where necessary, and were slowly letting us take over.

I also think that it was so important for the boys to see us all getting on, as they were clearly close to Dawn and Richard. They would step in if they felt we needed help and even invited us on a family night out.

As the two weeks came to an end, they asked if they could have a goodbye party for Johnny and Joe with the rest of their family. It was the least that we could do, and we left them to it.

They play such a vital role

The day that we left with the boys, was a highly emotional day for all concerned.

They helped us pack up the car with all the boys' toys and clothes and the goodbyes were extremely hard, but they were very professional about it.

All of this really helped the introductions, and the handover. They play such a vital role.

We still keep in touch to this day. We did a couple of skypes in the first year, but we now just update them by email. We send them their school photo each year and they are always pleased to hear about how the boys are progressing.

The boys still talk about them occasionally and we have always left pictures of them with and Debbie and Richard and family around for them to have a look at. After all, it was a happy time for them and for that we will always be eternally grateful.