Peter has had a great Summer and has just gone back to school into year 2. He has put up with a lot of change as one of us has been at the hospital with Russell most of the time, and has thrived with all the challenges that have come his way. He's getting stronger and fitter all the time - he now regularly runs 1km at our local running club, his confidence has increased: this Summer he's tried rock climbing for the first time and has climbed right to the top of the biggest climbing frame at any of our local playgrounds. He's taught himself to read, he's constantly experimenting and enquiring, his speech has improved, he loves imaginative play and he's developing a real sense of humour. He has a keen interest in butterflies so we've been providing him with resources, he can now identify 6 or 7 different species and will spend half an hour at a time sitting in the garden watching all the butterflies visit our buddleja. He's such a little character!
Russell has also started thriving since he became part of our family. When we first met him he was seven months old but like a newborn in terms of his development, except for his utter disinterest in whether anyone was with him or not. He's now 9 months old and about 3-4 months developmentally, but his whole demeanour is different - he's interested in us, wants our attention and is starting to demand it which is great. We've completed our training in his care and do everything for him whilst we're at the hospital. We're hoping to be able to take him on outings soon (accompanied by his ventilator and all his equipment!) and work up to day leave, overnight leave, and then hopefully he can be discharged home by November. We have a lot to prepare at home before he comes, and it will completely change our lives (again!), but we're looking forward to it. He's definitely worth it.
We were really pleased to receive an email from Belle's adoptive family recently, telling us how well she's doing, with some photos from their busy Summer. It's so lovely to see how happy they are and hear about their new life as a family of four, it sounds like Belle is keeping them on their toes and is making loads of progress!
We have more change on the way as we've decided to move house to give Russell a downstairs bedroom, Peter more space to play, and our dogs Lady and Nana a bigger garden to run around in! We're in the process of packing boxes, and since we're moving over county lines we're visiting new schools for Peter too. Our local authority accepts foster carers from neighbouring counties so we don't need to change fostering agencies thankfully.
It's a busy time but we're sure everything will settle down by Christmas... perhaps it will then be time for us to go back on the lists for a third placement!