Friday, 14 January 2011

Ten Highs and Ten Lows of Kinship Caring.

Kinship caring is looking after a child under 16 who is not your own, not adopted, not fostered, but who you are looking after and belongs to close family or friends.  You can find out more about my kinship journey in previous posts that I have written here and here. I care for my niece who is now 13 years old, she came to live with us after my sister (her mum) died 2 years ago.  Today has been a very tough day and it might well get worse yet as when my two biological children have gone to bed there is some big talking that the three of us are going to have to do before bed.

  1. Every time I look at her I feel sad that my sister isn't watching her grow up.
  2. It is incredibly difficult to know when she is truly feeling ill, unlike how I can tell with my biological children.
  3. Facing her grief is harder than handling my own.
  4. Seeing her rejected over and over by her father.
  5. Seeing my 9 year old learn about things such as self harm.
  6. Knowing that because of her attachment disorder there is every chance I will not get to see whether we are making a difference until she is an adult.
  7. Going to visit friends and staying over is logistically more difficult.
  8. Leaving her with a sitter as we could our youngest two is not possible because of her behaviour problems.
  9. Going on holiday as a family is so much more expensive.
  10. We can never fill the hole that she feels not being with her 'real'  parents.
  1. The pride you feel watching your biological kids accepting a new member into the family.
  2. New friends made.
  3. The friendships that matter becoming so much deeper.
  4. The sense of achievement you can feel they manage the smallest things, eg. getting a thank you out of the blue.
  5. Taking the time of work which meant we could get a puppy.
  6. Being ahead of the game knowing more about secondary school before my biological eldest's friends parents (those that don't have older kids!).
  7. The privilege of being alive.
  8. Discovering that my marriage is made of strong stuff.
  9. Knowing that without God this could have been so much worse.
  10. Watching the three kids play together, like they have never known any different.


  1. Than you for explaining what a kinship carer is. It is a very brave and generous thing that you do - but how could you NOT do it? May God give you the strength to carry it through.

  2. Thanks for your encouragement doorkeeper, good to 'meet' you!

  3. Sorry to hear it's been tough, and I guess it's always tough. While you may never see that you are making a difference, and you may have to wait to see it, there is no doubt that what you are doing is of eternal significance and worth. Xx