Foster care changed my life and gave me my first hug.

Foster care changed my life and gave me my first hug is one little boy’s memory of the impact of a hug from his foster carer, which changed his life.

Foster care changed one man’s life when as a scared and abused child he met the woman who changed everything for him; she gave him his first hug. He remembers the power of that simple gesture and how scared he felt because he didn’t know how to react.

That gesture became the foundation for his healing, and with the support of foster carers, he learned to trust and love back. It was a simple gesture, one most of us took for granted, and it became the gesture when everything changed.

The start of his healing process was from a hug; it gave him the feeling of being loved and warm without fear. He had a feeling memory’ for the first time in his life, not based on pain. This feeling memory was from love, and as he adjusted to his reaction, he understood kindness.

Sadly, no one had shown kindness before, and he wouldn’t know how to react. But he did respond; the surprise of his love and the warmth of love from a stranger that made him feel safe became the basis for healing. 

Often, the smallest gestures have the most significant impact; Sadly, that feeling may be the first time it would have been used that didn’t have conditions attached; simply, when delivered with compassion, it has the power to teach a child to trust.

How many can say we remember our first hug?

This video broke my heart. And although it was sad, it was uplifting, as the respect and love for his foster parents shone, and the lasting memory of kindness from a hug to him was profound.

As adults, we usually give hugs with ease. I take it for granted that hugging someone enables me to show others how I feel about them. However, I know tactile behaviour from unknown people is unwanted. Sadly, for children with abuse and trauma, hugs and contact by people offering comfort are rare; they don’t know how to react other than with mistrust.

The feeling of a hug is hard to process; children often have nothing to link it to; they can’t connect it. But foster carers understand because they have an inherent empathy. They know that words are not required for some children and lead them in care with silent kindness and compassion.

Jeremy Corbyn National Care Day 2019

Foster carers understand the power of hugs.

For this man is blessed. He had a foster carer who shaped his future and life by giving him a feeling of memory attached to kindness and love. It brought warmth and comfort to a little boy who had never known it before; it was a moment that shaped his life.

Foster carers and people who care for vulnerable children who suffered trauma and abuse have an innate understanding and empathy for children. As a result, they make the biggest impact in the smallest ways, like giving hugs to a vulnerable child with compassion and kindness.

Foster care changed my life…

Sadly, many children in care have endured physical, mental, and sexual abuse. There are many forms of abuse; however, they are all equally unacceptable, and no child should ever have to say that foster care changed their life. However, life is not as it should be, and as Jeremy Corbyn has shown, the positive influences of those who live their lives with kindness and compassion can and do make a huge difference in the lives of vulnerable children.

Please get in touch with me on the form below if you want to learn more about foster care in your community. There’s no cost or commitment. Just a shared desire with a collaborative support network of people who know that we must understand the power of hugs and love to make a difference in the lives of children in care.

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