Welcome to our Book Club!
Each week for the next couple months I will be using the blog as a deeper dive into my new book, The Call to Love. If you have not yet started to listen, no worries! You can join us by picking up your book on Audible or iTunes - click here for a direct link. The book is designed as an audio book, however if you prefer a paperback or ebook those are available on Amazon.
So for this week we are taking a deeper dive into Chapter 1 where our story first gets started. One of the topics brought up in this chapter is foster showers. Have you thought of having one? As you know from our story, I hosted a foster shower for Roy. If you are thinking about hosting a shower for friends or family that are entering this stage, I'm sure you will be fine planning the menu and decorations, but thought you might appreciate some gift suggestions.
Foster Shower Ideas
Night lights Children of all ages feel anxious their first night in a new home. Especially if you have been abused at night, it can be a scary time. A calming night light or even one of those that shines a cool design on the ceiling, can be very helpful. Some children will prefer to sleep with the lights on, so a gift of some energy efficient bulbs is also a great idea.
Beds If the family hasn’t had a baby before, or in a long time, they may need a crib that is convertible for multiple ages. Check with the family to see if they have specified what ages they will be receiving, and that will help you learn what bedding they will need. If they are taking older children a set of bunk beds can be really helpful.
Bedding The softer and more comfortable the better. These kiddos will be anxious, especially that first night and soft sheets and blankets will help. Also, a must have is a fully zippered mattress protector. I always recommend this so that the mattress is completely protected from any struggles your child may have in the night, or anything they may have brought with them (lice & bedbugs are not uncommon with foster children).
Pajamas A variety of styles and sizes are helpful to keep on hand. I cannot stress how nice it is to have these in soft textures. Just like you and I, if the kiddos are able to put on some cozy pjs, it helps them relax a little.
Snacks Keeping a bin of non-perishable snacks for children of all ages can be helpful in those first arrival moments to help ensure bellies are filled as soon as possible. Think Goldfish, Cheerios, Granola Bars, etc.
Bubbles & Lotions When some children arrive one of the first things they need is a bath and a change of clothes. So some really nice smelling bubble bath, shower gel and moisturizing lotions, for children of all ages and genders is a great gift. And while you are at it, maybe some bubble bath for mom & dad!
Calming scents. Not everyone is into smells, but some folks (like us) really enjoy calming sprays or essential oils to help create a less anxious environment. If not for the children, then for the parents! Check with the family and see if they would appreciate this gift of candles, essential oils, etc.
Gender neutral comfy clothes of all sizes. For example sweat pants, t shirts, under wear, etc for them to put on after the bath. Some kiddos don’t arrive with much so to have a couple cozy options to put on right away is helpful.
Shout out to Tru Colour Bandages. They are a company we LOVE as they make band aids of multiple colours that will match most skin tones. Finally! If you are white you may not have realized that for some crazy reason, they have not made bandages in any colour other than beige. Looks discreet on my wounds, not so much on my kids. They are more costly than the ones we are used to seeing in the store, so if you wanted to get a variety pack for a new foster family who may be taking in a diverse group of children of various skin tones that could be helpful (esp if they arrive with any wounds). Check them out here.
Movie Night Supplies Most kiddos love movies and it’s a great way to spend time together when everyone feels nervous and a little awkward. So depending on the ages coming into their home buy them some popcorn cups or popcorn flavours, or anything that could make a first movie night fun.
Gift cards. The family will need to make some shopping trips when the children arrive, or they may be exhausted and need to order some food to be delivered, in those moments using a gift card provided by you will feel like you are in that moment with them. I have heard of some showers that were simply all gift cards. Great idea! Think stores that sell children's clothing, places that offer children's activities (to jump, to bowl, to swim, etc), family friendly restaurants (esp if they deliver), gas stations (for all the appointments) and grocery stores.
Storage bins For all the stuff you just got them! Maybe place an encouragement card inside for them to open the night they first need to use these items. Lots of foster families store clothing by sizes for easy access when a new placement arrives so this can be really helpful.
Wine. Lots and lots of wine.
Many of the ideas mentioned above will also work for adoption showers. Check in with the family about their preference for a shower (before or after the child arrives for example) and gift ideas. It's always fun to register at your favourite local stores!
Switching gears a little bit, I wanted to close out this week's discussion with a recipe for ya. One fun story I mentioned in the book is our kids' craving for "corn in a cup". While I told you in the book their preference for the recipe, click here for a real Food Network one you can try at home. Let me know what your family thinks!
Come back next week when I will offer some more ideas and tips from
The Call to Love, Chapter Two!