Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Brigit's Garden, Roscahill, County Galway, Ireland.

We are spoiled for choice here in Galway (in Ireland for that matter) when it comes to deciding on how to while away a few hours with SEVEN children over a lazy August Bank Holiday weekend.

The Polish kids are back for a week and thankfully everyone seems to have remembered the pecking order. We are all on summer holidays this time around, so there is waaaaay less stress floating around here at 'Hotel California'. 

Rory Belle and Jack

My terrible two are still happily ruling the roost :-). They have acclimatised nicely to having 2 (+ 3) extra kids around the place and are poster children for depicting what the word 'share' really means.

Sam & Lulu

The 'newbies' are doing remarkably well. They have been with us since mid-May and although there have been some trying times, the two of them are well settled and starting to take ownership of their new family.

Claudia, Vanessa and Laura

The three little lassies from Poland are still a little confused. They have (finally) been placed long-term with their foster family so this gives them a sound family setting to flourish and thrive in, but they still come to visit us once a month (for a weekend) or anytime their foster family needs a break. They are quite a handful but no busier than my own brood. The kids are coming to terms with the fact that they have a new home and family, but seem to still have an unrealistic idea as to why this has happened. They think that if they 'have enough money' they can buy back their old life. We offer a serious distraction to all those thoughts and worries they are harboring.

So a lazy afternoon was whiled away yesterday at Brigit's Garden. Experts say that for every child you have it takes an extra 15 minutes to actually get out of your house and loaded up safely in your car. We began to 'get ready' to leave at 9:30am and arrived at Brigit's Garden at 1:00pm. It is a half hour drive from our house. Thankfully, the Chef had planned ahead and toted along a bag full o'food for the crumb catchers to picnic on once we got there. 

*NOTE* Toting around any number of kids can be expensive. Brigit's Garden is run by volunteers and they depend heavily on the modest entry fee they charge. A family of 2 adults and 3 kids costs twenty two euros and when they saw our blended family they let the others slide in............. I love the kindness of Irish people.

The lay of the land is very cool at this very special place. There are four main gardens divided into the four seasons. The children were given maps and discovery charts to check off all the items they discovered along the way. Initially we heard a few grumbles from the peanut gallery because we were just 'here to look at stoopid flowers' and after we nipped that in the bud by reminding the peanuts not to be ungrateful for a new experience (all noted and nipped by the WiseTwins) we were off for a few hours of exploring.

Jack: Do they dip ya by the legs Daddy?
Daddy: No Jack, they dip you head first.

As the kids meandered through the gardens gathering clues and answers for their discovery maps along the way, we (being the grown ups) enjoyed the calmness that this beautiful place offered. Although many of the gardens are well manicured most of it is flowing beds of wildflowers, fruit trees and ponds.

After the kids caught a few of the pond's skating beetles, newts and a few other slithery suckers we carried on for a walk through the woods before everyone tumbled onto a grassy knoll for some much deserved ice-cream. 

A friend-of-a-friend (interested in becoming a foster parent) phoned me last night to ask how the Chef and I got involved in Fostering and if we had any regrets at all with regard to opening up our home and hearts to the (sometimes) traumatized children. I did not have to seek out my husband to know his answer, because it is simple and the same as mine. 

NO REGRETS. Not one. Not at all.

Bedtime blathering's told us that the 'best part of the day' was our afternoon spent at Brigit's Garden discovering all the hidden secrets and cool places to run and hide.

The best part of my day was seeing all seven of these children behave just like siblings and hearing them all screaming 'hello Granny' as they raced over to hug my Mum when she stopped over to eat us out of house and home visit last night. 

A balmy bank holiday Monday here, and we have two new feathery members to acclimatise to the fold today. Stay tuned for photos later today of our new Guinea Fowl.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today (so far),



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