Every child needs a home
Growing up, fostering was never something my husband or I had considered. How can you raise children who are “not yours”?
How can you face all the challenges of parenting, knowing that you may have to say goodbye one day?
We came to our decision nearly 3 years ago, after discussing how we wanted to shape our future together.
We said to ourselves, we are young, we have the means, and we have all the love in the world to give to children. We approached the Care Agency and began the process pretty much straight away.
Weeks after panel, we received a phone call for respite fostering for a 10-year-old boy. His current foster placement needed additional support, and would we be able to have him on alternate weekends?
To say that we felt apprehensive would be an understatement- the first night he stayed over was very surreal for all of us. For him, there was a lot of confusion as to why he was even with us in the first place, and for us it was quite strange having a stranger essentially living in our home.
However, very quickly we realised just how much love he had to give, and how ready we were to just simply be there for him, for whatever he needed. We developed a relationship which I suppose you can compare to an aunty and uncle- he knew we were not his parents, but he knew we loved him and would take care of whatever he needed.
He would stay with us until Monday morning, and we would take him to school. Every Sunday night, I would prepare a note for his lunch box, with just a few words saying, “Hope you have a lovely day, we can't wait to see you next weekend, we will be thinking of you!” At first, he never mentioned it.
Then one day, months in, as he went to bed on Sunday, he looked up at me very seriously and said, “will you be writing my lunch box note tomorrow?”
That was the moment where I realised just how important something as small as that was to him - just the thought that somebody cared for him, and was thinking of him, even when he wasn't there.
We quickly realised that we felt we were ready to take care of this little boy full time, and approached our Social Worker with the idea of us becoming his permanent foster family.
After discussions, he was placed in our full-time care. It is wonderful to see how he is thriving, and the love he has to share just abounds.
Even though we do not know how long he will be with us, knowing that we have even a tiny part to play in this wonderful boy's life means the world.