“My Dad had always said, no one knows what it is like to be hurt and unwanted or not have a home unless you have experience it yourself. He encouraged me to accept many different people throughout life, whether they were hungry, poor, unclean, disabled, or of a different race.”
My Dad had a personal experience with not being able to grow up with his birth family. He was abandoned when he was four years old. He was left on a pavement one morning with his sister who was two, and they were told to wait until the bus came back later that evening. They waved to their sister, mum and dad who got on the bus that morning and they never saw them again. My dad and his sister were taken in by a family in the village. My dad told me that throughout those years, he promised himself he was going to have a family, make sure they were fed, warm, had a bed at night, and be loved. That is what kept him going through those dark years and he achieved that by passing on a caring legacy to me. Although, he sadly is no longer with me, I know he was very proud of me starting a career in fostering.
Before I started fostering, I thought each placement would have a fairy tale ending but the reality is that they can sometimes be complex, and things do not work out how we expect them to. Each placement has helped me to prepare for the next and I have learnt so much with each one. I have a better understanding than when I first started, and I now know that nothing is going to be like the textbook example. The most important lesson I have learnt during my fostering journey is that we all make mistakes, we are human after all.
The best thing about my fostering journey is when the children and young people I have cared for keep in touch. I do not expect any of them to do that, so when they decide to keep in touch by their own choice, that means a lot to me. It is lovely to receive text messages letting me know how they are, sometimes asking for advice, introducing me to new additions to their family, and even receiving cards on Mother’s Day.
For anyone who is considering fostering, I would say to look at your own family, your children and even grandchildren as sometimes they do have to step back. Please talk to others as you are not on your own, and ask for all the information you require, fostering with Capstone has made this so easy as they provide so much information and training.