Tracey and Michael have been fostering with Capstone for over one year, they currently are caring for a sibling placement and love seeing them both grow up together.
I have always wanted to foster since I was 20 years old and have always been open about it with my family. It was not until I met Michael, who also had the same thoughts about fostering, that we started the process. Our families are very supportive, and my parents are back up carers for us. Every morning they pop round for breakfast and walk with us to school - it is the best time of day for the twins – they look forward to it!
My parents gave me a brilliant childhood, which was full of love, support, and care. I wanted to give a child less fortunate an opportunity to experience that too. We were unable to have children of our own and after being told we could not adopt by our local authority due to a lack of experience looking after children. We then got speaking to a mutual friend and they introduced us to Donna who was a foster carer with Capstone. She was fantastic and was positive about her experience fostering with the agency and recommended us to apply.
The process of applying was a lovely experience, we met up with the recruitment team, and Kelly who led the meeting, made us feel at ease and comfortable. We were then introduced to our Form 1 assessor, Tina, who helped us throughout our journey. Even though we knew each other, Michael and I learned even more about one another during the application process. We learned so much about our different upbringings, family trees and family history. When it was time to go to panel, we did not know what to expect but once we were in there everything was great! We were ourselves and the meeting went well.
When we first saw the referral, we just knew we wanted to help, especially with all you hear about the difficulties in keeping siblings together in care and they have been our only placement since we have joined the agency. A 3-year-old brother and sister who certainly rule the roost but are happy little children. They have their moments, like all children do, but they are so well behaved and are a big part of our family, our life revolves around them - we will certainly miss them if that day comes.
During the day, the twins are now at school which gives me the chance to do things around the house and have some quality time. We have even been able to move to a new house recently whilst they have transitioned from nursery to school. However, we made sure that the twins’ bedroom was the first to be decorated as we did not want to cause them to much disruption.
Fostering is everything we expected, and we love it! I’ve been on Amazon constantly throughout lockdown making sure that we had everything in and ready for them to start school. It was amazing to watch them on their very first day at school. They were not frightened and ran straight in! The best thing about fostering is the achievements – big and small. Seeing them achieve so much even in the short time they have been with us. When they first arrived last December, they were not toilet trained, but after just 6 weeks, we had managed to do it!
They were so malnourished when they arrived, it was so saddening to see but I knew in my heart that my home would be the best place for them to get better and build new memories together. We have fed them up since then and their favourite meal is spaghetti bolognaise and garlic bread, yummy!
We would highly recommend Capstone to our friends and family. Our social worker is fantastic and always on the other end of the phone if we need anything. If ever she misses our call, she always calls us back and helps answer our questions or put our minds at ease. We love changing the lives of young people and we wish we started fostering earlier!