Fostering is different. I am not a very emotional person but even I felt empathy for some of the children that we have fostered. I cannot imagine not having both my parents there and having them tell me they love me each night I go to bed.
We have been fostering since March 2011 and have done a range of different types of fostering. The first child we fostered, well if you ever met her, you would remember her. She was 4 and had been in 6 different placements before she came to us and because of this pretty much every social worker knew her name. We looked after her for 10 months and at first it was ok (my mum said this was the honeymoon period) then when she started to get to know us better she became a bit more troublesome but still one of the coolest kids I’ve ever met. After around 6 months she was like my sister so when she got adopted it weird having just me and my brother in the house. I didn’t feel too sad about her leaving at the time as I knew she would be happy where she was going however when we went to visit her around 2 months later it was much harder to say goodbye, I haven’t seen her since.
In June 2012 I got my second foster sister and my first foster brother. They were 7 and 8 however they seemed much younger as both of them had had a lack of support before they came to us both emotionally, academically and also in their health. When they came to us they had never brushed their teeth before and therefore had to have 10 teeth taken out each, they didn’t mind though as they got a £10 note each from the tooth fairy. When they moved on from us my initial feeling was it was nice to have a break, it wasn’t so hard to say goodbye as we had arranged to do respite care for them which we did a few weeks ago. When they came it felt a bit strange but at some points it felt like they had never left.
Also since they left we have emergency fostered 3 girls for two weeks. This was a bit more of a traumatic scenario for the girls and they had never been in care before when the suddenly came to us. It was a bit of a shock for our family as well; I got back from school and my mum told me that 3 girls were coming to live with us in 2 hours. When I got back from climbing that night, I was greeted by 3 excited but anxious faces as I reminded them of someone else they knew. Before long I had gained their trust and it was pretty cool getting constant compliments about how they wanted to be like me when they grew up. They were only with us for 2 weeks and I hope that they remember us as I doubt we will ever see them again.
The best part about fostering is the sense of pride you get that you have changed a child’s life forever.