My husband name is Stuart, and I met him when I was 19 years old. On my first date, soon after we met he asked me about my life, my dream career. He asked me if I want kids. He also asked me about my travel likings. I told him I don’t have any plans yet, but I surely know that if in future I had kids, it’s because I am fostering them. A few years later, we got married. We went on our honeymoon. After we are back from the honeymoon, two weeks later, we decided we should go for foster training for parents. We decided that to start with this, first, we would only foster for a short term. We will only do emergency care for the short term. We planned to foster small babies.
At that time, I was 23 years old, I was nervous if I can care for babies. We took the license of fostering babies and immediately after that, we started getting calls. First call I get if I can take care of a baby for a week. We said yes. We loved it and it was a great experience. The next day we got a call if we can take care of a 3-year-old kid for the weekend. We agreed, but the weekend turned into week. Then week to months and months to years. Now that little 3-year-old kid is our son. His name is Michael.
After a few months, there was a request for sibling visit and we agreed to it. It was Dayshawn. We met him for the first time. When Michael saw,his brother coming, he was very happy and he ran out from the playground and jumped in his arms. At that time, we really understood, how much it’s important to keep them together.
Dayshawn was only 13 years younger than me. I was nervous to adopt such an older child, but when I started talking with him, I feel at ease and all my nervousness came to an end.He likes meeting new people. He welcomes every child who come to our house for fostering. He is very compassionate person and funny person. He studies hard at school and wants to become a social worker or a doctor. It feels very natural while being his mom. He doesn’t care that I am so young, I am just his mother to him. On the adoption day, he was very excited. He convinces the judge, why he wants to get adopted.
We want to help parents in our society, that is why we opted for fostering. We never had a goal for adopting anyone, but we are open to it, if anyone is available. We even advocate for reunification, when it is possible. In the process of fostering, the most heart touching thing is to see parents working hard to get back their children. People use to tell me, I will never become a foster parent as it would hurt me, when they will leave me. We have gone through these many times and I can feel it what they said.
We have some beautiful relationships with the foster children and their parents. We have fostered about 14 kids. Some were emergency and some were long term. Every time the child leaves I cry, but at the time of reunion, it is the happiest day, I get to meet all the families and foster children. The relationship and the love for the children should not end, as they return to their parents.
The hardest phase of my life was, when we were going through the long case for the adoption of my boys. Whenever we set our mind for adoption, the case changes and g against us. When we prepare ourselves, to only meet out boys at the time of reunion, the case changes to adoption. This process went on for some years and it has affected us mentally.
In this phase, I have learned that I should keep aside all the problems and should enjoy every single minute with my boys. As we don’t know what the future will bring to us. As I was a foster parent, I had gone through this separation many times so it had made me stronger, to face the challenges and problems. It had given me patience to just sit back, see and accept whatever will come in our way.
After winning my case, the boys were hand over to me. At the adoption party, many people asked me, if I will continue to foster, as now I have my two kids. I and my husband decided to keep fostering. We will take care the kids of teen moms, youth and teens of sex-trafficked. It’s quite heartbreaking to see them, as these kids are not welcomed anywhere. They have very fewer homes, where they can stay.
So, we decided to have a specialized home just for such kids. These kids sit in police stations or social worker’s offices for weeks or months as they have no one to take care of. No one comes to take them away. Two weeks ago, we welcomed one such child. He is 14 years old and it is fun knowing him.
Fostering is not an easy task, but believe me, it is the most worthwhile task, you will ever do in your life. Once I have heard a quote of Alfred Tennyson, “It’s better to be loved and lost them rather than never to be loved at all”. This quote takes a special place in my heart. In my life, I had this privilege many times, I have been loved 14 times to be exact. While fostering, I can guarantee you it is never boring. The highs are incredibly high and lows can be very low. I love being a foster mother, I love my life. I love being able to help our society and these children, whether it is for 1 day, 1 night or lifetime. I love that I can support these families and give their children a good life.