A joy like no other

Donna shares her family's story of fostering siblings

Less than a month after we were approved, we received a phone call about two-year-old twins who needed a home. They came from a family of six, and sadly each of the children were being placed in different foster homes.

Knowing these siblings were being separated broke our hearts, and we wanted to do whatever we could to ensure that at the very least these twins could stay together. We had four hours to prepare for them coming, and because we really didn’t know very much at all about the children, those were a frantic four hours!

We have countless fond memories from the few months the twins were with us. They celebrated their birthday with us, and Christmas too – it was the best Christmas ever for our family. The twins were so excited, our birth children were so excited, and the grown-ups might have been more excited than any of them!

One of the twins really struggled with bedtime. We tried everything we could to help her settle, but as soon as the pyjamas came out of the drawer, the tears would start. She loved singing, so we started singing at bedtime – I’m not a brilliant singer, but somehow the singing made it a bit easier. Their favourite song was Jesus Loves Me and they would sing along with all their little hearts every single night.

We have good friends nearby who also foster, and we realised that the twins’ older brother had been placed with them. In a way that only felt possible because of God’s hand at work, we were able to meet up regularly to allow the kids to stay connected. We’d meet in the park, even when it was bucketing down with rain. It was such a privilege to be able to help nurture their relationship.

Since being part of Foundations we’ve remained connected with Home for Good and the support from this network has meant so much to us. Being in lockdown it was really valuable to have contact with the team here in Northern Ireland, and to be connected with Champions for support and prayer. Our wider church family has been amazing too; some families brought us meals, and this was the most helpful thing they could have done for us. A wee text to ask what you can pray for or dropping round a lasagne – these things might seem small, but they really were the things that would make our day.

Fostering these little ones has certainly had its challenges, and at times has been exhausting, but it’s brought a joy to our home unlike any other.

The joy of seeing them feeling safe and content; helping them meet some milestones; watching them experience something like going to the beach for the first time in their lives – this joy absolutely outweighs any challenge or hard day we’ve had.

Donna, foster carer

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This story was first published in the Home for Good magazine - Summer 2021. To read the full magazine or sign up for our postal mailings please click here.

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