David and Heidi’s story

"Everywhere we looked we would see a poster inviting the public to consider fostering, and every second person we met were either already foster carers or on their way through the process... so we signed up!"

My parents were foster carers when I was a teenager, so it’s something I’ve been aware of for a long time and it’s something my wife and I always thought we would probably do ourselves at some point. We weren’t in a position to for a long time, because we didn’t have a spare bedroom. Passionate to make a difference in another way, I became a Home for Good Champion and helped to facilitate a peer-support group in our area for foster carers and adoptive parents.

A few years later, things in our house were looking a little different. We had added an extension to the house, and our birth children had reached an age where they weren’t depending on us quite so much; in fact, we had reached that point of having to try to interact with them over a phone screen! We began to notice a lot of different things that all seemed to tell us, “The time is now, get on with it!” Everywhere we looked we would see a poster inviting the public to consider fostering, and every second person we met were either already foster carers or on their way through the process.

We began by taking part in a Home for Good Foundations course. It was really helpful to view what was ahead of us through a Biblical lens, and to journey alongside others who shared our understanding and heart. We made our application and began our training and assessment after that. It was a long process for us and all online because of the pandemic, but while lengthy, we found it to be an incredibly helpful experience.

We thought we’d have some time before being approved before welcoming a child into our home; we had plans to seek out some more training, read some more books… But it turned out that we couldn’t quite squeeze those things into the 36 hours between the ink being wet on the form to say we’re done, and our first little person arriving!

Welcoming her into our family felt, in some ways, totally normal. We are used to having children in our home, and our social workers handled that transition really well, both for us and for the little one. But at the same time, we felt this huge weight of realisation that this child will probably always remember us, and we will remember her forever. It felt incredibly significant.

Having previously been involved in the facilitating of a peer-support group, we’re now on the receiving end. It’s been so valuable to connect with others, to gain a little insight into the lives of people who have been fostering for longer than we have, and to be able to just ping off a message and know that we’re not on our own – that someone else has had that same thought, or had those same words spoken to them.

Our church has been a fantastic source of support for us as well. There are a lot of families in our church who care for children through fostering or adoption, and they have been able to direct us to different services, resources or people that they think could be useful for us on our journey. We have a lot of people praying for us, and that has been hugely important for us.

They’ve been amazing at offering us practical support as well. I’ll never forget the day our social worker told us about our now-foster child. Until that point we had been thinking we would probably end up caring for a child who was reaching the end of their primary school years or in secondary school, and so we didn’t have a lot of toys or clothes in our house that would be suitable for a younger child. But she said to us, “I’ve been thinking about this five year old that I think you could be a great family for.” Right away, our church rallied together and provided us with toys, things for her bedroom and a car seat to borrow until we could purchase what we needed.

We have just committed to seeing this little girl through to the end of her court proceedings, so she’ll be with us for a little while longer. She made an impact in our family right away. We knew when she arrived that we would remember her forever; we know now that those memories will be the fondest.

Author:
David and Heidi


Date published:
July 2022


Tags:
Stories


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