Kev's story

Kev shares how his experience of adoption has led him to open his home.

Becoming a dad gets you thinking a lot about family.

I was adopted when I was eight months old, although I never really thought too much about it until my son was born five years ago. I chose to enquire with the local authority to find out a bit more about my own history at that point.

I also hadn’t really given much thought to what had happened to me in the first few months of my life, prior to my adoption, but when I did think about it I realised that someone had fostered me. Someone had looked after me. Recognising that was part of the reason my wife and I began to think about becoming foster carers.

I wanted to give something back.

The Bible so clearly commands us to care for the vulnerable, and particularly for the fatherless. In today’s culture that surely means the children and young people who are unable to remain with their birth family.

Fostering wasn’t an easy choice and I was certainly apprehensive about it. Through our assessment some of my questions were answered, and we have stepped into it, but I would never want to sugar coat it. It remains very, very hard.

For the past year we have been caring for an eleven-year-old boy. Our birth children are five and three, and we had thought at first that we would only foster children younger than them, but we saw his profile and felt that we could perhaps offer him a long-term home.

For me, being a dad means wanting the best for your children and wanting to do your best for them. I want to be hands-on, I want to be engaged with them – all of them, our birth children and our foster children. I could earn a lot more money by working away from home more often, but we’ve chosen for me not to do that. I want to be there, and I think kids are a lot more interested in having you with them. They want you to be around.

I believe it’s important to get to know children as individuals and try and find out what makes them tick. We try to offer them different experiences and different opportunities, so we can encourage them in what they enjoy.

This is exactly the same for our foster children as much as our birth children.

In fact, in some ways it’s even more important that we do this for our foster children. I’ve certainly become so much more mindfulness about inclusivity. There are so many complexities for looked after children, they’ve been through so much and it’s not their fault, but they’re living with the outworking of it.

We’re certainly learning as we go, and we’ve had to come to the conclusion that part of being a foster carer – part of being a parent – is recognising what’s best for your children. Sometimes, that isn’t always you.

We’ve recently had to say goodbye to our foster son. We couldn’t give him what he needed, and it was incredibly painful, but sometimes you have to make those difficult decisions. Our hope now is that he will find the right ongoing support, which will help him to achieve his potential.

As hard as this has been, we want to continue fostering. Obviously, we need to review and think carefully about the way forward, but our heart remains the same.

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