Sarah and Robert's story

Sarah and Robert share their story of making room for vulnerable children through fostering.

We’ve been married for eleven years and have three birth children, who are eight, six and four – yet even though we felt settled in our family, we knew we had more love to give, not to mention a spare room in our home. We had experienced fostering through our extended family but Robert saw a Home for Good short film when he visited another church, and when he came home we talked all about it.

It seemed like a completely natural step for us to open our hearts to a child who needs a loving home. We both enjoy being parents and love to invite others into our home.

We had been warned that the assessment process would be very intense, and it was, but we didn’t find it overwhelming. It was useful to talk through all that we had been through in our lives and to acknowledge how the lessons we had learned could potentially enable us to help a vulnerable child.

Given the ages of our birth children, we felt it was right for us to foster younger children and babies, although this may change as our family gets older. Our first placement was Thomas*, who came to live with us for eight months before he went on to be adopted.

His time with us included his first Christmas, and it was so important for us to make it as special as possible for him. Even though Thomas was little he still woke up to a full stocking and presents under the tree with his name on – and a house full of excited family ready to shower him with love.

We took so many photos and kept his stocking and a special decoration, so we could pass these on to his forever family to make sure Thomas would always know that his first Christmas was special and he was very loved.

It was such a joy to witness his early milestones – smiling, sitting up and crawling – and then to be in the position to move him on to his adoptive family. Saying goodbye was a huge challenge. We always knew the time would come, but it was still a tough day. Ultimately though, it’s a privilege to open your home and heart to strangers, and watch them become a family together.

Our children have been fantastic and have adapted so well to having foster-siblings in the house. They have a way of being open and engaging with the little ones that come into our home, which really makes them feel secure and welcomed. They have shared their toys – and their mummy and daddy.

Alongside this, our church have been incredible and are so interested in our fostering journey. We have been inundated with messages of support and prayer, and they have given us practical help through offering meals and passing on baby clothes and equipment. We are blessed that our church family is very open to fostering and adoption and people are always keen to hear about our latest news and support us in any way they can.

Home for Good was one of the main reasons we took the plunge into fostering. We both read the Home for Good book and found it inspiring and challenging, and we are so glad we have been able to extend a little bit of our family’s love to other children.

If you are considering fostering, we would really encourage you to look into it. Read books and get informed – there is so much information out there and organisations like Home for Good will be able to sign post you to appropriate resources. Talk to friends and family and get advice. We were advised to wait until our youngest birth child was two and we were glad we did.

But if you have a spare room and a heart for children, then fostering is a great way of opening your home and life to a child who needs that security and love. We are looking forward to sharing this Christmas with whoever comes through our door and will do whatever we can to make their Christmas special and share with them some of the love we feel so fortunate to have.

Thousands of the most vulnerable children in our country are still waiting for someone to make room for them. Home for Good wants to help as many children as possible to thrive in the loving family that’s right for them. With your help today, we can make this a reality.

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