They give us a reason to get up in the morning

February 17, 2020

Parenting super powers

“We wouldn’t say we are experts” says Glenda* as we get started, responding to my opening comment about how impressed new adopters Ricky and Jade were with her parenting knowledge.

A coal fire roars in the background of the living room from behind its large protective shield – accentuating what can be felt as a natural warmness to the house, and its inhabitants.

“Every child is different” she continues and then asks Pete “I think we’ve had over 25 now?”

“About that yes” he answers casually.

I look up at one of the walls where there are pictures, illuminated by flickers of fire light, of the many children that that have been lovingly looked after. Humbled by their parenting prowess I push on.

I want to know more about them as people, what got them into fostering, their motivations, and their qualities.

“Well we started off with older children as we both wanted to continue working” explains Glenda.

“We eventually lowered the ages of the children though”

“It allowed us to take on more children” adds Pete “and in the end we both gave up work”

“I have always wanted more children” concludes Glenda.

The couple are currently fostering a beautiful 6 week old baby boy, who sits contently on Glenda’s lap as they tell me this.  With the fire in the background it’s a heart-warming scene. Already I don’t want the meeting to come to an end.

More than just a job

“This isn’t a job for us though, it’s much more than that” adds Glenda

“I remember one time I took photo of a young couple who were taking the child for their first walk together in the park during introductions” adds Pete

“I sent it to them in the evening after and it just made their day, they were made up”

“I don’t like the term ‘Looked After Child’ (LAC)” interjects Glenda “to me it means loved always child

“And that’s what we do”.

I start to talk about some of the mixed emotions that Ricky and Jade were feeling during introductions.

“It’s the same for us too” responds Glenda “the child is ours until they have been matched”

“The only way we can let them go is to know that they are going to a loving family” concludes Pete.

Part of the journey

“We wish we had done this years ago, it’s just really humbling to be part of this child’s journey” says Glenda.

“It does take special people to adopt” continues Glenda “the amount of scrutiny you have to go through. Anything that we can do to help these people and to smooth the transition is really important”

As was touched upon in our first #FabFosterCarers blog Glenda and Pete really are an invaluable piece to this puzzle.

The assistance they provide – the care, the passion, the boundaries and routines that are set, the stability, and the familiarity that is built.

Bed time kisses and morning tickles. Lego fiddles and nursery rhyme riddles.

Time.

Love.

Overcoming challenges

“It’s not without its challenges however” says Glenda “there have been some, shall we say, more problematic children that have come through us”

“But that is what we do, we help to turn them around and get them ready for adoption” adds Pete

“As I said it’s not a job for us, they give us a reason to get up in the morning” says Glenda

“We become so attached to the child that we grieve for them a little when they are finally placed”

“But then we are still involved, always on the end of a phone for the adopters, helping out with the little things that can be overlooked but matter”

“And then seeing that child develop and grow with the family makes it all worth it, to know we’ve played our part on that journey feels really good” concludes Pete.

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Part of our #FabFosterCarers celebration.

For more information on fostering please click on your local service below.

Neath and Port Talbot Fostering Service

Foster Swansea

Bridgend Fostering Service

For information on adoption click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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