This week is National Foster Carers Week in Australia. It is so important that we take a moment to really value and appreciate all of the amazing foster carers out there in the world.
The love and admiration that I have for our children’s foster carers is indescribable. The role they have to play in our vulnerable children’s lives is so important.
My two beautiful children would not be the healthy and thriving little beings that they are, if it were not for the incredible foster carers who loved and took care of them after their arrival into the world.
These people truly are just the most wonderful human beings. They selflessly give so much of themselves knowing in their hearts that the child they have fallen in love with, will one day leave them when their Forever Family is found.
Both of our children were raised by couples who have been fostering babies for over sixty years collectively.
How amazing is that? They have dedicated their entire lives to taking care of other people’s children.
They have raised biological children of their own, as well as taking in children in need and cherishing them as their own family until such time that a match is made.
We count ourselves very fortunate indeed to have had such experienced and dedicated people who took care of our children until such time that we could do it for ourselves. Both of our children went into foster care homes at just two days old. For our son in particular who was ten months old when he came into our family, this was the only family he had ever known, and he was incredibly attached to them.
Time and time again I have heard people say “I could never be a foster carer because I would get too attached to the child and not want to let them go”
But can’t you see….. this is actually the most important and vital part to being a wonderful foster carer.
They absolutely DO fall in love with all of the children that come into their care, because if they didn’t, then the relationship or placement would not be a success.
The key to positive foster care placements is that the carers simply must fall in love with the children…. each & every one of them, & then willingly let them go when the time comes.
Establishing and building a strong attachment in infants is vital for their social and emotional development. When children form strong attachments with their carers, it means that they will be able to go on to also form long lasting connections and relationships with people throughout their lives.
I have taught and supported many children in foster care. Sadly many of them had poor attachment as due to their challenging behaviours, they had many foster care placements break down and they had been constantly moved again & again. I have had to report parents who were mistreating their children to The Department of Human & Health Services, and it never gets easier. When I have sat & listened to the children who have trusted me enough to disclose some of their greatest fears and secrets, I know in my heart that placing them into care was the right thing to do.
On our most recent separation from our son’s carers, there were tears all around.
Tears of sadness.
Tears of absolute immense happiness.
Tears for the joy and love we were about to embark on with our new son.
Tears for the ache and pain of saying goodbye to someone you love.
Our son’s foster mother was so incredibly happy for our child to have found a family to love him forever, but of course there was a piece of her heart that was broken as she had to say goodbye.
It was such a bittersweet moment to be shared by the two families involved.
Our children were indeed the lucky ones. Loved and adored by wonderful and committed foster carers. There are sadly too many other children who do not get the same chance at a positive start to their lives.
For this, we will be eternally grateful.
Love Chrissie xx
Have you got what it takes to love a child unconditionally? There are many Foster Care organisations you can contact if you are interested in finding out how to become a Foster Carer in Victoria. Follow the links below.
Catholicare – www.ccam.org.au
Berry Street – www.berrystreet.org.au
Department of Human & Health Services – www.dhhs.vic.gov.au
Chaos to Calm Consultancy would like Wadawarrung of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge the elders past, present and emerging -particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who walked before us supporting and connecting their children to the earth, water and community. Always was. Always will be.