When my parents decided to foster, my sisters and brother and I were full of anticipation and curiosity about what it would mean.

I was eager to have more kids to play with because we grew up on a farm and there weren’t many families near by. I liked having kids who came to stay and who liked to play with Lego, like me. Sometimes it was like one long sleep over. I knew it would be rewarding, but I think I didn’t know just how rewarding it could be.

 

The experiences of having foster children in the house were funny, educational, sometimes challenging and often emotional. For example, with some really aggressive kids I was glad when they left as it meant the place would be calm again and I could also get some special time with my parents.

But that feeling was rare. Most of the time I was sad when it was time for them to move on. You get really attached to some of the kids.

Some of the little kids made me laugh. We had one kid we called Kelly Buttons* and she wouldn’t wear a certain kind of sandal because she said they had bindies in them. I don’t know why but we’d laugh at that and we still laugh when we think about her, all these years later.

We’ve kept in touch with the ones who lived longest with us. I also have one foster brother living at home. He’s been with us since he was a baby. We tell him we love him a lot and he’s our brother. I love to get back from uni and spend time with him. We play a lot of Nintendo and have a good time.

As a family, we did all kinds of foster care like respite, to give natural parents and other foster carers a break, plus short term and long-term placements.

Some placements were due to abuse, others because a mother might not have extended family for support. These have given me an insight into the kinds of care you can provide.

I know I’d like to foster when I’m older and settled. Without a doubt, fostering has enriched my life and made me a better person today.

*Name changed for privacy reasons