It has taken me a while to post this post as I know it will be met with varying reactions. Some people will think it is an amazing thing to do while others will react with “Are you nuts. Why would you want someone else’s problems?” The truth is that for a few years now both Hamilton and I have been asking God where we can make a difference in this world. Yes we sponsor a child in the Philippines and we give money to various orphanages every now and again, but actually this doesn’t require much from us – it certainly doesn’t impact our lives in any way. We want to make a difference in our community. Part of our journey out of structured church meetings to a more missional and organic type of Christianity has been questioning this very thing. How were we making a difference. We had no answer.
I would say the idea of fostering came from our own children. I had mulled it over occasionally but like many others thought it would be too disruptive to have children with issues in our home so I dismissed it as not viable. One day Michaela and Zoe asked us, “So when are we going to foster a child?” This caught me by surprise but for the first time a little light went on. Ethan was not initially keen, not because he didn’t like the idea of more kids in the home, but rather he couldn’t understand why we would want more kids at our age. Aaron warmed to the idea quickly as he wanted to be a “big brother” to someone. So the idea was sown and I found myself researching the process. They are desperate for foster carers in Australia. There are too many children that come from abusive, drug dependant, mental illness homes and not enough carers for them. I further realized how much our kids have grown up with a heart for others – Michaela mentioned to me the other day that someone had bought a dress for $800 for some or other function. Her response to me was this: “Mum how can anyone think of spending that much for one occasion (not a wedding dress) when that much money could buy drinking water for a village in Africa.” I was speechless – even she recognises the need for people to care for the poor and homeless.
So I enquired about fostering. The long and the short of it all is that we have undergone our police checks, foster care training and now we wait for an assessment in the home as to furthering the process. We are not obliged to take difficult placements and can have a break when we need it. We have decided to take children from birth to about 4 years as we can’t deal with more teens in the home and we want Aaron to feel secure and not intimidated by an older child. Michaela is going to be studying midwifery and she adores babies so this will give her real practice too.
For those of you who worry about the financial aspect, we are helped by the government as we are helping them in return. I have been trying to get a job for over a year now and honestly after numerous applications it simply has not happened. I believe that God was giving me time to wake up to this thing and if I had been employed then this would not have been an option for us. Even hearing people’s stories of difficulties or heart-wrenching goodbyes has not deterred us – both Hami and I feel this is the right thing for us to do – we are very excited about it. It will be lovely to have a little person in the house again!!
So all going smoothly we hope to be fostering by about April next year. I have started collecting some items as we will need clothing of all sizes and both boy and girl items (this is where my love of op shopping will be indulged!!). I began by making a quilt from some fabric scraps the other day. I have never made a real quilt before and I had no pattern – just a basic idea, but I was delighted with the way it turned out. A couple of months ago I made this little fabric teddy in the same fabric so it is a cute matching combo. Not sure whether to give the bear eyes and a nose or to leave it as a neutral bear. What do you think? This is a girly quilt so I will need to find some more scraps and make a boy quilt too. Sorry there are no photos or step by step instructions as my camera has died and Michaela is away in Queensland with her camera and my mobile phone. I did take a finished photo on hubby’s iphone though. The best part is that this particular quilt only cost me under $10 to make as I bought most of the fabric from op shops.
What do you think people??