Our foster carers fulfil a wonderful role offering hope and support for children and young people who need a safe, secure and stable home. It’s stories like this that really touch our hearts and demonstrate they truly do make a difference.
Foster care gave me hope
~ A reflection from James*
Do you remember having a childhood at the age of six? I didn’t have a good childhood. I was six years old and in a bad situation. It was very difficult with some of the struggles that I had. I was not taught to speak very well and I didn’t know how to read people’s emotions. All I knew was to stay alive and think straight.
One of the memories I remember was that I felt so down. I was stuck in the dark for a very long time as a six year old with no guidance or support. I kept thinking what else is there better in life than this situation that I am currently at.
A couple months later I got moved to a foster home. I showed up with nothing except for my Buzz Lightyear toy and a big baggy school uniform that was too big on me. When I was at the door waiting for the foster parents to greet me, I was nervous and scared because I had never met them before.
When the doors opened, I felt blank. I didn’t know how to feel or react. But what I did see was two nice parents staring back at me. It turned out they couldn’t have children of their own and they were wanting a family of their own. They took me in as their very own son.
The man I met was Shaun*. Shaun taught me how to swim on the holidays and he taught me how to write my name. This helped me with learning how to do my hand and eye coordination skills properly. I was so grateful for this. No one had really done anything like that for me before.
The woman was Janine*. She was the kindest person that I knew as well. My fondest memory is when she taught me all the sight words in grade one in the primary school. I won the award for Highest Academic Achievement for year one. This helped me to feel like I had actually achieved something. A feeling I hadn’t experienced before.
Over the few years I had gained many achievements like reading, writing, learning to talk, and drawing and teach me how to cook food. One of the best memories that I remembered was learning how to play sport because I really loved to play sport and going to the USA.
My foster parents loved me, supported me in every way that they could. Now as a sixteen year old teenager I think that there is not a lot of love and support to other foster kids. My delighted sport memory was when I was playing soccer for the under-sevens Football united. My foster parents watched every game that I attended to. I felt like I was truly loved by Shaun and Janine because of their facial emotions that they showed me. I will have great memories of my USA trip forever.
Here’s a question for you guys.
How many foster kids can you love and support? Keep it in your mind that there are over 9,000 kids in Queensland in foster homes because of family issues, drugs, alcohol and many other bad situations in their little life. Some of the foster kids can move from one to numerous different homes because foster parents cannot always have them for a lifetime like happened to me. I have been a foster kid for ten years now and look at me, I have achieved so many things in life.
To foster kids out there - it is possible to have a normal childhood.
*Not their real names. Identities are protected.