I first came into care when I was three years old.
My mum and dad couldn’t look after me due to their own personal issues with drink etc. and it wasn’t pleasant, so I went into foster care. I was in various places until the age of five and a half, where I met my long term foster family who I would be with for 20 years.
It would turn out to be the best decision ever.
Being so young I didn’t really have a clue what was going on and it was a whirlwind experience. Being in care from aged 3 and going round various homes etc did affect me mentally as a kid. But once settled in my new home I bonded well with my foster carers and had the love and supported I had missed.
My experiences of being fostered have been a rollercoaster journey which wasn’t easy at all. My environment in what I call my “forever home” was lovely, supportive and homely. Having ADHD was difficult and must have been challenging for my foster parents.
Losing both my parents hit me hard growing up, for anyone even out of care it must be so hard a child as you don’t really get what is going on. But my foster parents always stood by me and were my rock through growing up into school, college and even work.
With all the negative things, there were always positives, especially trying new things?
My first experience of this was going away in a caravan for my first holiday. Being a kid and going away was such a huge thing and I went on many more caravan holidays and enjoyed being outside and in the woods pretending I was fighting an army. My foster dad used to be baffled why I used to keep so many sticks under the caravan. But it was fun and made so many holiday friends, even a few romances!
Even the smallest of things like birthdays were a huge thing as I had never really experienced those before either. My first present was a Buzz Lightyear interactive toy. And I remember going to the cinema for the first time and watching Harry Potter if I recall. Having presents and cakes and enjoying it was so fun and I couldn’t thank them enough. With all this I’ve achieved a lot and no matter how hard it got, I battled through with help with them. Completing a diploma in hospitality, near completion of a business diploma and even writing various blogs is such a huge achievement for me. I cherish all these moments.
I want to say thank you to Fliss and Tony my foster parents who now I call mum and dad, without you I wouldn’t be the successful, down to earth, happy-go-lucky guy who takes on anything life challenges me with. You did something short of a miracle and put up with me and even though I might still drive you mad I love you and wouldn’t swap you for the world.
No ‘thanks’ could ever repay what you have done for me and for everything from the presents to the advice, for helping me through the worst; you stood by me without fail. Thank you. I’m glad you can retire and be happy knowing you brought up someone who has come out the other side better. I love you
And for anyone who wants to become a foster career, DO IT. It’s worth so much and even though it’s hard work and sometimes you question why you do it, you could give the child or young person the home that want and deserve.