Foster Care Fortnight: Anne and Hannah's story
Mother and daughter, Anne and Hannah are fortunate to have a friendship that's grown stronger over the years. As part of Foster Care Fortnight, here they share their experience of fostering.
As a family of four, we’ve always had an overwhelming amount of love to give. We wanted to share that love and security by fostering children and welcoming them into our home. It’s so easy to take every day things for granted and we’ve always tried to remember that.
We had no idea what to expect when we made the decision to foster and spent time researching, training and preparing. This was back in 2000 so now there’s much more information available online. Nothing can really prepare you to become a foster family because every person and situation is very different, but when you do open up your home, it’s amazing how quickly people who start off as strangers to each other with contrasting situations can become family.
The two children in our own family were about 8 and 10 years old when we started fostering. After having other children come to live with us for a few months at a time, we changed to respite fostering. This was particularly tricky because some children would only stay for the weekend and then go back to their full time foster families. We can’t imagine what it must have felt like for that child if it was difficult for us.
One of the children who came to live with us when they were just 11 years old has now grown into an adult and built their own life. We’re incredibly proud of them and it’s been wonderful to keep in touch. We’ll always be family to each other.
Being a family isn’t always easy and everyone has to work hard to do their part. At times during fostering the dynamic of our family would change, meaning everyone had to work even harder. But ultimately, fostering brought us even closer and stronger as a family and we really hope it made a difference to the children who became a part of the family too.