David first met Aberlour when he was 8 years-old and stayed in one of our residential homes. Then at 12 years-old through Aberlour Fostering David went to stay with his new mum and dad, Elaine and James, in 2011.
While staying with Elaine and James, David was diagnosed with attachment difficulties and autism. With his parent’s support David has overcome many hurdles in his life and has managed to achieve one of his dreams of becoming a bus driver.
Read David’s story below in his own words about his experience growing up with Elaine and James and his hopes for the future.
“Hiya, I have been having a think of what to say. I’m not the best at English or expressing myself or opening up to anyone. I keep things to myself and don’t know how to put things down on paper but you asked me to talk about how well I have done so far in life.”
“Well I can start by saying I wouldn’t have achieved anything without the help from James and Elaine, who I see as my mum and dad and I look up to them. I knew from a very young age what I would like to do in life. I had four dream jobs and they were: a race car driver, bus driver, truck driver or a train driver. I struggled a lot at school and never really seemed to fit in with groups, so I had no real friends. I suffered anxiety in most classes and took panic attacks. I couldn’t focus or understand my subjects. The only thing I did well in was music! I picked up a guitar when I was aged 8 and James and Elaine supported me all the way. They got me lessons and I passed my music at the highest level which at the time was my biggest achievement. I felt happy knowing I left school getting something out of it, I guess.”
“I guess James and Elaine knew I wanted to do something with transport so they paid for my driving lessons, which I feel guilty about, but I saved up money and bought my first car. After that I was never in. It was like a “fix” to me I had to drive it. I imagine the feeling was like someone who needs drugs or alcohol, it was just an excitement rush. It gave me my first element of freedom and in fact I drove 25,000 miles in the first year. I loved and took pride in my car. I fixed it up and started to feel more independent. At the end of the day however it is James and Elaine who helped make this first chapter and they helped me on the way to where I wanted to go in my life.”
“They helped me with college, and I started to look for jobs. My first job was bus driving with Stagecoach which was one of the four jobs I had wanted to do. I tried my hardest to get it, but it wasn’t easy for me because I am not a positive thinking person. I was used to failing more often than being successful.”
“I am currently happy in life but now and again I feel down about things, and I am not always 100% happy. All I ever wanted to do was make James and Elaine happy and proud and show people I can achieve something in life. I felt pressure from myself to do my best because I wanted to do it for James and Elaine the most. I know they are proud of me. I couldn’t have asked for a better family. I don’t always open up to them because I am a person who keeps things to myself. I think it’s because I don’t know what people will think of me. Now I would really like them to give someone else a chance in life to do better. It might not work, but with James and Elaine’s help, there is definitely the chance it will. What’s meant is meant, they deserve so much credit, I feel rubbish because I can’t give them enough to thank them. I would like to buy them a holiday for the 10th anniversary of when they let me into their family but that still wouldn’t be enough.”
Could you foster like James and Elaine did and give a child or young person like David a bright future? There are children in towns and cities across Scotland waiting to be fostered and brought into a loving, stable home. You can make a difference. Find out more about what’s involved.