My husband and I have been foster carers with Aberlour for 9 years. Fostering was something we always thought about doing. We both worked in the care sector, my husband still does, and my parents were foster carers while I was growing up. We were just waiting for the right time for us and 2012 was it.
Ciaran was our first full time placement. He was only slightly older than my daughter and my son was only a few years older. I think that made Ciaran becoming part of our family a little easier, as all of the kids were around the same age. Before coming to live with us Ciaran had a difficult life. He suffered a lot of emotional and physical neglect. Since he has been with us he has been doing so well. He is a really confident and caring boy. He has made lots of friends and is doing well at school. It was Ciaran who actually suggested that we foster another child. He wanted another child who had, had a difficult start to join our family.
Kerryanne from Aberlour was so supportive when we started talking about fostering another child. She had complete confidence in us that we could take another child on and make our family of five, a family of six. And that’s when Arron joined our family.
It wasn’t until Arron came to live with us that he was diagnosed with ADHD and autism. Before that it had been misunderstood for bad behaviour. Since his diagnosis everything has just fallen into place for him. Having ADHD and autism does mean that Arron has different needs from the other children. We all go about our life trying to make it as normal an environment for him as possible. He is a wee chatterbox. In the house he is fantastic, he loves the usual things like computers and is obsessed with his Xbox. He struggles at school socially but that is part of his learning style, social situations are a challenge for him but he manages them well and is doing really well at school.
I am so proud of our family. I am so proud that we have been able to give Ciaran and Arron a place in it. We have been able to help them both to be who they are and who they want to be. To let them be themselves, to be part of a loving family and to know that no matter what they do we will still be there to look after them and care for them.
The future is looking bright for us. Ciaran and my daughter are making their choices in school. Ciaran is staying on at school to study sport and fitness. My oldest son is at university now. Before I know it, they will all have grown up and left me! We are just trying to support them the best we can with whatever path way they go down in life. They will always be part of our life and family.
We really wouldn’t foster if we didn’t do it with Aberlour. The team are amazing and support you in whatever ways you need supported. It isn’t one size fits all. They are always there day or night, whenever you need them.
If anyone reading this is thinking of becoming a foster carer, do it! It has definitely enhanced our lives and our children’s lives massively. It has given all the kids an insight, to not judge anyone and not to assume someone’s behaviour is for a certain reason. They are all really loving, caring and kind children.
Yes it can be hard and difficult at times, goodness sometimes really confusing, but our boys have made our life so much more enjoyable.
If you feel you can give a child a loving home, and you can support them, and love them no questions asked you should do it. Take the chance and invite them into your home and life. It will certainly enhance your life and hopefully, with the right support, it will enhance theirs.