Tusla Fostering Series 1/4

We went down all the regular routes before we ended up fostering. We did IVF, it didn’t work. We were trying foreign adoptions as well, but the length of the process, the uncertainty and all the horror stories made us very discouraged. After a while, we moved away from it all. We resigned ourselves, saying: “Oh well, at least we tried!” We thought we would just grow old together. But then one day, we came across an online advert from Tusla. They were looking for all kinds of loving couples for fostering. Didn’t matter your religion, your ethnicity, if you were straight or gay. I didn’t know what we were thinking, because we were looking to create a family, not to foster children. But we decided to give it a go. A few weeks after applying, a social worker came to see us and she started us off with the process. She presented us with a ton of paperwork and a massive amount of interviews. We also got to hear about long-term fostering for the first time, which without knowing was exactly what we were looking for all this time. There are children who are looking for foster parents until they are young adults because of their family circumstances. We went through the whole process and they asked us to wait until they found a suitable child to place with us. That period was nerve-wracking because we had no idea how long it would take and what was to come.”

“Eventually we got called to our first play-date. We were excited and very nervous to find out that we were approved for, not one, but two children. A boy, four-and-a-half and his little sister who was two-and-a-half. The introduction was very gentle. We showed up at the playground and only got to chat with them a little. We mostly just watched them play. Then, play-date after play-date, we became more and more involved in their lives and, eventually, they arrived at our house on a bright day in August. We were already off planning school with them, so life was full-on instantly, which was probably for the best because we didn’t get time to doubt ourselves. We were able to start them off with their new life and they slowly settled in. The parents still have monthly access and both of the kids still want to see their parents, which is totally fine by us. We were told by Tusla that they are here to stay, because of the long-term care court order. If we could start over, I would tell us not to think that it will be all rainbows and roses, but as always the invested time and care will pay off. Some of these children have been through hell by moving around from place to place and during that time they have built a wall around themselves to protect their emotions. It can be hard work to get them out from there. I remember seeing this little boy regularly going out with our dog and they would sit together for hours and he would whisper in his ears. Later, he told us that he used to share his feelings and everything that bothered him. It took almost two years to get to the point when the boy hugged me and said I love you for the first time… We will never forget that moment! They are with us for four and a half years now. That wall has completely disappeared and we could not be happier together as the perfectly un-perfect family that we always dreamt of.”

This post was highlighted by @tuslachildandfamilyagency.

‘It only takes one person to change the life of a child’, could that be YOU?

Tusla foster carers have positively transformed the lives of vulnerable children and young people, but Tusla needs many others to join them. Foster carers are invisible heroes in their communities and provide a huge service to their locality. Could you join their team of RAISING AMAZING foster carers? For more information about Tusla Fostering visit www.fostering.ie, call freephone 1800 226 771 or email tusla.fostering@tusla.ie.