“Settled people feel pride when their kids became doctors and lawyers. Well, we are just as proud when our children become the decent people they are. It can be just as difficult to get there. When I was growing up, travellers were the lowest class of citizens with zero opportunities in education or decent work. I saw many travellers falling into the traps of life that sometimes wait for us with open arms. Crime, alcohol or drugs took a lot of my family. That’s part of the reason that we ended up fostering two children through Tusla. They were children of one of our relatives. Two boys, the younger was only 18-months-old and the older was 10-years-old at the time. Despite being removed from the family many times before, they still missed them dearly. We reared them to the best of our abilities and looking back, it was a privilege. Especially for the younger one. He now works full-time and he has his own family with a settled girl. I remember when he was about four or five, he asked me if it was okay for him to call me daddy sometimes. He was already with us for a year and a half, so he knew exactly who I was. I said, ‘You can if you want, but I’m not your daddy. Your daddy is in heaven.’ Then he looked at me pointed up and asked, “Up there?” I said, “Yes.” After that, I think he finally understood. I can’t talk highly enough about him and what a man he became. I really love them both like my own and fostering them was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. My experience with Tusla was excellent. They were brilliant all the way through. I understood that they were concerned about the kids’ welfare and I felt that I have earned their trust by proving to them that we were able to start them on the best path we could provide them in life.”
‘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