Lynne said: “We thought that now was the right time in life to give something back. We haven't got children of our own, so we thought, ‘let's try fostering’. I think the pandemic sparked that as well with so many people suffering we wanted to do something to help people.
“When we first met nine years ago, we were talking about this in the early stages of our relationship. We always had the motivation to help vulnerable children and we’re delighted to have finally done it.”
Before welcoming their first ever foster child, the couple had a pretty good idea of the type of fostering they wanted to do. They later revealed that once their journey began, they started to quickly reconsider their matching preferences.
Ian said: “Originally, we did have a preference to have more short term foster children between the ages of 8 and 11. However, our first placement is a 15-year-old girl and it’s been amazing. We wouldn’t change it! Despite her being with us for a short period, our goal is to have her with us now until she’s 18 years old.”
Lynne remembers what an incredible feeling it was having their foster daughter walk through their doors for the first time. She said: “Having our child come into our home was really lovely. She came after school one day with her social worker and met us, met the cats and saw her bedroom. She just fell in love with the space!
“It was a really positive experience. The plan was to just be ourselves. From the very start, we kept telling her that we were there for her, to provide a safe harbour and look after her.”
Lynne continued: “We got a little welcome gift pack together for her. She had some nice treats and practical things to help her settle in. She loved that.”
Ian revealed how their foster daughter feels like such a big part of their family and how much they have seen a change in her already.
He said: “She laughs a lot now. She's a lot more articulate too. When she moved in, she had quite high-stress levels, which were leading to quite painful headaches but have now disappeared. She's a lot more confident too, which is great to see!”
Despite fostering coming with its challenges, the couple share the rewarding feeling that comes with the experience.
Ian said: “I feel that the biggest reward we have got from this experience was after two weeks of our foster daughter being with us, we were saying goodnight to her and she turned around and gave Lynne and myself a cuddle. We were both very emotional. That was worth everything.”
Lynne continued: “She then said, I obviously feel very comfortable around you two.”
The couple wanted to let individuals that are considering fostering know that they shouldn’t be worried. Their message is one of encouragement, and reassurance that there is a whole process in place to match children who need a foster home, with the right families.
Ian said: “I think people often think that they don't get a choice in terms of who walks through their door. But actually, there's a whole process. The team will get to know you, your skills and your preferences to see what kind of child will fit into your family. Look what happened to us, we thought we wanted one thing, and now we have something else entirely, but we couldn't be happier with how it has all turned out, and the difference we know that we are making to our foster daughter.”
Ian concluded: “The support we've had has been brilliant! We’ve had lots of communication. We just can’t fault it. Our child has made us better people and our lives feel much more fulfilled now.”
June 21 2022
Celebrating 15 Years of Fostering
Yorkshire foster parents, Maggie and Allen, have recently celebrated their 15-year fostering anniversary. Today, they share some of the highlights of their fostering career.
December 16 2021
"Fostering is so rewarding and so worthwhile"
After wanting to foster all their lives, Debra and Graham finally made it happen 3 years ago. Today, they share their fostering story so far...
November 29 2021
“He said to me that we were like his foster grandparents"
Respite foster carer, Karen, talks about how she and her husband became respite foster parents for Orange Grove.
June 3 2020
Welcoming our first foster child into our home
Michelle and Andy have had their own child fly the nest already, and now at the age of 48 and 51, the couple share their journey of welcoming their new foster children into their home.
March 4 2020
“I have everything I need with Jackie”
Olivia* was just 10 years old when she came to live with her foster parent, Jackie. Today, Olivia reflects on her emotional journey living in foster care.
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