Farewell to an Angel

Not any angel, but MY Angel.

It’s hard to imagine this journey without her.

It was a hard day when she said that she and her husband were moving to the country. I’m so happy for them but it’s so strange not talking to her on the phone or emailing. My angel isn’t there.

I have a new PSW, and she’s lovely and doing all the right things. She’s on top of all our kids and their needs, the transition from one support worker to the other has been almost seemless, but, the new one isn’t MY Angel.

Today we got a beautiful Christmas card from her, made me miss her even more. Her bright bubbly voice on the end of the phone. Her cheeky tone of voice when she had a placement for us. Her endless words of wisdom, encouragement and support.

Wishing you all good things Angel. I hope you and your husband have a fantastic new life in the country. We of you. Thank you for everything you did for us and our babies. We will miss you very much.



No one wants us

“Leanne” was a huge inspiration for me to become a foster carer.
She was a student and there was nothing remarkable about her. She was a quiet achiever, no problems in rehearsal with behaviour, just a normal kid. As the year went on, she started hanging back after rehearsal for a chat. She would walk with me to my car chatting all the while. Time went on and she started telling me more about herself. The teacher that I worked with knew her background and told me that the things “Leanne” was sharing, she didn’t share with very many people and that I was very lucky to have her confide in me. I was told a bit more of her history by the teacher so that I knew where she was coming from.

The things this young lady had been through…oh my lordy!

One day, on our walk out to my car she was telling me that she was in residential care, because “nobody wants us”. My heart broke for her. This poor young girl and her siblings had been through so much and now to feel that no one wanted them. I told her that it wasn’t that she wasn’t wanted but that there is a massive shortage of foster carers, and as the department want the family to be able to stay together, finding a home able to take so many children is very difficult. She told me that I should become a foster carer, and thus the seed was planted.

On future chats I told her, that I had taken her advice and had applied to become a foster carer.

Over the next 12 months, I kept her updated and was so happy to be able to tell her once I was all approved, which happened to be at the same time she and one of her sisters had been placed with a family.

So to “Leanne”, thank you so much for taking me into your confidence and inspiring me to become a foster carer.
You were not just a light bulb moment for me, but more like a huge neon sign hitting me in the head.

The generosity of strangers

What a day *contented sigh*

We went to visit my parents today and a friend of theirs popped by to drop off some things that my parents are going to store for them while they’re moving.

This lovely man, that I’ve only met a couple of times before, and MM has never met, asked if we knew anyone who needed any beds as they had some kids beds to get rid of.

Well, we’ve been thinking about getting a third bed, to give siblings a choice of having their own rooms when they stay here or to share a room, so this was a great opportunity. We would have been happy for Mr and Mrs B. to just drop off one of their choosing to my folks, but no, we had to go round to their house and choose. So, off we went.

When we got to their home, we explained why we were looking at another bed, and next thing we know we have a ute full of things to bring home.

Seems they like what we’re doing with foster care (it appears as though Ma and Pa have been raving about all our babies) and we came home with :

  • Single Bed
  • Trundle Bed
  • Bike
  • Ride on car for little kid (think Fred Flintstone style)
  • Hundreds of $$ worth of clothes, swimwear and sleepwear for girls in various sizes, some brand new with tags still on
  • Boots and rain boots in various sizes
  • Hats
  • Books
  • Kids out door chairs

I have spent all afternoon and evening smiling at MM, and, I will confess, I’ve gotten a bit teary too, at the overwhelming generosity of these people. We asked how much they wanted for everything that they have given to us, and the answer was, No, just give it a good home, the kiddies need it and anything you don’t want or need, pay it forward. And we will.

Mr and Mrs B….you are amazing people and your kindness today for the little people that come into our home has made my cup runneth over. I wish you all good things and on behalf of the kiddies that will get the benefit of your goodies, Thank you.

Thank you so very much.

You want me here?

I remember a few years ago, I was teaching for a friend on maternity leave. A few weeks in, I realised I had a real challenge on my hands, a year 7 boy who was more than just the class clown.

One day after rehearsal I found my way to the principals office and asking what the deal was with “Mike”. We had a small chat about this young man and it turned out that this kid had in his short life had already been in about 20 different foster homes. His mum had some issues and was working through them and so when he was able to live with her he did, but it meant that the people that had been caring for him would be given a new placement, so, sadly, when his mum was unable to care for him he found himself with new carers.

The result, a child with massive attachment issues, and that for him translated into behavioural issues. By the time he ended up in my room, this poor fella had never been on a school excursion, much less a camp because of his challenging behaviours. The school principal asked if I was happy to keep working with him, but, as he wasn’t an academic type student, or an athlete, we wanted to find something he could do, so working with the principal and his carer we set out to do what we could.

Did he get a free pass for bad behaviour? No way!
One day, after being given his 2 warnings, I asked him to choose, stay and behave or leave the room. He chose poorly and was sent out. The following week he didn’t come to rehearsal, so I sent a student to go get him from class. When I asked him why he didn’t come I was told with all the attitude he could “Cos you kicked me out!” My reply, “That was last week and you chose to leave with your behaviour. I want you here, but I won’t accept that behaviour.”

My heart nearly broke when he replied with “You want me here”?”
It was like he had never heard those words before, and possibly, he hadn’t.

Well, he chose to join us, and I won’t say it was an easy journey, but we managed to get this young man to 2 offsite rehearsals….no, he wasn’t allowed to go on the school bus, but his amazing carer took him and waited there in case he had to take him away…and he got to perform at the Adelaide Festival Theatre.

After the concert I got  a massive hug and thank you for letting him take part. I told him I did nothing except teach him the songs….he did the hard work and made the right choices with his behaviour, he was responsible for being there.

I still get teary thinking about how he was so surprised that I wanted him to be there.

It was my light bulb moment. That moment that I realised there are a lot of kids out there that just want to feel loved and wanted.

To “Mike” where ever you are, I want you to know how much you inspired me to do what I do now.

“Mike” is not his real name.