Sarah and Michael* smile as they talk about their family.
“Home is what you make it,” Sarah says. “And the people you fill it with make it a home as well.”
The couple had always wanted more children after their daughter, but through circumstances could not have their own.
After looking into adoption, Sarah felt a sudden calling.
“I was on the lounge one weekend researching foster care, and thought why don’t we foster? There seems to be a lot of kids out there that need homes to go to. Let’s do it. So we did.”
CatholicCare Social Services Hunter Manning’s out-of-home-care plans are always developed with the child in mind. When a young person cannot live with their own parents, a safe place is required for them to stay. Foster carers nurture these young people, providing stability and support, empowering them to reach their full potential.
“It has been a sliding doors moment,” says Michael.
“What if we hadn’t gone down that road? We are very thankful that we did. It is still the most surreal moment of my life. We woke up as a three person family, and we went to bed as a four person family.
“People often ask us what it’s like to be a foster parent. It is the most challenging thing I have ever done, but by far the most rewarding.”
“It’s not easy,” Sarah adds. “It is hard work, it is emotional, it is tiring. But that’s what you sign up for.
“When you see a child thrive under your care, they might not be your blood, but you’re their mum and dad. When you can give them the life that they might otherwise not have been able to have, it makes it worthwhile as well.
“You can’t do it for yourself. It is not about you. It’s about the child. You have to think I am doing this because this child needs a good, solid family unit. This child needs love support and a future. If their biological family can’t provide that, that’s what foster parents are for.”
“No child comes in because of a good story,” Michael says.
“But you can turn it into a happy ending.”
*Names have been changed