So after years of humming and aarghin, 6 years ago we were on holiday in Portugal and I had finished reading my book and found a pile of books in the hotel foyer.
I picked up a book written by someone called Rosie Lewis, coincidentally a Foster Carer, she wrote about a very very challenging placement she had and how she overcame the extreme difficulties she encountered and she honestly inspired me to get on the fostering process when I returned home. In fact, I found her on Facebook and thanked her! She sent me all of her books and we are now friends.
Stephen and I had huge worries, concerns and doubts about the process, Stephen’s were mainly that he had no experience at all with children, so he thought! As he helped bring mine up! Mine were that I’d not had a boring life, having been married, then at 40 coming out as gay and meeting Stephen. However, our biggest worry was that they wouldn’t let us foster as we were gay, after all who wants to men to bring up a child!!
It was my Assessing Social Worker that initially helped us to feel that, due to our background and past, we had a great deal to offer and more importantly that despite being a same sex relationship, we could offer a child a loving home. This was then continued by our Supervising Social Worker and the staff of Fostering Solutions.
So after an emotional 3 months of assessments, we were at panel and after passing we felt ready to start. The process made us even more determined to help children, having seen the need for loving homes from all walks of life; we had had enough preparation and training to set us off and this coupled with the first class matching process of Fostering Solutions we were very excited, although a little nervous.
Approximately 1 week after panel, we received a call offering us our first placement, a little 9 year old boy who had been in care since he was 4 and had been with several foster carers and an adoption breakdown. He was to come from Devon back to Cumbria, and having read the information it was clear he had had real difficulties, but we decided very cautiously to accept and try our best to look after him short term.
It was a very dark, wintery Friday night at 11.30pm when a very frightened, exhausted, bewildered young boy arrived on our doorstep.
That evening our story of Aiden started and our lives changed for the better and …..