After 10 years in the military, with 2 tours of Bosnia and 2 years serving in Northern Ireland, after raising a little girl to puberty and running my own business, I thought I was prepared for anything. I thought there were no more surprises to be had… Then two little boys were dropped off and our lives changed forever.
I’m a secondary carer, sometimes overlooked, sometimes forgotten and sometimes ignored but vital to raising, controlling and emotionally supporting the needs of the children we look after and importantly my own family.
So how did it all begin? Well we had our own business but it became too draining for us, so we started looking for a new challenge (for want of a better word). It was at this point that an old friend and work colleague got in touch with me (Thanks be to facebook). By now my friend was an experienced foster carer and she reminded me of the conversations that we had at work (Which like any typical man I had long forgotten about). She reminded me how she thought that I should consider Fostering as I had the right temperament and experience for it. Strangely it was something that my wife had toyed with on and off for a number of years. At the times of discussions we didn’t have any room, didn’t have enough money and most importantly we had no time – so we had simply forgotten about it… Things have changed over 5 years. We have moved to Sunny Whitby in Yorkshire, we have a bigger house and now we have time (Still no money but we survive). Now it was an idea worth remembering and acting on.
So I needed to take on my wife, this could not be tackled alone. I needed back up (My military training in action). I discussed the idea with my daughter who at the time was 10 years old, I told her that it wouldn’t be easy and there will be hard times ahead alas all she heard was,” Finally a brother or sister!” – which I’m fairly sure I didn’t mention once. Now you have to understand that my daughter is an only child – she is also a mini-mummy, I’m fairly sure that none of my DNA went in to making her – I believe that my wife just copied herself but smaller and louder. But anyway the fact is she was on board and on my side – this nearly made things equal. And so began “The Clone war” or lengthy discussion about the pro’s and con’s – advantages and disadvantages – rights and wrongs but most importantly how we can make a difference to children’s lives for the better. After much further discussion eventually my wife agreed – to think about it! And she did think – long and hard, she discussed it with her friends, my friend, her family, my family (Actually we never even realised how many of our friends were formerly looked after kids). They all advised her to go for it and that she would be brilliant at it. So then we talked some more and eventually as a family we made that “first phone call”…