Changing children’s lives at Christmas time

Author: TACT Foster Carer

Tags: Fostering

Pam – TACT Foster Carer

I had always thought of fostering having raised my 3 sons but my husband wasn’t keen on the idea feeling that we had already done our bit. I became a widow in 2012 and remarried in 2014 but it only lasted a year. My sons were all grown up in their 30s with children of their own and then in 2015, I lost my dad and felt at a loose end with my life. It was now my time to do something in life that I had always dreamed of.

I had previously worked with vulnerable teenagers and had always wanted to do more to help them so I thought fostering would be perfect for me. TACT was recommended to me and I contacted them in May 2015. The process to become a foster carer is lengthy but I can honestly say I really enjoyed it. I learnt a great deal about myself and developed a good relationship with my social worker. I went to panel in the October and actually cried during the process as it meant so much to me to be approved.

In January I had my first referral, 14 year old Ellie, she was a planned move so we could get to know each other before she came to live with me in February with her two rabbits.  Sadly, Ellie’s mum had died in 2012, she had no contact with her dad and I was Ellie’s 5th foster carer placement.

I had my second referral in May who was a girl aged 12 on a respite placement for 3 weeks and then in November, I had a referral for a 17 year old girl who, happily, continues to live with us.

During the summer Ellie and I went on holiday to Mexico and then to visit my eldest son in Canada. It was such a proud moment to see Ellie fulfilling her dream of swimming with dolphins whilst we were in Mexico. We felt like a real family unit and the rest of my family could not have been more welcoming, which is important as it does involve all of us.

It’s so lovely to have teenagers in the house again. I have lost my nice tidy quiet home, but I wouldn’t swap it, I love the atmosphere.

I am really looking forward to Christmas this year as last year I woke up on Christmas morning by myself and this year it’s going to be with two very excited young ladies. We have the Christmas Eve boxes ready and the Christmas bedding. We are very family orientated and the girls have been saving the pocket money to buy presents.

They are both excited to be with me for Christmas, but obviously it can be sadness also as they are not with their families. We seem to blend really well together. Ellie is doing really well at school and the older girl is at college, both girls help me around the house and we cook together.

Our Christmas day will start with the presents and a lovely breakfast before visiting family to give our presents out, then home for lunch and to watch a Christmas movie. The highlight for the girls will be the new phones they both have asked for; and for me it will be watching their faces as they open their presents, and knowing I’m doing my little bit to make things better for them. I love them.