Stretch-A-Family

Emma's Story
foster caring can be wonderful for biological children too

“Emma’s built resilience and an understanding of the world outside herself, seeing that not all kids are from stable homes”

EMMA

Age: 5 years old

Duration of foster care: February 2018 to present

Emma* is the biological daughter of Paula.* They have been caring for William* since he was only a few weeks old. He is now 18 months old. Paula told us how their fostering journey has influenced Emma.

I knew after having my daughter, Emma, who is now 5, that I had room in my heart for another child. I ended up meeting a great foster dad at Emma’s childcare who shared his journey and I knew immediately that I wanted to give my love to a child who needed it.

Emma has loved Will ever since she laid eyes on him. We picked Will up from the hospital when he was only 3 weeks old. By that point, we’d had numerous conversations about the process and what it means to her. I have this lovely video of when they first met, where’s she’s stroking his head and whispering to me, “He’s just so cute!” She adores him. They’ve showed nothing but love for each other. They play together and laugh together and have their own way of communicating.

Emma actually misses Will when he’s at day care. When they’re in their car seats they hold hands. Often I hear her whispering to him, “I love you so much”. She’s very protective over him and tells everyone that he’s her brother.

I asked Emma what family means to her and she said being kind to each other and loving each other. It’s not the biology we share but our hearts and love for each other. Connection is all we need.

Will spends time with his biological family and siblings once a month and it’s great to have that added sense of togetherness. It’s crucial to his sense of self and we are all wiser for the connection. We have a lot of respect for his family.

Emma and I love Will. I know that I’m making a difference to his life and his biological mum has always expressed that she appreciates what we’re doing. It’s also shaped both mine and Emma’s perspectives in a positive way. Emma’s built resilience and an understanding of the world outside herself, seeing that not all kids are from stable homes.

 

*Names & picture have been changed to protect privacy