First before you read this, I just want to say that I have a lot of respect and understanding for people suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. However, this article is not about them and what difficulties they may have been through. It’s about the others – those who are left behind, their family.
This is the story of why we became foster parents.
After years of struggling my sister checked herself into a Psychiatric Hospital. At the time we thought that this would mean things would get better but sadly they escalated. Eventually her relationship failed and she pushed her children’s father and her two daughters away. She signed over her parental rights and the girls haven’t seen their Mother since.
Their Dad, a single parent with two little girls to care for, did an amazing job. Two and a half years later he even found love again and together they made a home for the girls. The family of four grew into a family of five and last year, to everyone’s surprise, along came twins!
Whilst their family grew larger the girls’ Plus-Mom was struggling. She had to take care of my nieces, dealing with their problems and now with three girls of her own. She was also a first-time mom herself, had issues with my sister and a new house under construction.
It’s safe to say they needed help, our help.
Since we were already helping out with the girls, their dad asked us if we would be willing to take care of them on a regular base. My husband and I wanted to but we had some concerns of our own. We already had three children (each their own problems).
I’m a stay-at-home-mom without an income, obviously. So we had to ask ourselves…
Did we have enough room and finances to care for two extra children?
Would we be able to handle five kids at once?
Someone suggested contacting Foster Care for information and we decided to make the call. We were appointed a social worker who helped us with information and guidance and things progressed quickly. She put details in writing, making sure everybody was on board with what was agreed upon. Whenever we have worries, questions, any difficulties, she’s just a call away.
So since 2017 we are now officially foster parents! The girls come over every other weekend, half of all school holidays and one hour after school to help out with homework. In case of emergency we’re just a call away.
I’ll be the first to admit that it hasn’t been easy and at times it still isn’t! We all had to adjust, especially the kids. Our household has never been more chaotic with five children, five personalities and five different ages but I wouldn’t want it any other way!
The truth is we don’t know if my sister will ever be ready to be a Mum again or even to be part of the girls lives. But in the meantime, not only do the girls have their Dad, their Plus-Mom and sisters as one a home, they also have their Uncle Jo, Auntie Phie and our cousins as a bonus.
We are their family, we are their Foster Parents!
photo credit: mripp Important Meeting via photopin (license)
Hi! I’m Sophie, a 30-something mom from Belgium. My husband Jo and I have been together since 2000 and married in 2011. We have 3 kids together, 2 teens and a toddler: William, George and Marie. We are also part-time foster parents of 2, my nieces: Billie and Bess. A husband, 5 kids and a household to run … Things tend to get a ‘little’ chaotic around here! At my old job I rocked at running the office administration so I thought running a household would be easy-peasy … Turns out taking care of kids is nothing like pushing papers at an office, duh! To safeguard what’s left of my sanity I share my life, love and struggles on my instagram-account ‘Mommy_McPhie’. I’m addicted to coffee and all things sugary. Other favorites are shopping (online), binge-watching shows on netfix, listening to music, singing and dancing (when nobody sees or hears me!) but what I like doing most is going on little trips with my husband and the kids. I’m an emotional control freak with a sympathetic ear and her heart on her sleeve. I love talking to other moms and sharing my own experiences! Come join me on Instagram, let’s talk!