Nina said that fostering was always something that her parents had spoken about being interested in and they had lots of conversations about it over the years with her and her brother Dylan. They had always agreed that they wanted to wait until they had finished school. Nina took a year out after sixth year to work as a volunteer abroad she was working with young people who were waiting to be fostered in a large orphanage in Africa. She was in regular contact with her parents during this time sharing her experiences and sending pictures home. She can remember at this point encouraging her parents to apply to foster and she was delighted when she heard they had made the decision to do so.
Nina said that she can remember the process moving along quickly and her parents shared regular updates about the training they had been on and everything they were learning. Once her parents were approved, A was matched to them and Nina can remember feeling a bit more nervous and anxious since her parents had prepared her for some of the behaviours he may display. Her mum sent pictures of him and she can remember thinking that he was older than she had expected.
Nina speaks fondly of the day that her and A met and said they “just clicked immediately”. She spent time with him outside playing games together and “now it feels like he has never not been here”. Nina added that “A and I will still reminisce about the first time they met, and it has become a lovely memory to share.”
Nina lived away from home for the first few years of A living with them and she recently moved back to the family home. She says that this was a new transition for them both and describes her relationship with him as the same as her biological brother with usual sibling dynamics.
Nina considers one of the highlights has been being able to experience Christmas through A’s eyes and she spoke fondly of their first Christmas together and starting all new traditions with him. Another highlight was taking A to Singapore and creating lots of memories with him.
Nina spoke about the support she gave to A around his decision to call her parent’s Mum and Dad. He is placed with them on a Permanence order and one day her mum said she felt he needed Nina’s permission to be able to call them Mum and Dad. Nina took him out for a walk and just casually said to him “if you want to you can call them Mum and Dad”
When I asked Nina what she would tell people who are considering fostering she said she is really encouraging and urges people to apply. She recently offered advice to her friend’s father and his partner and they are now fostering a sibling group of three.
Nina considers she has had lots of support from her parents and from their supervising social worker and fostering support worker. I advised we were considering providing more training to children who foster, and she said that would have been something she would have found beneficial.
Nina considers fostering is something she would do herself and said it had been a positive experience for them all.
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