When I first met my now husband, Jamie (pictured above right), we both knew someday we would like to have a family of our own. We always knew we wanted to adopt as we were both aware how many children there were looking for loving homes. We adopted our son, who at the time, was considered ‘hard to place’ with him being 6 years old. This really upset us that even at this age he was ‘considered hard to place’.
He had been separated from his birth siblings as they were younger, and all but him had been adopted. He spent a couple of years in foster homes until he came to live with us and we learned so much on the journey of adoption, and what it can be like parenting children who had experienced trauma and neglect.
After a few years our son was more settled and thriving in our family, we decided to start attending some fostering open days, as we were very aware of just how many children really needed a stable family home, and sadly how many siblings got split up due to difficulties finding placements for them together.
After going to several open days and speaking to many different agencies, we loved the level of training and support that was on offer with By the Bridge, they immediately made us feel welcome. It struck us that they really valued their Foster Parents as professionals, and made sure they had the training needed to develop their skills as therapeutic parents to offer a child-centred approach to fostering.
As a gay, male, couple we had reservations initially to how the children in our family would be accepted into our community. We live in a fairly typical, suburban small town, and we were the first gay parents in the village school. These worries were short lived as our children have all been very easily accepted into the community.
By the Bridge are very supportive of all families whatever their background or sexual orientation. I have Foster Parent friends who represent all aspects of a diverse society and we all feel valued and respected, knowing we have the full support of everyone at By the Bridge.
We feel very blessed to have two wonderful foster children now living with us, we have great days, and a few challenging ones, but we always know By the Bridge are there by our sides. The other Foster Parents I have met have become a great source of support too, and again being a gay couple has never been an issue.
It’s one of the hardest jobs you will do being a Foster Parent but also the most rewarding. Don’t let being a member of the LGBTQ community put you off, By the Bridge celebrate you for being you, your authentic self, and how you can draw on your own experiences to help a young person thrive in the world.
Could you become a Foster Parent and change a young person's life? Get in Touch with By the Bridge today!