Department of Human Services Social Worker, Fiona and her husband, David, thought they had a childless future ahead of them.
David was the one who broke the news to her that she was going to become a mum.
“David called me and suggested I go somewhere quiet,” Fiona said.
“He told me he’d received a call asking if we would consider taking a foster child, named Fraser*.”
Foster carers play a vital role in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Fiona said she still remembers how excited she was when she found out that she had been offered a permanent foster care child with the goal of adopting.
“I was shaking and started crying,” she said. “David told me Family and Community Services (FaCS), who coordinate the foster program in NSW, wanted us to consider taking a boy through permanent care with the goal of adoption.
“I was in shock—you’re more likely to win Lotto!”
The day Fiona and David met their son Fraser was also his first birthday.
“We felt butterflies in our stomachs,” said Fiona.
“He was crawling on the ground and lifted his arms up in the air for his dad (David) to pick him up, and I got the second hug.”
That day had been a long time coming. Fiona was in her 20s when she met David, they fell in love and were married. They quickly decided they wanted to start their family.
“At the time, we were open to the idea of around five children,” Fiona said.
They had been busy pursuing their careers like many other young couples, and weren’t initially concerned when Fiona didn’t get pregnant. It wasn’t until a few years later that they started exploring why they hadn’t conceived. After a series of tests, Fiona was diagnosed with endometritis.
“After my second laparoscopy surgery, I woke up and the doctor told me that unless I used IVF, I would never be able to have a child,” Fiona said. “I remember feeling very dark and depressed for a few days.
“We decided IVF wasn’t an option for us. We worried that our dream of having a family would never be fulfilled, however, we had always been open to the idea of adoption.
“In 2006 we decided on adoption, and about a year later we attended training at FaCS.”
After completing adoption assessments with FaCS, they were approved for the adoption pool in May 2009. However, it would be another year before the couple received that life changing phone call to have Fraser join their family.
“We were absolutely ecstatic to be parents,” she said.
Five years after adopting Fraser, the couple were asked to consider taking an 8-month-old boy, Jack*. Then a year later they received an unexpected call to ask if they would take Jack’s brother, Jeramiah*.
“Jeramiah looked shell-shocked; all week he had been sleeping at different houses of various family members,” Fiona said.
Fiona said fostering children is one of the best and most rewarding decisions she has ever made.
“The boys are always ecstatic when their dad gets home from work and jump all over him fighting for his attention,” she said. “Getting to where we are today—the parents of three young boys—has certainly been a journey.
“There are around 30,000 children in care. The need for people to embrace fostering is huge.”
“You don’t need to be a couple like us to foster children. You can be single, a grandparent or already have children.”
National Foster Care Month recognises the important role foster carers play in our community.
*The names of Fiona and David’s foster sons have been changed for legal reasons.
Adoption information for Australia and check your state based fostering website.