I had children and I had never thought of adopting or fostering before until one day I heard the story of how some children grew up in orphanages and child centres and never get to have mothers or a family and that broke my heart. Sure some of these places treat the children well, but I believe every child should at least have a mother and a place to call home. That is what made me decide to foster a child when I heard of GCF. I couldn’t believe any child can be completely happy without feeling as if they belong.
At the time I didn’t even know about the grant for the children. That was an extra blessing. If I had the strength I wouldn’t take the money at all. Sometimes I fear that the money could one day tarnish our love. I would never want my daughter to think there was even a remote possibility that this was about the money.
My daughter is a daughter. We fight sometimes, we love sometimes. She is just like all other children. It has been a great source of amusement to us the way everyone thinks she looks just like the rest of the family. It must be God. If you saw her you would never know that she wasn’t a biological member of this family – she even looks like my kids.
I have learnt a lot through this journey. The biggest thing though is discipline. We grew up knowing that discipline is hitting. Before Buhle came I was struggling with discipline. No matter how much I hit my children they still misbehaved and it seemed to be getting worse.
Through the foster parent trainings we learnt about the difference between punishment and discipline. About withholding their favourite things sometimes as a consequence. I never knew you should let your child make the choice between doing right or wrong. It made such a difference in our lives when I started applying everything that I was learning. Now my house is a hit-free zone instead we talk about things but there are always consequences whether you do right or wrong.
My child is very introvert. She prefers to stay at home with mom than to go gallivanting with other children. I try not to have favourites but it’s not easy. Not because of where I got her from, but because she is always by my side, more so than the others.
Our whole family life has definitely improved. My relationship with my other children is thriving. She is not always like a child – she seems to be an old soul. Sometimes she is like a sister. I can talk to her about the real stuff. Not because she is from GCF but because of her personality and who she is. I find it so funny that I fostered a child because I felt sorry for them but instead it improved my life in so many ways.
My home will always be open. I don’t think Buhle will be the only child I ever foster. Once they are grown and if I am still able, I will foster more children. In fact until I’m old and grey there will always be children in my yard because I still believe all children need to belong.
My house will never die too! Imagine when I’m dead and all these children that I’m raising as brothers and sisters will still love each other and keep the light shining in this house!