My husband and I were only able to have one child, a girl. My husband passed on and within a couple of years, my daughter married. I can never say my desire to foster a child was a completely selfless one; I needed someone and I heard through a neighbour about Give a Child a Family. It seemed like the perfect solution to me. A child needed a family and I needed a companion.
So I went to GCF. I attended all the trainings and screenings and finally got to meet my children. I actually have two. One from GCF and one from another centre. Once more, my house was booming with noise and laughter.
As the children grew older, there were new challenges. The girl became impossible to manage as she matured into a teenager. Staying out late, boys, the typical teenage stuff. I wasn’t always sure how to handle her. Luckily we are always having support groups with Monica Nomlala. We get to share our struggles and advise each other. We pray together. Monica is a social worker and also a parent and she knows more on how to handle things like discipline, so she has been a great help.
It’s no fairy tale. There is a huge gap between me and my children. We grew up in two very different generations. I don’t understand a lot about this generation and mostly find it confusing. But thanks to the support group, I can always share my confusion and I know it will be dealt with. There should be support groups for all parents, not just for those with foster children. Women should have a platform to help each other with this parenting stuff because it’s not easy – it is really not.
I have never regretted fostering my children. They have brought real like into my life. Maybe I would be old and shriveled up now without them. I worried about loving children who were not mine but that part was so easy. They became mine, instantly. They also have such different personalities. You can never deal with them in the same way. Having raised one child, raising two such different souls was interesting.
One is extremely introvert and the other belongs to the whole community. Even at home in conversing I have to handle them very differently. Even with discipline. I was worried about that but I’ve learnt it’s okay. You have to handle children as they are (individuals) and not as a unit. All this I learnt through the support groups. I believe because of all the support, I am a better parent with my two children now than I was even with my own daughter. Thank you GCF!