Djahida and Sofiane – what to ‘foster’ means to us
Our foster carers Djahida and Sofiane have cleverly taken the letters from ‘FOSTER’ to piece together what this means to them over the couple of years they have been fostering with us.
Family is the most valuable and loving part of anyone’s life. As parents to four children, this has been the most rewarding aspect of our lives. We have a strong desire to do what we can to help children have a better future, so we looked into adoption. However, we then heard about fostering. When we found out more we realised this would be a great opportunity in caring for more than one child and being involved in changing the future of more families in need of support too.
Our family is hard working and consistent. Myself Djahida and my husband Sofiane have been dedicated to fostering from day one. Our four children have been a great support and very encouraging too. Meriem is the eldest of our children, followed by Hadjer, Soumeya and then Yahya, the only boy amongst his sisters. Naturally, he gets extremely excited when we foster a boy. An outsider might think that we have our hands full with just our children, but in fact we work as a team to welcome other children into our home and make them feel part of the family.
Satisfaction of becoming a foster family was unmeasurable. We had many doors closed in our face as we do not have a spare room. However, when we contacted Enfield council, this soon changed and everything was made possible. Enfield has opportunities to foster from 0 (new-born baby) to three year olds. Children of this age can share a room with the foster carers and our bedroom is large enough to accommodate this set up. We have had endless amounts of training and support too. This has made us more confident in our role as a foster family and has definitely made us more knowledgeable.
Time and commitment is what has made everything possible. We take the time to fully understand each child as an individual. We give them the chance to communicate their needs and work hard to meet those. When we had the exciting opportunity of bringing home a new born baby, our children were over the moon. They all wanted to give their time and be involved. This made our family bond stronger, made us more organised and efficient from the experience too. Our commitment to fostering brings happiness to our home, and the satisfaction you get from knowing you are helping to change young lives is indescribable. The work and commitment we put in to supporting their upbringing is always recognised by Enfield council who will always point us to appropriate training where relevant.
Experiences in fostering are endless. Every day is a new adventure. We have made some of the best memories, not only with the foster children but with our own families. We have learnt a lot about each other. We have discovered qualities about one another that we never thought we had. Everyone is very calm, patient and welcoming. Our children love being role models for the children we bring into our home. This can be the little fun things like copying them when it comes to sitting at the table at dinner time or the big sense of responsibility and accomplishment when they see the children happy. We also had the best chance of learning about other cultures so that out foster children do not lose their identity. Not only is this beneficial for them, but very educational for us as a family.
Reward is something we see every day too. It is amazing to see the positive impact that we have on the children. These are things like, giving the children a routine, helping them to eat properly using a knife and fork, washing their hands and controlling a tantrum. These things may seem small to some people, but to us and the children we foster, it is a great achievement. We have had the chance to make incredible changes and sometimes in a very short space of time. A good example was seeing the change we made within a two day placement with a young boy who was afraid of water and refused to have a bath. We came up with a solution to change this and make it a fun experience for him. We did this by having a water fight in the garden, once the young boy became confident with being in contact with water, we were able to bath him with no problem.
Fostering has been the best choice we have made. Making changes and seeing the rewards is something we can never really describe. You have to be a part of it to feel it. So what are you waiting for. Please get in touch with Enfield Council to find out more and hope to see you soon.