Anne’s story

Archived: Posted September 16, 2016

“When I was considering becoming a foster carer I had to seriously ask myself whether I had the capacity to love a child who wasn’t my own.  I need not have worried, if fostering is right for you then you instantly just do!”

When foster carer Anne Morris’ eldest birth son left home for the first time to embark on his first year at university, she didn’t expect the level of loss and heartbreak she would feel.  She explains how being a foster carer, and the emotional needs of her foster child helped her put into perspective the negative feelings she had associated with her own son leaving home, more commonly known as empty nest syndrome.

Anne from Maesteg in Mid Glamorgan has been a foster carer with Foster Care Associates (FCA) for six years.  A former accountant, her outlook on life and ultimate decision to become a foster carer followed a battle with cancer.  She said: “Like many people who live with cancer I found it really hard to deal with it emotionally at times.  I had lost control and felt rejected and lost.  Eventually I was thankfully given the all clear, however the experience gave me a lot of time to reflect on my own life. Anne Morris

“Family is my number one priority, and following my illness I wanted to spend more time with them, but also wanted to give something back.  Many of the feelings I experienced when I was ill, including loss and rejection, are what children in care feel everyday through no fault of their own.  I guess I could empathise which made me look into becoming a foster carer.

“My husband and I discussed it with both our birth children and the decision for us to become foster carers was made as a family.  We’ve been caring for K now for more than five years.  I’m not going to pretend she’s been the easiest to look after, and at the time when my eldest son Sam went to university she was going through a particularly difficult period. 

“Although I was devastated when Sam left, it was K that needed me more than ever, and all my energy and focus was directed to her.   My feelings of loss, associated to Sam leaving home, became insignificant to the losses that my foster child had experienced in her life, and I’ve seen her grow from a child wanting to please, to a child who has the strength and ability to voice concerns and even answer back without fear of repercussions as she knows she’s safe.

“I’m particularly proud of my own children who have been on-board with our fostering journey from day one.  They regard our long term foster placement as their sister, and she sees them as her role models and strives to be like them. 

“As a family we encourage everyone to be very open with their feelings, and often talk about our ‘happy tank’ – if anyone’s ‘happy tank’ is running low we endeavour as a family to find ways to ‘fill their happiness up’, and most importantly we never dwell on problems and issues, we seek to find a solution then we simply ‘whoosh it away’, not to be spoken about again.     

“It took almost two years for K to accept my husband mainly due to negative experiences with men up until the time she came to live with us.  From day one she called me Mum, but trust issues prevented her wanting to get too close to my husband.  The break through moment came when one day she turned around to Andrew and asked him for a hug. 

“You must enter into foster care for all the right reasons, and want to do it with all your heart.  Remember you can’t ‘fix’ a broken human being, but you can accept them for who they are and make life easier for them.  By offering a safe and secure environment it allows the child to be themselves and be listened to.      

“When I was considering becoming a foster carer I had to seriously ask myself whether I had the capacity to love a child who wasn’t by birth child.  I need not have worried, if foster caring is right for you then you instantly just do!”

How can we help?

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we're here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in you area
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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