For as long as he can remember, Peter has always known the importance of being part of a family.

“My grandmother was in an orphanage when she was young. She understood that being part of a family, no matter what shape or form the family unit is, means so much,” Peter, a gay father of four, explains. “She always taught us about the value of family. Then, growing up in our house it was the same. We had an open door policy. If someone didn’t have a place to stay mum would make up an extra bed. It’s just what we do.”

So, when a teenage boy in the basketball team he coached needed a home and care, Peter just “did what you do.”

“His foster carers used to drop him off for training and then I learnt that they were moving interstate,” Peter said. “This young man had grown very attached to his friendship group here and he didn’t want to leave.

“I said if he needed somewhere to stay he could come and stay with us."

“He stayed with us part time for a few months and now, is with us for as long as he wants to be.”

While Peter’s biological children live with their mother most of the week, becoming a family based carer for the boy now means there are often up to five young people under his roof at one time.

“It makes life busy and interesting but he is 16 so he’s independent, really.

“Meeting our extended family was a bit overwhelming for him because there’s a lot of us but he took it all in his stride. He’s a good kid and also a really relaxed kid. He’s treated the same as the other four. He and my youngest son get on especially well, which is fantastic.”

Peter said he has felt very supported in his role – by Junction and the wider community.

“It (his sexuality) was never relevant in taking on this role and I just don’t feel that it should be. It makes absolutely no difference,” he said.

“It’s about helping out where you need to.

“I’ve told him that even after he’s 18 this will be his home for as long as he wants it.

“It’s a place to stay but it’s also about being part of a family.”

Other News

Read More

Kylie and Darren

Kylie & Darren

Life will now be completely different for Kylie and Darren – and they couldn’t have wished for more.

The southern suburbs couple who embarked on becoming foster carers at the beginning of the year welcomed a newborn into their home almost six months ago.

“We got 12 hours notice before I met her,” Kylie explained. “We thought it would be a baby or toddler who would come into our care so we had a nursery ready, we just had to make some minor adjustments.

“She was less than a day old when I held her and she snuggled right in. There was an immediate bond.”

In that moment, Kylie said her life changed.

“We weren’t able to have our own children. It wasn’t meant to be for us so we started thinking about adoption but we decided not to go down that path. Friends of ours had become foster carers to a young boy and he’s all grown up now so we talked to them about it.

“Then I just looked up foster care agencies in Adelaide on the internet and I found Junction.”

That was in January. Following checks and registering process including home visits, Kylie and Darren were approved as carers in June.

“At the start you just want to get more information but as we got further into it we began this emotional journey that we were then fully invested in. It (the carer assessment and registration process) is in depth because it has to be.”

"You have to dig deep within yourselves and really understand your own limitations and what is driving you to do this."

“It (fostering) is a rewarding experience but it’s a very different to having your own biological child because not all the decisions are yours and you have to accept that. They require 100 per cent of your commitment.”

Kylie said the calmness and empathy she gained through her profession as a nurse had helped in her role as a foster carer.

“I’ve seen a lot in my career and the experience of adults from a range of backgrounds. I understand that things happen to people and life can be complicated by many things.

“We are blessed to have been given the opportunity to have the first bath, the first time she rolled over and the first time she smiled at us. Those are the moments that make any difficult times worth it.”

Other News

Read More

This will close in 0 seconds