Heather and George McMullan
Northern Trust foster carers
Heather talks about how fostering has changed their lives:
“For our family the adventure of fostering began nine months ago. At that time it became clear that lives were going to be changed – ours. Two boys aged six and eight joined our household bringing the total to eight. An already busy household became even more fun. At that time we had no idea of foreseeing what life had in store, with each day bringing new trials and rewards, as we got up to date with the new cartoon characters and football players. We couldn’t have anticipated the impact the boys would have in every aspect of our lives.
It has been nine months of learning, listening and laughing. Young boys of this age certainly keep you on your toes, keeping us active. Although they are brothers they are both quite unique. It was a leap of faith to start fostering; however we knew that we were in it for the long term as we felt we would become attached. They are now, well and truly, part of our family.
Most of all, our lives have been incredibly enriched by our experiences as a foster family. Warnings about being too attached or too close were not helpful for us or them as these brothers needed a place to belong and people to whom they can be attached. I would be less than a truth teller if I did not also include some of the hard stuff we have experienced. Adding two children to the family takes lots of time and energy in terms of working out relationships, boundaries, discipline, building up trust and confidence. Joys of attaining higher grades at school came at a price, spending many frustrating hours repeating the same work over and over and over.
Finally, being a foster carer is a lot like being a ‘regular’ parent, only more so! These children are people not projects who need love, support and understanding. Are you ready for a challenge, for the challenge of a lifetime? Do you want to make a difference in the life of a child? Then, become a foster carer.
Change a life. Yours.”