The festive season is giving new foster parents Amy and Bianca more to smile about this year, as they spend their first Christmas as a family of three.
After becoming AnglicareSA foster carers earlier this year, the couple have welcomed a boy, now 11 months old, into their home.
Bianca said it’s really special to be able to join Christmas gatherings as their new family.
“It’s brought our extended family closer. It’s even brought me closer to my mum who was really excited,” she said.
“It’s fun watching him play with our nieces and nephews and the bond that he’s forming with them.
“They’re mostly young girls so they’re all mothering him – they all want to help.”
Amy and Bianca’s desire to foster a child had been on their minds for a long time.
They were aware that many local children needed homes and families to care for them, but said they were still amazed with what they learned throughout their foster care training.
“It made us more driven and passionate about helping,” Amy said.
“We realised throughout the process how much we wanted to do it, especially when you hear the stats about children without a home in South Australia.”
In just months, the couple have already formed a strong bond with their foster son. At the moment, it’s the small milestones and memories that they cherish the most.
“It’s wonderful watching him grow and develop – everything from his little teeth coming through to him trying to walk,” Bianca said.
“He said mum for the first time two or three days ago. We can’t even walk out of the room without him looking for us.
“We just want to support him the best we can in his life.”
While the couple encourages anyone interested in foster care to start their journey, they have some key advice before taking the first steps.
“Do your research, go along to an information session and make sure it’s right for you,” Bianca said.
“And if it is, stick to it because it’s so rewarding in the end to know that you’re providing a safe, happy environment for a child.”
The couple is preparing for a busy season of spoiling him with his first birthday landing just days after Christmas.
The biggest challenge facing the new foster carers is deciding which presents to give him now, and which ones to save for later.
“It’s nice hearing my sisters ringing me and asking ‘what does he want for Christmas?’ – it’s normally me ringing them to ask what their children want for Christmas,” Amy said.
“When we catch up with family it’s never like ‘Aunty Bianca and Aunty Amy are here’… it’s all about our little boy.”
If you are considering becoming a foster carer like Amy and Bianca, we would love to hear from you. For more information on becoming a foster carer call (08) 8131 3456.