Fostering. My partner was asked today; "Why on earth do you do it?"
Partner attended a Christmas card "party" that somebody they worked with threw. You know, you buy some charity cards and you've done a bit for the world.
Don't get me wrong, bully for people who raise money for charities, better than doing nothing.
But when the fact that we fostered came up with one lady she was incredulous; "Why do you do it?"
So why do we do it?
Hang on though. Do people ask RNLI life boat people why they do it? I bet not.
A few years ago I attended a charity firework display where the money raised was going to a local school for disabled children. I said to the organiser; "You must be looking forward to presenting the money to the school" He replied "God, no. I couldn't face those children, too shocking."
I guess there are lots of people who can't face the fear of doing something good on the front line. The firework guy couldn't even meet the children he was raising money for.
So why do we foster carers do it?
Because it's exhilarating, rewarding, empowering to see some kid go better than they would have done with anybody but you, because it makes the world a better place, because it's a risk to one's otherwise dull lifestyle, because you're in a team that's with you, behind you, leading you.
Most of all because it's a real live experience that gives a young person, drowning in life, someone to pull them out. Someone who'll tug them to dry land. But not in one night; over months and years.
Same rescue though.
The Secret Foster Carer