“My husband and I started in foster care a year after the birth of our daughter Charlot (7). In those six years, we took care of about 15 children. We have chosen short-term care so that we can help the children in the best possible way during a crisis period.
The baby will then stay as long as necessary. Until it is clear where he or she will grow up. In practice, this means that we can be called up at half past one in the afternoon, and that two hours later there is a pram with a baby at our door. We now host two children whose names must remain anonymous for the sake of their privacy and security.
Our foster son (3) came to us when he was just a baby. Around his first birthday, we announced to the Youth Care that he could continue to grow up with us if necessary. Normally, he would be transferred to a ‘perspective’ nursing home.
The match between him and our family was good, he was there from the first moment. Therefore, he will continue to live with us until he grows up. We have been caring for a baby for six months now. I’m not his mother, and Jasper is not his father. I think it’s important that he knows who his biological parents are. He calls me ‘mom’, but that’s because everyone in this house calls me ‘mom’.
When a child walks, I miss him or her sometimes. I’m still in contact with an adoptive mother because we took care of her baby immediately after the birth. Her child has lived with us for a total of three months. I’m also still in touch with a grandmother whose granddaughter we once took care of. She is now 2.5 years old.
I like to hear from time to time how the kids are doing. Our children are extremely flexible and it goes well every time our family composition changes again. Of course, a child may be more understanding of the situation than another child, but it also has to do with age.
Today we take care of children from 0 to 6 years. This is a conscious choice to avoid possible conflicts. We already have four teenagers of different ages in our house. In the future, I would like to go to the teens.
In addition to caring for the foster children, I work 8 hours a week in my father’s bookstore. I maintain the website and social media. I do it from home. Jasper is self-employed and has a handyman company. He currently works abroad from Monday to Thursday every week. He builds spray booths for cars there.
On Fridays he is free, so we often drink coffee all morning with a delicious cake or we go somewhere for lunch or go for a walk with the dog. It is not possible to have a nice chat during the week, because we are both very busy. So we enjoy the weekend extra.
Jasper gets most of the money in. Of my salary, we can buy groceries for two weeks and then it’s gone. We have had a common account from the beginning of our relationship. Nothing is separate with us. I do not see the point.
It’s just fine between us, so I expect it will never be necessary with different bills. I am convinced that we will always be together. So I do not have to be independent of Jasper either. We do not receive any income to receive the foster children, but we do receive some compensation. This is enough to support the children. So we spend it on clothes, food and drink for the foster children.
Cleaning mostly comes down to me. For a few years, a cleaning lady comes by once every two weeks. I wanted extra help because I have my hands full with the kids. Fortunately, my daughters also help a lot in the household. For example, we all wash.
I fold it away as quickly as possible, but my daughters also sit regularly on the couch with a laundry basket. I grew up in a big family and I’m used to everyone contributing from home. I expect that from my own children. The small children should not help with the household. And because we accept small foster children, they obviously should not help either.
Jasper is very much away from home, but when he is at home, he also helps with the household. Often I even have to slow him down a bit because he is busy. On the weekends he usually puts the youngest children to bed because he is away the other evenings. He also regularly picks up the vacuum cleaner on his own and washes a bit on the weekends.
Caring for the children is very much my responsibility. My daily tasks vary enormously. I have a baby, toddler, teuter (a teuter is between a teenager and a toddler), a teenager and three teenagers. That means you worry from early morning to late evening. I make bottles and change diapers, but I also have to help with my teens’ homework. This ensures that I am actually always busy.
Nevertheless, I think it is important to make time for each other. So Jasper and I are still planning fun activities together. For example, we like to go for a walk with the dog or eat a nice lunch together. Before you know it, you’re not really talking for weeks, and you’re just snoring next to each other in bed. You should try to avoid this. Therefore, our goal is to leave for 2 nights at least 3 to 4 times a year. “
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