Being a single mother of three hasn’t stopped Teddy from opening her heart and home to taking care of more children. “I just love children,” she tells us when we visit her.
We find her getting the youngest baby, Jason, who has found his way to Teddy’s loving arms ready for the day. “All three of my children are now grown, the youngest is 15 years old and he is at university,” she says as she finishes dressing Jason, “I have the space to provide a home to children in need.”
Before Child’s i came to Tororo, Teddy had already been fostering children for 10 years, providing a family and a home to children in need. “I have taken care of eight children – five girls and three boys.” Her passion for being a foster carer, Teddy says, stems from her childhood. She lost her mother when she was a young girl. “I decided to be a foster carer because my mother died when I was just a young girl, and I suffered. I do not want any child to go through what I went through,” Teddy tells us as she cuddles baby Jason.
She tells us one of her most heart-warming moments as a foster carer is when the children she has taken care of come back to visit. “They are now thriving and have bright futures, it gives me such joy when they come back to visit us,” she smiles, “it tells me I did something right, I changed someone’s life.”
We asked Teddy how her three children feel about them providing care to children in need as a family. “It has taught them understanding and compassion. They are now part of a bigger family.”
Teddy is currently taking care of Maggie and baby Jason. Maggie was placed in an orphanage immediately after she was born. Her mum could not take care of her due to on-going mental health challenges. With no one else to take care of her, Maggie was placed at our partner Smile Africa Ministries Orphanage.
After no success in finding Maggie’s extended family as her mother is still undergoing treatment at a mental health facility, she was placed in Teddy’s safe and loving hands for long term foster care.
After four years in an orphanage, Maggie is now living with her new foster family. It has been one month since Maggie was placed with Teddy. “Maggie is slowly coming out of her shell and becoming more trusting of us,” Teddy beams, “and we are hopeful that she will find happiness with us.”
Baby Jason was left at birth. But thanks to foster carers like Teddy, Jason never had to spend a night in an orphanage. He immediately was placed in Teddy’s loving care as our social workers continue to trace for his family. At three months old he is thriving and growing up well is a safe and loving family. “I am so happy to be able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for him,” says Teddy as she rocks him to sleep.
As she places baby Jason in his cot to sleep she says “I have learnt how to be patient and resilient, strengths I never knew I had.”
Foster carers like Teddy are a huge part of our work, they provide care and safe and loving families to children in need whilst our social workers trace for their families, or find them safe and loving forever families through adoption.