“Martin has been a blessing to our family,” Richard, Martins’ foster dad says beaming. Martin has just woken up from his daily afternoon nap and it’s feeding time. “He prefers to feed himself,” Richard says as he puts his lunch bowl -shredded chicken- in front of him. “He absolutely loves chicken,” and on cue, he immediately dives in.
For the last one year and seven months, Richard and his family have been taking care of Martin. “I will never forget the day we found him, I actually think he found us.” Martin was left at birth near Richard’s home. “My wife heard him crying, she rushed him to the hospital for emergency medical care. He was not doing well and had to be under doctor’s care for two weeks, we stayed with him to make sure that he was okay.”
Our social workers placed Martin in Richard’s family for care. They first assessed Richard’s family to ensure that they could take care of him and that their home was safe for a child. They also placed adverts on radios and posters around the village to trace his parents but the search was unsuccessful.
One year and seven months later, Richard is flourishing and growing up healthy surrounded by a family that loves him. “He has taught us how to work together as a couple. When he was a few months old he would wake up to five times a night,” Richard recalls “We alternated night milk feeds, it was tough but we did it together. I am glad he now sleeps through the night. We have our sleep back,” he laughs
“My family loves him, my daughters love to take care of him. He has brought joy to our family.” Richard fondly says. “We have celebrated his major milestones as a family, his first step, his first birthday. We love him, he is a blessing to our family.”
We have supported and walked with Richard’s family throughout their foster care journey, regularly visiting them and training them on how to take care of Martin as well as supporting them with formula milk and food to help take care of Martin.
Because of Richard’s family, Martin never had to be placed in an orphanage. He is growing up loved in a family. Foster carers, just like Richard’s family are key to our work. They are changing lives and providing safe and loving families to children in need.