I examined the little card. It had two red flowers cut out of paper, with Fathers’ Day greetings written in both English and Chinese. A simple card, ordinary in many ways, and probably one of the many made by children around the world for their fathers on this special day. But this card was different. It was found in the school bag of a child who probably doesn’t fully understand the meaning of the words “father”; a child who has had his whole world shaken up when his birth parents couldn’t take care of him and when he ended up first as a ward of the state, and then as a newcomer in a completely different household. The card belongs to K, the scared little boy who first entered our home some seven months ago. And I am his foster father.
|What does the word “father” mean to you? This is a difficult question that many foster fathers struggle to answer.|
|One of the first few days as a family of 6. This was the week Sue was away on a course, and I had to care for the needs of the kids almost singlehandedly!|
|J and K getting used to life with us. Initially even mundane occurrences such as choosing shoes or carrying bags served as points of contention for them.|
|Our younger son adopting a creative way of getting them to follow us.|
I believe that was what happened with K. Coming from a family of origin where there was no physical and emotional stability, he and his brother were operating from a survivalist mode. It was every boy for himself, as they snatched, hit, bit and screamed their way to get the things that they wanted. Every sentence was punctuated with the words “I want” and “Mine”. After all if K was not fast enough to get the food, his brother J would have snatched it away from him. And that was after J had already eaten his own sizeable portion of food.
|Little K has grown in self-confidence during his stay with us, He now tries to scoot around when we go for a walk around the neighbourhood.|