Their story is one of courage, resilience, flexibility and hope.
Image: Alex and Kelly
Five years ago, Alex and Kelly first began thinking about becoming carers. Alex had always wanted a big family and knew fostering was one way she could realise her dream. Now, Alex and Kelly have a nine-year-old daughter and a baby boy in their care.
The women have friends and family who are carers, and after receiving a recommendation about Life Without Barriers, the couple instinctively felt it was the right time to apply.
After arriving in Victoria in early 2020, they were offered the opportunity to care for a baby long-term. A welcome addition to their family of three.
With the many challenges carers have faced throughout 2020, Alex and Kelly have become a 'virtual' success as carers, after being onboarded, case managed and trained online during Victoria’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We are all totally taken by bubs - our daughter dotes over him and has adopted a ‘big sister’ role. She has also benefitted from the emotional support Life Without Barriers has offered – support to make her feel positive about the experience too." Said Alex.
Kelly’s the first to admit that becoming carers hasn’t always been picture perfect: “Having to readjust to sleepless nights again has been really hard, but it’s nothing compared to the challenges of COVID-19,” she said.
“The biggest challenge we’ve faced since moving to Victoria as carers has been the isolation from friends and family based in neighbouring states, due to COVID-19” - Alex.
The isolation hit Alex particularly hard as a stay-at-home-mum during two very long and hard lockdowns. But Alex sees a silver lining in everything and said: “The upside of ISO has been the many lifestyle changes we’ve experienced in Victoria. It puts what’s important to us in perspective."
“While home schooling was tough and adjusting to the Victorian Government’s ‘stay home orders’ even tougher, I’ve seen many positive changes in myself and our family life since lockdown. For instance, we’ve become more family focused and spend more quality time together, like movie nights on Fridays,” she said.
“Considering the circumstance we found ourselves in after moving to Victoria, I feel so fortunate for the wonderful support from our key workers. I feel like we are part of a very caring, family-oriented group of people.”
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Carer Ambassador continues the family tradition
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