Brodie and John always knew they wanted to be dads – they just didn’t know how that was going to happen – until they met the foster care team at Life Without Barriers.
Image: John [left] and Brodie sitting on the couch together.
John and Brodie are like so many other families in Australia. And like many other families, they were at a point in their life where they knew they wanted to be parents, but weren’t quite sure how to make this a reality. Being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, having biological children was not an immediate option, and they were aware of the number of children that need a home – so they turned to foster care.
“The fact that there are already so many kids out there that need a loving and safe home, a FAMILY, and that we could provide that for them, is why we turned to foster care,” said Brodie.
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John was already familiar with the foster care system in NSW as his mother has been a foster carer his whole life.
With Life Without Barriers, Brodie and John have already cared for seven children, including siblings. Brodie said each has created new beautiful memories.
“Each child brings on new favourite moments, watching the kids guards slowly drop and the walls that they have built slowly fall away definitely has to be the best for all of them.”
Breaking down barriers can often be achieved through fun games.
“Pre-lockdown we loved taking the foster kids and teens to bowling and putt-putt golf. We find these two activities give the kids a little friendly competition and helps them bond.” Said Brodie.
Brodie and John’s community are all on board and love to help said Brodie. “They love it, they have always supported us. Every child we have welcomed into our home has also been welcomed into theirs.”
“You just have to welcome them into your home, your life, your routine like they have always been there and are not going to leave. You need to treat them like your own family your own children, there could be 1000 reasons as to why that child/ren are coming to you for respite. Welcoming them into your home as family is going to make them feel appreciated, wanted, loved safe and secure.”
“Just do it, it’s the best thing we have ever done, it has given our lives purpose.”
Life Without Barriers was not the first agency Brodie and John turned to foster care to, in fact – they had almost given up on being carers when they heard a Life Without Barriers ad on the radio.
“Attending information nights with other agencies, we were always the only same sex couple and always felt like we were not meant to be. That was until we came across LWB [Life Without Barriers]. We have felt like a part of the family since the very first phone call.”
Being a foster dad can seem a little daunting as first. Brodie shared that getting as much information as they could has really helped them on their journey.
“Do your research, connect with other foster carers and attend information nights.”
Brodie and John are hoping to ‘foster to adopt’ when the right circumstance comes along. But are loving every moment of being respite carers in the meantime.
“This has changed our lives for the better and has given us a purpose, we will continue to do so for as long as we can.”
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