Emma's Story

The BBC Radio 4 appeal was a huge success for Parents for Children, we never dreamt we would make over £11,000, let alone find a family for "Emma".

Emma’s Story 

A rare lay-in on a Sunday morning in August - there we were sat in bed drinking tea, reading the news papers – and wham! Our lives were changed for ever in a most unexpected way. Just before eight o’ clock there was the Radio 4 appeal by Charlotte Green, explaining the work of a charity called Parents for Children and how we could all help this special group of children. I jotted down the website address along the edge of the newspaper. Later in the day I looked at the website – called Christopher to have a look, we decided to send an e-mail and get some more information. Imagine our surprise when Jacky telephoned the next morning and made an appointment to come and see us during that week, and the rest, as they say…… is history!!!!! Jacky chattered away about the work of PfC and showed us some profiles of children, and all the family were instantly attracted to a pretty little girl called ‘Emma’. Then during the next week a charming and wildly enthusiastic lady called Maureen arranged to see us. Maureen had recently visited ‘Emma’ and had a lovely set of photographs and some interesting stories about her and her life to date. We decided we had to proceed and try and get accepted as carers quickly, so that we could put ourselves forward as a possible family and home for ‘Emma’. We were assigned a social worker who quickly completed the endless forms, and encouraged us to stretch our memories to complete all the historical data required - that’s the trouble with getting old, our childhood was a long time ago!  Going to panel, matching and so on was nerve wracking for us, and filled us with lots of what if… worries. It was actually painless and rewarding in many ways.  The preparation course was excellent and treated all those ‘tricky issues’ with sensitivity, reality and at times humour. It made us examine many of our values and to take a good long look at our family dynamics and how we might adapt these to welcome another ‘ready made’ child into all our lives. We did not realise that to care for ‘Emma’ we would have to acquire so many new skills, meet and liaise with so many professionals, attend so many meetings, welcome so many different people into our home, overcome a phobia of flying in aeroplanes, learn to say good-bye many times to a little girl we had come to love with a reassuring smile on the outside and a scream of great sadness and anger on the inside. Our own children have come with us on a long journey, and it has been a challenge at times to help them manage the emotional upheavals of learning to care for ‘Emma’s’ physical needs as well as helping them to understand her emotional needs, behaviours and our ‘rubber boundary’ approach to managing situations that to them have always had clear consequences.We have begun a long journey with a charming little girl, with whom we have already shared a lot of ‘firsts’ - first overnight stay, first experience of family life, first ride on a pony, first ride on a scooter ……..  we have many, many more to look forward to. We think it is imperative that Parents for Children maintains a high media profile, without it we would not be in the position of happily extending our family, and at the same time, maybe, making a real difference to the life chances of a lovely little girl. 

The moral of this tale is – do not stay in bed, do not listen to radio 4, unless you want to change your life in a wonderful way and find out about parts of you that you did not know existed!    


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