Summer Fostering

"Suffering. Emptiness, Sadness. Those were some of the feelings that invaded my body. Everything reminded me of her: the clothes, the food, the sky, the clouds, the animals ....I had tried not to think of it, but that did not work. I knew perfectly well what was going to happen - it had been always the same in all those years. And with time it had become more complicated. It tore up my inside to let go away one of the human beings I loved and love most in this world. I had to learn to express all my feeling, to release my fury. But that day I couldn't. I had to first recall what my sister and I had experienced together"

These were the words my 12 year-old daughter wrote after leaving our foster daughter at the airport on her return to Ghana. Ten months lay before us in which we were going to miss her very much. This one had been our fifth farewell. It was Sunrise Africa who had arranged a Summer Temporary Fostering Plan for us. The children stay with us from about 20th July until 4th September. Our families assume the cost connected with the journey, the paper work required and the stay with us. They share our life, our friends, our duties, our joys and our sorrows. They get to know our ways of life, our thinking; they open up to the world and the world opens up to them. They learn to make decisions, to form relationships; they find out that that we are all different and at the same time equal; this enriches us and makes us better. They realise that to get something requires an effort, and that it is worth trying; that although we are far away our thoughts are very much with them and that we are delighted to help them to improve themselves. We give them love and teach them that to show one's emotions is marvellous, that it is good to show one's feelings. They, in exchange, give all this to us - with reluctance initially, but freely after a while. We become their person 'to whom one relates' and in a way also of their family. And we? As we grow with them as human beings they enrich our souls, make us 'more'. In my home a summer without her would not be the same; more than that: without them our entire life would be very different.