As experienced foster parents we were used to having children arrive day and night but Jonathan was different. The car pulled into our driveway and my daughter and I raced out to see this tiny baby. He looked like a skinned rabbit, an ugly little thing that had been terribly ill in hospital and still was. He’d already had a blood transfusion and needed daily blood tests and an array of specialist care, but we didn’t care. We loved him already.
I gently took him from the officer and his newborn smell filled my senses. He was bundled up in his shawl like a little papoose and we took him inside and fed him a bottle. He lay peacefully in my arms, sleeping, oblivious to what the future might hold for him. For now it didn’t matter as he was warm and dry and well fed and with people who would love and protect him.
The weeks following were a hectic time for us as three more children came into our care and we were in the process of moving house. Little Jonathan was doing well and though he had a problem with the formula, he was thriving. We knew that he was to be adopted out but were told that we could care for him a little longer. Within a week he needed another transfusion, which broke my heart as my husband and I watched the nurse struggling to find a vein in his tiny hands. Eventually the drip was put in his heel.
He lay there in a big white cot with the blood seeping slowly into him. For six long hours we sat with him, stoking his little arm and reassuring him we were there. He watched us with big trusting eyes full of terror, silently begging us not to go.
We moved house when Jonathan was only nine weeks old and my husband and I agreed to bring him back when he was to be adopted out. We took Jonathon to a paediatrician regularly and discovered that he was lactose intolerant with projectile vomiting.
I have to admit we found it tough trying to juggle a baby and three other children but every time little Jonathan smiled or cuddled us we were recharged. He became part of our life and the lives of our grown children and foster children.
At night he would cry in pain and I would massage his little feet until the frown on his brow ceased and he fell into a deep sleep. He still suffered terribly when he had to go to the toilet. He would hold my hand and squeeze tightly. As he got older he would say, “hold my hand Mummy?”
When he was four we were lucky enough to become his guardians, this little boy how could we let him go through life in a system where instability would be his life. I am pleased to say he is now a strapping young thirteen year old who has a stable loving family. After thirty years of fostering we decided to dedicate our life to our new member of our family and retired.
Posted by celebrity, 8th October 2013