Mariyam, a single woman who describes herself as being of Kenyan parentage decided to foster in her mid forties. She initially found it challenging to help her mixed heritage daughter, Rhianna develop a sense of her own identity.
Mariyam grew up in a large family and gave a lot of thought to fostering before making an application. She says:
“I grew up with a strong sense of who I am, and I have done quite a lot of thinking and reading about this. I used to say I am Kenyan but now I say I am British of Kenyan parentage. I also identify myself as African. Having my parents rooted in their own culture gave me something to build on, so I feel comfortable about who I am and where I fit in the world”.
The other thing Mariyam wanted to share with a child was the sense of “solidity and security” she’d experienced in her own family. She felt that unlike her parents who came to this country in the 60s and weren’t able to use their skills to the full in the jobs they took – she had opportunities to fulfil her potential in her career, with a sense of a supportive family behind her. She wanted to help a child have the same chance to reach their full potential – whatever that might be.
Read more fostering stories on the CoramBAAF website, published to mark Fostering Fortnight 2018: