Thoughts on fostering a child

This is an interesting article about Joy, a working mother of four children. In the article below, she shared some of her thoughts about her family’s fostering journey. I am moved by her willingness to nurture a child in need; and was impressed by her belief that every child should grow up in a loving and supportive home. If her story inspires you, do drop by to Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) Fostering Road Show at NEX Mall Level until 15 May 2016.

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foster parent joy

Let’s take a look at an extraordinary mother who not only fulfils her role of

being the educator and nurturer of her own children, but extends her love and care to other

children in need.

As a working mother of four young children, Joy Shuo has her hands full. But she still

volunteered to become a foster parent with the blessings of her husband, a pastor. A home, with

loving parents and siblings, is the “best stable environment” for a child to grow up in, insists Joy.

With this firm belief, she embarked on her fostering journey in 2011, and has never looked back

since.

Joy wants to care for a foster child for a longer period to be able to contribute more to the child’s

overall well-being instead of taking short-term fostering, ranging from a few weeks to a few

months which she had, at first, been asked to do. Her wish for a longer staying foster child was

fulfilled when she was assigned a two-month- old baby girl to care for.

Joy works as a pastor now and got her domestic helper, Anyes, and her mother to care for the

foster child when she was at work.

Megan, Joy’s youngest daughter, has turned out to be the most excited of their children with the

arrival of their foster ‘baby sister’.

Megan would often run to fetch Anyes or her grandmother whenever she finds the baby awake.

She does the same when the baby needs to have her diapers changed.

“Megan has become like a mother hen, watchfully guarding her foster baby sister’s every single

move and stir,” said Joy.

It is Joy’s belief that every child should grow up in a home and not in an institution, a hospital or

an orphanage. “This is why it is so important for us as a family to take in a foster child. It is the

least we can do to help another child to get a chance to be loved and cared and to have that

stable foundation to grow up to his or her full potential.”

Joy admits that she was not sure at first “how much love to put in”, given the goal of foster care

is to reunite the child with his birth parents. She says, “I’ve heard stories about foster mums

sobbing when they have to return the child. But I have to think of the big picture here. My role is

just to love someone, and hopefully that will change her life forever.”

For those wishing to find out more about the MSF fostering scheme, please call the enquiry line:

6354 8799; or visit the MSF website: www.msf.gov.sg/fostering

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