We’re very new to foster care. We started out with respite care to see how we’d go over a weekend and to see how my son went with it all.
“Then we jumped in, boots and all, and we’re really loving it. And we keep doing more. The most satisfying thing is creating ‘family’ moments for those kids who come to us. And my son enjoys their company. We became authorised carers just last year.”
“We are caring for a sibling group and enjoy being able to keep the children in regular contact with each other.”
“Recently we went away camping and visiting the beach to relax, to have fun, to play and get away from the daily grind…so the kids could just be kids. I love seeing them happy, exploring their own interests. Joining a young family, doing the things young families do has been nice for the children.”
Danielle says at first, creating such a happy family scene was tough.
“Initially the children were wary of us. It’s taken a lot of work – and time – to build their trust. We’re in a good place now, and looking at us you wouldn’t guess the struggles we’ve all been through. We’re having happy moments every day now.”
Love to give
Danielle says she never thought she’d end up becoming a foster carer.
“In fact it was bizarre. It’s been quite healing for us both. I’d struggled with fertility for some years and five years ago my husband Adam and I…we lost our own twin boys Heath and Hayden during the pregnancy. They were beautiful. We got to hold them.”
“It’s been a long road, getting to this place of happiness. Together, through our grief and loss, we’ve found our way into foster care –doing something for other people. And while we couldn’t look out for our boys in this way, to be able to provide the love and care to others has brought us a lot of joy.”
“When we couldn’t grow our family the way we thought we would, we’ve grown it in another way. It’s still family. It’s still lovely. It’s just different.”
A different journey
Danielle says motherhood has been very different journey to what she anticipated.
“I’m a mother to a child. I’m a mother to two children who aren’t here, and I’m a mother to children who need me to be their mum. My husband and I – we’re where we were meant to be.”
On Mother’s Day Danielle will have a house full of love.
“I’ll be spending time with the kids doing the traditional breakfast in bed,” she says. “They’ll make me pancakes and Dad will help with the pancakes. I hope I’ll get breakfast in bed!” “The photo is taken at Newcastle Beach. It’s our relaxed place. I have good memories of growing up there.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.