Foster family care is an alternative way of taking care of these kids. It is temporary care in a real family setting where they have a mom a dad and in some cases, siblings and pets and toys and books they can call their own. But then this is temporary and is very different from adoption. Like I said before foster care is a prelude to adoption (getting the child accustomed to family life while his or her papers are being processed) or a temporary staying place while the real parents are getting their acts together (like deciding whether to keep the baby or not, or while looking for a job, or while recovering from an illness..)
We once took care of a cute little boy named Michael Gabriel or MG or in my term of endearment for him, “Butchok”. I forgot for how long he stayed with us – but he was a darling little boy who was adopted by a couple from
My mom wasted no time getting in touch with MG’s adoptive parents when we found out that I was going to
So I took a one-day leave from UWP (yes, this is allowed – we can apply for a “leave” as long as it is two weeks in advance and all info about our whereabouts are supplied to the staff) and got picked up by the de Turcks. They lived about an hour away (oh but it took them over 2 hours to get to Leuven because of extremely heavy traffic, yes, even in
MG, (or Michael as they called him) was shy at first but gradually turned into a sweet little boy and naturally did not remember me nor speak any English. I was “Hanna from the the Fillipenen” (I don’t even know if I spelled that right) and that “Paolo and Michael are from the Fillepenen too!”
We drove back to their hometown and went to Michael’s pre-school. The teacher introduced me to the “all-white” / Caucasian class and through body language and some translation I understood that she was saying that I was a Filipino like Michael. She motioned to my black hair, my dark colored eyes and my tanned skin and how me and Michael were similar. I can see the pride in Michael’s eyes as he showed of his “ate” and the kids’ curiosity as they proceeded to ask their teacher (in rapid Flemish, which is what they call their language – not Belgian!) questions about why their eyes are different from ours. It was such a pretty sight.
We then picked up Paolo from his school, where the two boys hugged and were so happy to see each other. Obviously Paolo and Michael were “famous” in their schools and everybody just scrambled all over Michael to say hello and touch him and squeeze him. Paolo’s love for his brother was very evident as he announced, “My brother’s here, my brother’s here!”
At the de Turck’s house, the grandmother was there as she was also very eager to meet me. We could not talk much because of the language barrier but Marie Therese and Koen helped with the translation. It was also very evident that they loved their two Pinoy kids to bits. They showed me a lot of pictures, and even showed me how they kept the boys’ clothes and their old feeding bottles from the
I was amazed at how they spoke so highly of the
It was definitely a visit to remember! In the afternoon, a couple more adopted Filipino kids went to the house for spaghetti and to meet “Hanna from the Fillipenen” – It was a surprise because I saw another one of our foster kids ! Corazon (her name is now Celine and she was also adopted by a Belgian couple.)Contrary to its Philippine image of “kawawa naman” (what a pity / what a sad case) – adopted children are very special children and very loved children. They are so lucky to have these people go to great lengths just to call them their own.
For more information about foster care / adoption and how your family can get involved, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.