Jamie's Story

Help bring out the best in every child

Young girl blowing a dandelion

Jamie only lived with her Mum until she was two years old.

Sadly, her Mum’s mental illness meant that her 6-year-old brother was often the one who took care of her. He fed her when her Mum was unwell, and did his best to protect her from the violence that often occurred when their mum turned to alcohol to self-medicate.

Our foster carers, Lyn and John, welcomed Jamie and her older brother with open arms. 

Jamie had the worst nappy rash because she had not been changed when needed. She was also completely reliant on her brother, who struggled to embrace the opportunity to be a child rather than the little carer he had become.

From the moment they arrived, Lyn and John treated Jamie and her brother as they would their own children. They didn’t make a fuss about any bad behaviour the kids showed, but welcomed them whole-heartedly; helping them to feel at home so they could be themselves.

Being so young, Jamie didn’t understand why she was removed from her Mum. Over the years she often asked herself, “why am I in foster care?”, “why am I different to my friends at school?”, “why can’t I see my Mum more often?”

It is for children like Jamie that MacKillop needs your help.

Thanks to the home provided by Lyn and John, and the support of people like you, Jamie is now a bubbly young woman who recently completed school. Studying and working part-time, she is excited about sitting for her driver’s licence soon.

Young woman with dark hair and nose piercing

 

Sixteen years after joining their family, Jamie says,

“Lyn and John have helped me be the best I can be. From the start I was accepted for who I am, not where I came from. Now that I am older, I can see they have given me a life I wouldn’t have had if I stayed with my Mum. They have given me the confidence to start planning my future.”

 

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Jamie always wanted to spend more time with her Mum, and was devastated when she cancelled their monthly access because she was unwell.

When this happened, her MacKillop case worker Meg would meet her after school for an ice cream or shopping. They would talk about the things Jamie couldn’t or wouldn’t discuss with Lyn. And Jamie never wanted to tell Lyn how much she missed her birth Mum, because she didn’t want to hurt Lyn’s feelings.

Over the past year, Jamie has been able to spend more time with her birth Mum. She’s finally old enough to understand why she had to go into foster care, and to ask her mum out when she wants to. Jamie really values these catch-ups, to just talk and get to know each other better now that she is a young adult.

"Lyn & John have given me a life I wouldn’t have had if I stayed with my birth Mum. But they’ve also helped me find the strength to have a good relationship with her. Now I have two Mums!"

Your tax-deductible gift will help:

  • Provide support and guidance from a MacKillop Case worker who can help children like Jamie deal with the complex emotions they experience around their two families.
  • Recruit and train new foster carers to provide safe and loving homes for the increasing number of kids coming into care
  • Fund the little extras — like driving lessons — that mean so much to a young person trying to make their way in the world.

With your help, every child in care can recognise their own strength and take on the world.

Donate now