After more than 20 years of opening her home and – just as importantly – her heart to children in need, Marisa Donato said her role as a foster carer is to give kids “wings to fly on their own”.
Unwilling to count how many children she has cared for as “each child is so much more than a number”, she provides emergency short term care for children under 5.
Taking in kids from all types of trauma, she said she is “unshockable” and knows what she is doing is setting them up for a much brighter future.
“It’s a tough gig but we have learnt so much from it,” she said.
“It’s more than providing a warm bed, it’s giving these special kids a feeling of safety, and of confidence knowing no matter what they do they won’t face any retribution.
“As a family, we are all so much more flexible, non-judgemental and compassionate.
“My son said at my husband’s funeral: ‘Fostering has taught us to show love and compassion in the moment as we don’t know where the child in our care will be tomorrow … don’t wait to show kindness and empathy’ and I couldn’t put it any better.”
This article was originally published in the 30 August 2020 edition of The Catholic Weekly, the news publication of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. Reproduced with permission.