A professional but genuine mom says what it’s like to have kids younger than grandkids

Tuesday was the day foster families met at a picnic organized by the County Family Support Center in Opole Lubelskie. The program included a narrow gauge excursion and a fire.

Pinch me, I asked my daughter and asked: am I plastic? No, I’m real, right? Of course, I knew what she meant when she came out of kindergarten and said she had heard of the children: you don’t have a real mother, recalls Urszula Bartoszewska, who for several years has started a professional foster home with her husband.

They decided to organize a home for other people’s children when their biological sons were adults.

All parents know

There was a pause at the table when we said we’d take them, but they weren’t against it. Then they even joked that I shouldn’t go out to work in the field if I’m expecting a baby. It was in 2008 and there were very different moments during that time. After all, all parents know that even the most beloved child sometimes wants to be suffocated, because he can even throw a saint off balance. But if I had to make my decision again, I would do it again. We never chose children, they came to us. Always according to the principle that is customary in ordinary families, the new child is the youngest. It helps to find one’s place at home and find oneself – says Ms Urszula, who works at the school and teaches religious education. He runs a farm with her husband and it was Mr. Dariusz who signed a contract with the County Center for Family Assistance to start a foster home. They currently care for ten children.

Related and not

There are different forms of foster care. There are related foster families – and there are most of them in the Opole poviat, as there are 29 of them. There are fifteen non-professional families, three family orphanages and two professional families.

– My husband gets 2,100 zlotys on hand. If someone has calculated that a foster family is a way to earn some extra money, I immediately say that it is not so. Probably someone thinks: oh, they get money for ten children! Yes, but we divide them into ten. One of the daughters is studying at a ballet school in Łódź. It seemed abstract, a child from the country wants to dance, but she made it up herself, her husband went to the exams with her, she got† He still has three years of study ahead of him. Dorm, meals, her commute, visits to her. This is an example of what we spend and what kind of children we have. Each of them does something best – reports a professional but genuine mother.

The youngest children, who are cared for by the Bartoszewskis, came to them when they were one and a half years old.

They were on vacation in the Bieszczady Mountains with some students when the phone rang asking if the old statement that they would take the little ones with them was valid. They said yes. They came home that same evening and went to get the children. Nowadays they just love it, such small tenants.

change the rules

Poviat Family Assistance Center in Opole Lubelskie with headquarters in Poniatowa waiting for people to start a foster family for children† Now more than a hundred children live in such families in the poviat.

– We do not advise children how to address us, it is their choice. One of the daughters, when she went to the new school, asked to change her last name to ours, and her brother agreed too. Some have contact with biological relatives. The eldest, Leszek, almost 30, is disabled and has no one. He chose one of our biological sons to fend for himself. We were supposed to say goodbye to him formally, but we couldn’t imagine him going to a DPS – reports Urszula, who I would really like to meet a MP from a political party to discuss the rule change† Since they only see biological caregivers of the disabled, ‘foreign’ caregivers should also receive support in the meantime.

“To give the warmth of a home fireplace”, PCPR in Opole recruits people under this slogan who decide to set up a foster home or a family orphanage. There are many requirements. From the ground up such that candidates in the past have never been deprived of parental authority, have not been legally convicted of an intentional crime, or have had maintenance obligations, if any. To provide children with appropriate living conditions and receive training in an adoption center.

The Bartoszewskis are around sixty. The youngest children, as they beautifully describe the second brood, are younger than their grandchildren. They would really like young people to decide to start foster homes, but they understand that signing a contract mandate alone is difficult. They hope that someone who has stayed in the empty house because the children have become independent will follow in their footsteps.

small weddings

– Children are worse off than us. I know what I’ve decided. They find their way to strangers before relationships are established, it’s hardo. They have had bad experiences, they are injured, sometimes they are slightly handicapped. This is a job you can’t get out of – Urszula is realistic from her family’s perspective.

Recently, 40 people attended the communion of one of the girls; like at a small wedding. This is what all family celebrations look like with them.

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