A couple who fostered over 600 children has reminisced of the days, explaining to us what it felt like to care for so many different lives...
Parenting is probably one of life's toughest tests, but thankfully, there are some experts to look up to.
Say hello to Pauline and Roger Fitter, a couple from the United Kingdom who have dedicated the past fifty-six years to adopting and caring for children.
And during that time, they have looked after 620 children including 5 of their own, 1 of whom was adopted.
Retired West Sussex Foster Carers, Pauline and Roger have had a busy week of media interviews and national press coverage talking about #fostering 😍— West Sussex County Council (@WSCCNews) September 2, 2021
Watch their BBC Breakfast TV interview on BBC iPlayer until 9am tomorrow. It's at the end of the show:https://t.co/UMgmaIAQrm pic.twitter.com/A8JAfHCt4x
Speaking to the Mirror, eighty-one-year-old Pauline said this: "Each child leaves their own mark. They lived as part of the family.
"If we've done our job well then they go on to a new life and don't need us. Quite a few send us Christmas cards. We liked and loved all our children but you know you have to let them go."
But even though the experience was extremely gratifying, there were ups and downs.
Pauline recalled a memory of a 7-year-old girl who started a fire in a paper basket.
"She wanted to see if the fire alarm would go off. We rushed downstairs and managed to put the fire out. We then had to have a long talk with her about fire safety and asked where she got the matches from?"
And that wasn't the only tricky situation the couple had to endure.
Such an inspirational couple.— Cllr Caroline Baxter 🌹 (@CarolineBLabour) September 1, 2021
Huge thanks to Pauline and Roger for their decication, care and commitment to children in West Sussex ❤️
One of their biggest hurdles was jealousy.
"Sometimes there would be a child who was jealous of our own children.
"If a toy was taken we would explain to our own children why they did it and explain to the foster child they didn't have to do that. Our own children were very good about it all."
The couple changed the lives of over 600 children and they went to great lengths to do so.
At one point, they had to put up tents as there were eleven children living in their house.
After sending them on their way when they were ready, both Roger and Pauline made sure to keep in contact with them via postcards to make sure they were not forgotten. Their selflessness has impacted so many lives in a positive manner.
"I would always send them postcards when they left us so they knew they weren't forgotten," Pauline says. "One lad who was about 13 when he left us somehow remembered two years later it was going to be our silver wedding anniversary and he came over with his parents to see us.
"We couldn't believe he'd remembered and it blew us away."
We need more people in the world like this extraordinary couple.