AT Home with Lorraine Kelly - April 2011 - (Page 236)

My house was SIAN BAPTISTE IS AN ONLY CHILD BUT SHE GREW UP SURROUNDED BY FOSTER CHILDREN. AND NOW, LOOKING BACK, SHE SAYS IT WAS SO ENJOYABLE, SHE WOULDN’T HAVE HAD IT ANY OTHER WAY business manager at Talawa Fostering, Sian Baptiste, 38, lives in north London and is married to Denys, 42, a jazz musician. They have two children, Solana, 10 and Gabriel, seven. As a child, Sian shared her home with foster children as both her grandmother and mother were foster carers. Here, she tells at home about her experiences... ‘Growing up, my mum, Jan, and I lived with my grandmother, Edna, for quite a while. My grandmother fostered for over 40 years, until she was in her 70s. It began with her looking after children of family friends, sometimes for months at a time. Then she became an official foster carer for Hackney Council. All my memories of growing up in my grandmother’s house are about a house full of children. ‘I’m an only child but people say I don’t act like one. I think that’s because I grew up in this extended fostering family. I can’t remember a time when there weren’t four, five or even six children in the household, so because of that, I never felt resentful of the foster children.’ full of fun A learning experience ‘There were other foster children who tried to get me into trouble and, at times, I was exposed to behaviour that wasn’t appropriate for my age; a five-year-old who had the language of a wayward 18-year-old, for > WORDS: Jo Willacy | PHOTOGRAPHS: Kwame Lestrade | THANKS TO: Talawa Fostering Services: www.talawafostering.com 020 8367 6555 A to were Sophie, who came to live with us when she was about 11, and Evelyn, who was around the same age. I was nine when they arrived. What made our relationship work so well was our closeness in age. We did everything together – from THE walking to school and washing CHARTER the dishes to going on holiday. CREATED IN 2011, ‘It was no different to having THIS SETS OUT sisters of my own. There was a WHAT FOSTER CARERS SHOULD sense of camaraderie between EXPECT AND WHAT us. If one of us was in trouble, IS EXPECTED we’d all go down to be told off ! OF THEM ‘I do recall a time before Sophie and Evelyn arrived when it was just a lot quieter, though not necessarily in a good way! Very occasionally, when we were living amazing. That’s when it really works. Children get to the age where they can choose to leave or stay and, fortunately for us, they chose to stay. ‘Sophie and Evelyn are more like family than some of my blood relatives – they’re at every Christmas gathering and every other special occasion. They’re my siblings really, but we refer to each other now as cousins. They both have children now, so their children, and mine, are also like cousins.’ ‘I can’t remember a time when there weren’t four, five or even six children in the household’ together, I remember wanting five minutes’ peace or some space to get away. But I think that’s no different when you have your own siblings.’ { { ‘Mum explained that although we were giving kids a home, they hadn’t chosen to come to us. Given a choice, most would want to stay with their families’ WISE WORDS A sense of togetherness ‘Fostering was a really exciting thing for me. It meant more children around and, most of the time, it was fun – we’d simply get up to mischief ! The foster children I became closest 236 | MAY 2012 Lasting relationships ‘Both Sophie and Evelyn stayed with my grandmother until well into adulthood. Sophie was there until she moved out and had her first baby who’s 13 now. That’s what’s http://www.talawafostering.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Lorraine Kelly - April 2011

EDITOR’S LETTER
HELLO FROM LORRAINE
NOTEBOOK NEWS
ONE FOR THE DIARY
LITTLE BLACK BOOK
GOING STRONG
WIN BIG!
LORRAINE UNCUT
TOP HONOURS
FIT FOR A QUEEN
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
SEX LIVES
CAREER CORNER
MOTOR SKILLS
DRIVING MISS DAISY
RETIRE HAPPY
CURTAIN CALL
ON TREND TRAPPINGS
IT'S A WRAP
BAGS OF STYLE
STEP AHEAD
WEDDING BELLES
FROCK FRENZY
WHAT YOUR CLOTHES SAY
JEWELLERY BOX BOUNTY
WOMANLY WOES
A BUMP IN THE ROAD
LOVELY BONES
FANCY FOOTWORK
PROTECT YOUR PEEPERS
VITAMIN VITALS
LOOK TO THE STARS
BE WELL
A RACE AGAINST TIME
MANAGE YOUR MAN’S HEALTH
EXPERT OPINION
MEZZE MADE EASY
DIG IN!
METABOLISM EXPLAINED
HEALTHY HYDRATION
READY, STEADY, RUN
THE GYM-FREE WORKOUT
MIRACLE WORKERS
NAKED AMBITION
WHEN LESS IS MORE
HAIR HEROES
FOXY LOCKS FOR OVER 40S
ASK THE ADULTS
TRAVELLING TOTS
KIDS ON THE CATWALK
A HELPING HAND
WHY I BECAME A FOSTER PARENT
FUN HOUSE
PAMPER TIME
LIFE AT THE RSPCA
WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
MINI MENAGERIE
ANIMAL INSURANCE
MUM'S THE WORD
EASY ON THE EYE
WEDDING BLISS
CREATE YOUR OWN
ONE MORE THING
COMING SOON
STOCKISTS
STYLISH LIVING SUPPLEMENT
SPRING HOME STYLE
GOT TO HAVE IT
HEART OF THE HOME
BEDROOM BLISS
LIVING IT UP
BOLD BATHROOM
SMALL CHANGE
DON'T SLIP UP
IMPROVE, DON'T MOVE
LET ME IN
WINDOW DRESSING
AL FRESCO DINING
DECK IT OUT
CLEVER CONSERVATORIES
GLAZE OVER
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
TRAVEL SUPPLEMENT
HELLO FROM LORRAINE
TRAVEL NEWS AND VIEWS
WILD AND FREE
BRILLIANT BLIGHTY
ONE FINE DAY
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
ISLAND HOPPING
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
PARK LIFE
BEFORE YOU JET OFF
GLOBE TROTTER
JUST THE JOB SUPPLEMENT
LORRAINE'S WELCOME
YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL
GO GIRL
FIRST-CLASS EMPLOYER
THE SKY'S THE LIMIT
A RIGHT BALANCE
A WOMAN'S WORLD
BUILDING BEAUTIES
GET SWOTTING
BACK TO WORK
COUNT ON BANKING
BRIGHT SPARK
PLAYING HOUSE
PLACE YOUR BETS
SHOP AROUND

AT Home with Lorraine Kelly - April 2011

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