Mandy and Jo Bright began accepting little ones in need of temporary care into their family in 2000, and since then dozens of the little ones have crossed the threshold of their home in West Derby, Liverpool.
The couple, who are now 62 and 67 respectively, say they derive “the most value” from improving the lives of little ones.
Spouses who have a biological son accept the little ones into their family for a period of one night to two years. They also offer refuge to young parents with little ones in difficult circumstances, in the hope of “breaking the vicious circle” of childhood trauma that sends many into the foster care system.
According to Mandy, she always knew she wanted to become an adoptive mother because her own parents and grandparents adopted children.
She explained, “I grew up with foster babies, so I always knew babysitting was what I wanted to do. »
“It’s not always easy, but knowing that we’re making the world a better place is what keeps us going,” continues Mandy.
“We have always said that if we could change the life of at least one little one, it would be worth it.
And we know that we have changed the lives of many little ones because they come back to tell us about it. I stay in touch with many of our little adoptees.
Recently, we even attended the wedding of one of them. It’s the sweetest feeling to know that you’ve helped make someone’s life better. »
Mandy with her three adopted daughters at the christening. Mandy and Jo welcome children from homes with drug and alcohol abuse problems and those whose parents suffer from mental health problems.
“You have to be very compassionate and understand where these issues are coming from,” Mandy says. “You have to show empathy. But above all, we must focus on the fact that we care about these little ones to ensure their safety.
In 2010, the couple began to house parents with their little ones. The idea is to accompany parents in difficult situations, who may have experienced this system themselves, and to show them what a “family system that works well” looks like.
Mandy with one of her adopted daughters at the christening. Mandy says, “If you can help and support parents and teach them how to safely care for their little one, then they can develop and live a fulfilling family life. This type of accommodation requires a lot of energy, because we have to be them 24/7, but it impacts their lives a lot.
“Once we had a 16-year-old mother who became homeless during her pregnancy. The success has been incredible. She has become a wonderful mother to her little boy. »
One of their temporary daughters is now part of their family and her little ones consider Mandy and Joe their grandparents.
Two adopted daughters Mandy and Jo on holiday in Cyprus in 2008. Mandy says: “We know we are changing lives because they come back to tell us about it.
Many of the little ones we adopted are now living their full adult lives, and that means a lot to us. We were told, “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here now. “This is incredible”.
Mandy and Joe don’t consider stopping and encouraging others to do this worthy cause: “Now more than ever, we need new foster parents.
It may be difficult, but it’s the most pleasant feeling. You know you’re making a difference in someone’s life, and it’s worth it. »