Telina & Rodney’s story

“Kya is a total delight.”

Telina and Rodney are currently caring for their first foster child, Kya*, a little girl who is almost two years old. She arrived late one night with nothing but the clothes on her back and they say she has been an absolute joy ever since.

The couple had decided to foster a child a while ago, but their training was delayed when COVID came along. “We’d had a few false starts where we were maybe getting a child,” explains Telina, “but I’m pretty sure Kya was meant to be our first”. As they have quite a small home, they had decided they would like to foster babies rather than older children. Rodney already has adult children, but for Telina, it is a new experience and one she is loving!

“The experience has been amazing,” she says. “Kya is an awesome kid and we’ve had the privilege of seeing her achieve so many milestones – first birthday, first time crawling, first words, first steps. IOSIS are getting us an album we can put all the photos in, so she can look back later in life.”

Telina and Rodney have been surprised at how easy it has been to have a little one in their home. They have been away on holidays together and Kya is now a welcome member of their family. “It’s certainly been busier, but it’s all fun stuff, like music groups and swimming lessons” says Telina. “Kya adores our two nieces who are close to her age. Everyone treats her like she’s family, and she even calls my Mum ‘Nana’.”

Telina, Rodney and Kya also keep in touch with Kya’s family and have visited her aunty and sister. “Kya’s Mum was unable to care for her and they’re very grateful that we can while they sort out a more permanent home for her. We have a picture of her mother on the fridge and Kya knows that is ‘Mum’. I’m Aunt T and Rodney is Uncle.”

A positive experience for everyone

Telina and Rodney are grateful they decided to foster through an agency rather than directly with Oranga Tamariki. “Iosis was recommended to us and it’s been so much easier than we thought it would be. The support we get is amazing. Our Social Worker visits once a month and I know she’s only a phone call away if there’s something I need.”

Telina and Rodney know that, at some point, Kya will leave their care. “You try to prepare yourself as much as you can, but as one other foster carer said to me… ‘if you’re not getting your heart broken, then you haven’t done your job properly’,” says Telina.

For now, they’re enjoying having an energetic toddler in their family and are so pleased they decided to foster a child. “You seem to hear more about the bad experiences than the positive ones, because the good ones are just families being family.”

*Name has been changed and a stock image used to protect privacy.