Mom who raised 27 children over 18 says ‘each one is part of the family’

London mum Afia Choudhury, who has four biological sons, said her foster children still visit her regularly and stay over the holidays – adding they are like “siblings” to her sons

London foster mother Afia Choudhury with her four sons on a boat
Afia said her foster children are close to her four biological sons

A mother who has raised 27 children with her husband for more than 18 years says she has “never regretted” her decision.

Londoner Afia Choudhury said her foster children still visit and stay regularly over the holidays – and she is “proud of the difference that has changed her life”.

The foster children are like “siblings” with their own four biological sons, Afia explained, and have attended their weddings, according to Metro.

“The biggest challenge I faced was the constant juggling of taking care of my biological children and the children I care for and prioritizing all of their needs,” she wrote.

“Even so, it is so rewarding and the decision to continue care has always been made with the whole family.

“It’s as much a part of her life as mine.”

Afia says her foster kids are like “siblings” to her sons

One of Afia’s first fostering experiences began when she was asked to look after a baby born nine weeks premature.

Both parents were living with HIV and there was a chance that the baby also had the virus.

He had spent three weeks in the hospital.

“I accepted straight away – after all, that’s why I became a foster parent,” Afia wrote metro.

“For over 17 months, my family and I took care of this baby and it completely stole our hearts.

“While he brought us complete joy and I wanted him to become a permanent part of our family, my wise husband reminded me that we have been blessed with four beautiful boys of our own and we should give a loving couple the chance to become parents. “

The baby is now a teenager and living with his adoptive family, but Afia and her husband are still in regular contact with him.

Afia Choudhury was 29 when she started nursing

Afia was 29 and pregnant with her third son when she began the nurse selection process.

She was first introduced to the idea when her mother’s neighbor was raising two Bengali children.

She added: “As I walked around to drop off the food, I met the two children and couldn’t get them out of my mind.

“I decided to research foster care and find out why children come into foster care.”

Afia said fostering was a “family decision” and that her children “always welcomed other children into the home.”

Afia said her family is very supportive of her foster children

For nearly two decades, Afia has raised a number of young siblings – one of whom is just 10 weeks old.

Some stayed with her for a number of years before many returned to their birth parents.

She wrote: “I became part of the support network for them and to this day they come to us regularly and stay with us over the holidays.

“As a family, we were able to support her and help with a smooth transition back to her parents.”

Afia said she’s still caring for two of three siblings she took in eight years ago.

The eldest moved back in with his parents after 11 years with Afia.

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“The things we foster parents can do — like nurture connections with the important people in the children’s lives — are beneficial not only for them, but for us, too,” she wrote.

“It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done and has connected me to so many networks in my community, including meeting and mentoring other foster parents.”

Afia now also spends her time looking after other foster parents.

She has already looked after around 20 mentors.

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They are “matched” with her once they’re approved, and she supports them for the first six months of their journey, she said.

She added, “I hold their hand throughout the process, answering any questions they have and I’m there on the end of the phone or for a coffee whenever they need me.”

Afia urged anyone interested in sponsoring a child to do their research and act on it.

She said: “If you are currently anything like I was 18 years ago and are considering foster care, I urge you to speak to your local care service – you could really make a world of difference.”

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Continue reading Mom who raised 27 children over 18 says 'each one is part of the family'

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