Beauty from ashes. Tina’s story

As a child, the world was blissful for me growing up. I didn’t know a single thing was going wrong in our home life. My mum did a really good job of protecting my sister and I from what was actually happening around us. 

I had no idea about the dynamic in my parents’ relationship. My dad was an alcoholic and there was lying and abuse but I knew none of it until my mum passed away when I was ten. 

For the next five years, my dad was the one looking after us. To be honest, those years are quite blurry. Things got quite bad and it all kind of came crashing down. My dad was in and out of jail, there were times we didn’t have power at home for weeks; we were left to try to make it work.

My foster story started when I was 15. One night, my dad had gotten really bad. There was a moment when I saw the aggression and the look in his eyes and I realised, I may be in danger here, I don’t know if I’m safe in this place. That night I made two phone calls. One to the police and one to Donna, the woman who would become my foster mum. She had really stepped in and helped looked after me after my mum died. 

Donna and her husband went through the process of becoming my foster parents. People like them are real life angels. It’s all about the heart and they had such a pure spirit about it, like it was a no brainer that they would step in for me. 

Whether it’s bringing a child into your home, or giving financially, or giving resource, it does come with a cost and takes sacrifice. The cost is always worth it. I think it’s just about being ok with the fact that it’s going to cost you something. 

A life verse for me is Galatians 6:9, “Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest.” I can imagine my foster parents were weary at times. I came into their care having experienced so much trauma and so many things I hadn’t unpacked. But the fact they were able to push through and trust God, that He was going to change my heart and encounter me in a way that only He can. 

I think about Donna and it’s hard to wrap into words who she is as a person. She is a woman of faith. She has been the biggest supporter of my dreams. I don’t have words for what she must have been thinking as I was growing up, like, I was wild. Yet she had so much grace for me. She just believed in me. People like that are rare. People who believe in you without questioning; the ‘you can do anything’ type of people. I credit so much of who I am today to Donna. 

Through this whole journey that I’ve walked, I see the thread of God moving. I see a story of forgiveness, of hope again, of a broken girl restored. My story writes that I should’ve been an alcoholic, I should’ve ended up on the streets, anything could’ve happened to me. But God would bring beauty from ashes. My story is one of redemption and I think that’s a story worth sharing. 

I think that Foster Care is a way bigger monster than any of us can grasp but I don’t think we need to look at it like something that’s impossible because everyone can do something. Empowering even just one person to do what they can, could change a young person’s life.

On average, around 28 children and young people enter Out-of-Home Care every day in Australia. Every one of them has a unique story and every one of them needs someone to believe in them and their future. We don’t all have to do the same thing, but we can all do something. Whether it’s looking into becoming a foster carer, being a mentor, supporting a carer, being a Homeward advocate in your church, partnering financially, or committing to pray, explore the ways to get involved with The Homeward Project today.

Other Resources


  • Foster Care Sunday

  • God’s ability to turn brokenness into good. Eva’s story

  • Foster Care: Leaving a legacy

  • A vision for God’s people

  • Birthday in a box.

  • A voice for kids. Naomi’s story

Your Church and the Homeward Project

Help transform Out-of-home Care in your community.


Churches Community Foster Care Kinship Care Supporting Carers Trauma Volunteer

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