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John and Tracy.. John and Tracy..
08 July 2023 Posted by 

Bit of extra love to give: Tracy is Blacktown’s own Guardian Angel

BLACKTOWN has its very own Guardian Angel and Tracy Connolly is her name.
Now, Tracy will be a little embarrassed that I called her a Guardian Angel, but she has certainly earnt the title many times over.
She has opened her own home to more than 75 children in foster care down through the years as well as raising four children with her husband John.
In fact, John is a key part of her foster care work and together they form a great team. He has been a supervisor with Coca Cola Amatil, now Visy Beverage, for 27 years.
“Foster carers are all just everyday kind of people who have a little bit extra love to give,” she said.
Tracy is Granville born and bred and left home at 18 as a single mum after being in an abusive relationship with a previous partner.
She found a small unit above the shops in Granville and her future husband had the video shop downstairs. One thing led to another and they became a pair and moved to Newcastle where they had two more children to the nest.
Tracy worked a few positions over the years and cared for a dementia and palliative care unit for a number of years  and during that time had struggled to carry a baby full term. She desperately wanted another child.
After a number of heartbreaking losses the Connollys decided to adopt when their youngest child was nine. However adopting proved a massive task in those days so Tracy set her sights on foster care.
Their now 13-year-old Autistic daughter came into their care through fostering when she was just one day old and “we decided to adopt her due to the troubles I was having in carrying babies myself.”
“I had decided to look into adoption but stumbled upon foster care. Which I have now been doing for a total of 14 years, eight of them with Mackillop Family  Services.
“While acting as foster carers we have been raising five children -three birth children of our own, one adopted and one long term foster care.
“We had a big home and lots of love to give,” she recalled. 
“It was hard work training for nine months on weekends, I never forget when we almost finished and suddenly had two young siblings in our care.
“It was a beautiful boy and girl and they were crying in nappies and very scared The foster care angels also adopted their daughter along the way.
Tracy cherished her work in foster care and has had many nationalities in her care including Fijian Indian, Muslim and Turkish.
She even learnt sign language to foster deaf children.
“I don’t care why they come into my care. I am a strong advocate for children because they don’t have a voice.”
Tracy and John go above and  beyond by driving children in their care as far as Ballina, Orange and Coffs Harbour to meet siblings 
Foster care emergency placements can be two weeks to several months. Short term placements are up to two years to provide stability for the child and then there is long term.
“Sometimes you cry as you wonder how parents could do such things to a child. The worst ones are those whose mothers were on drugs while they were pregnant.
“The child has to get the addiction to drugs out of their system. They scream and cry for days in pain, It’s heartbreaking.
“You need a lot of patience with foster kids and the older they are the more difficult they can be.”
But there are happy stories to tell as well. Like the young boy who was in her care and came back 12 years later and knocked on the front door to say “Thanks!” and to let them know he was doing well and how much he appreciated her.
Then there was the mother who hid her pregnancy from her strict ethnic parents and put the child into foster care when it was born.
Eventually she told them and it all ended well.
“Foster care can be very rewarding,” Tracy said. “Fate brings children to me there has to be a special unique reason. My motto is ‘respect with fun’.
“John is my rock and is with me all the time in my work. Yes, sometimes I cry in anger thinking how could you do this to your child, why didn’t you get help?”
Tracy loves cooking for everyone in the family and even the street when the neighborhood has a party.
“We have a lovely multicultural street close to Blacktown CBD,” she said. 
And her little boys have grown into three strapping grownup sons now- a police officer, a soldier and a stock taker.
Tracy has worked with Mackillop Family Service for more than eight years now and said they were lovely to work with and very supportive
“They hold a Gala dinner for carers once a year and  the  carers’ coffee club once a month
“We urgently need more foster care volunteers and also a lot more case workers.” 
To enquire about becoming a Foster Care Parent go to www.mackillop.org.au


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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