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“The sun rises once more over Antarctica. Now at last the Emperor penguins abandon their huddle. The males are still carrying the precious eggs that they’ve cherished throughout the Antarctic winter. With the returning sun the eggs hatch.”
David Attenborough, Planet Earth: Pole to Pole
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How to be a Penguin is a website for foster and adoptive families in Leicester and Leicestershire.

These families are incredible.

In each home you will hear a story – of a phone call, a promise, an arrival and an acceptance. One cold Monday four years ago, Richard and Elena* received a call about two children. They had been waiting for that moment, and they promised their social services team to look after them. They arrived – the eldest standing in the hallway, looking down at his feet, clutching a carrier bag of clothes that were either dirty or too big for him. The youngest was in the arms of his social worker, only just woken up and blearily looking at them through confused, sad eyes. From that moment on, they were accepted as part of their family, and that is where they remain to this day. They accepted them knowing that the trauma that brought them to their door would permeate through every part of their home, and their life.

Fostering and adoption is a bit like being an Emperor penguin. Facing relentless storms, fiercely protecting the child entrusted to us, whilst waiting patiently for the spring warmth. It is love against the odds.

Emperor penguins don’t do this job alone. They huddle together: they keep warm, and they keep each other going.

Fostering and adoption can be tricky sometimes. We need each other too. How to be a Penguin is a great resource for all foster and adoptive families in Leicester and Leicestershire – with information about support groups and events, helpful resources and stories.

We are not alone: so keep going. You are doing a great job, which makes a massive difference. So get ready to love like a Penguin.