The Founder of The Good Fat talks about the realities of fostering and running her home-based, butter-making business.
“Every year on her birthday, I make sure that my daughter says a prayer for her biological mother. For most, birthdays are about others holding celebrations and buying you gifts; but, birthdays are actually not about you. They’re about your mum, the one who gave you life.
The only parents she’s ever known are my husband and I. But from the time she could understand speech, we’d talk to her about her original family. I’d tell her bedtime stories to make her slowly understand that she has another set of parents somewhere out there.
We came into this journey knowing that any child we foster was never ours to begin with. Even if you have your own children, they are never yours – they are responsibilities from God. So when the kids came into our lives, our intention was never to hold on to them forever.
There is so much love that comes from us, obviously. We want this child to be safe and protected. We tend to feel we can take care of him or her best, but we know that’s not true. Once the biological family has stabilised, the goal is to integrate them back.
I didn’t mean to cry; I’m sorry. It’s just a lot to accept. But you need to trust the process and have confidence in the fostering system. Unless the biological parents are a danger to themselves or their kids, it’s always best for a child to be with their biological parents.
Before I became a foster parent, I worked in advertising. I then made a shift to corporate communications in the mental health sector. I was there for 10 years before I decided to settle down and have kids. But my husband and I struggled to start a family.
We started looking at the adoption route. But as we went down that path, we discovered there was a much bigger need to foster in our community. I was at a roadshow, and an officer shared that there’s a whole list of kids just waiting to be fostered in Singapore.
We started our fostering journey on 18th April 2018. That’s when we brought my daughter – our very first foster – home. I also have a son; an energetic boy we are fostering on a long-term basis. And we’ve fostered three other kids who were with us for a short time.
Our daughter was only a toddler – about a year plus – when we brought her home. At night, she would scream and cry. I think she was grieving for her mum. But during the day, she would be happy, smiling and playing with her toys. It took her a few months to settle in.
She’s seven now, and has grown to be a very confident girl. She expresses herself well, and voicing her opinions is something we’ve always encouraged her to do. She’s brought so much joy and blessings to our lives. We’ve had so many firsts and milestones with her.
What do I want my children to think of me when they’re older? That’s a very interesting question. I want them to know that I loved being their parents, but I was more than just a parent. I was also a businesswoman. I was an entrepreneur who worked hard and tried.
That’s the thing about human beings, isn’t it? We’re not one-dimensional. There are so many layers to us. After I became a parent, I got the itch to work again. So out of my love for food, I started The Good Fat. It’s a home-based butter business. I make and sell artisanal flavoured butters.
Many business owners whom I’ve spoken to say that family time is the first thing to go when you become an entrepreneur. But as foster parents, my husband and I operate differently. We always make sure that the needs of our kids are met first before we do business.
And as an entrepreneur, you get thrown into a world where you do everything by yourself, from finances to delivery. My daughter would see me make butter at night, and she’s even accompanied me when I do deliveries. I think it’s important for her to see me at work.
I think it was hard for her to understand what I did when she was younger. Because other parents wore office clothes and went to work. But as she got older, she actually told me, ‘Mummy, when I grow up, I want to make butters just like you.’ What a silly girl.
I just want my kids to remember me as someone who tried. Being an entrepreneur is about daring to try, and the very act of making butter is about trial and error and experimenting in the kitchen. So I hope they know that I love them, and I hope I inspire them to always try.” – Nur
Interview by: Arman Shah