It is only with the heart that you can truly see

Foster parents welcome three boys into their home and hearts

Marina Knežević Barišić
Aneta i Jan sa dječacima kojima pružaju ljubav i brigu
UNICEF/Knežević Barišić
09 September 2019

Children's laughter can always be heard from their home. A few years ago, Aneta and Jan received a call from the Social Welfare Centre. They were to become foster parents of three boys who were then under two years of age.

“When we saw our three boys in the children’s home, it was love at first sight. Now we can’t even imagine our life without them. I’m sorry that we didn’t decide to become foster parents sooner,” Aneta told us.

“I’m sorry that we didn’t decide to become foster parents sooner.”

Aneta, foster mum

Od tog trenutka trojica dječaka koje su udomili postali su cijeli njihov svijet. Naravno, oko tri djeteta mnogo je posla.


From that moment, the three boys they fostered have become their entire world. Naturally, there is a lot of work involved.

“There is a lot of work with the boys, but all that happiness and everything about it is exactly what we wanted. They are healthy, they are happy, and so are we,” Aneta told us.

The beginning was, naturally, a challenge.

“After five days, when we finally slept through the night, my wife gets up, wakes me, did you get up, no, and you, no, and then off we go quickly to the room to see whether everything is all right,” adds Jan.

Now they've teamed up. During the day the boys are in kindergarten and their day is full. They play football, and on weekends they attend Polish School to learn Polish because Aneta is originally from Poland.

Aneta, Jan i dječaci rado se prisjećaju prvih zajedničkih dana razgledavajući foto-albume.
UNICEF/Knežević Barišić

Even now, it’s very hard for Aneta and Jan to think about the children they used to meet in the children’s home.

“These children are just standing in the doorway, waiting for parents to arrive.”

Aneta, foster mum

“We used to visit the home, and other children would come and tell us: ‘If you’re taking three, will you take me as well, I will be the fourth. I’ll be good, I’ll help. Why them, why not us?’ That left a big mark on us. Those children don’t deserve to grow up in a children’s home,” Aneta said.

“These children are just standing in the doorway, waiting for parents to arrive,” she adds. 814 boys and girls are still living in institutions across Croatia, waiting for a family.