Today, I’m sharing an update on our fostering journey.
It’s been a while since I shared our decision to start our fostering journey. Since that post, life has been quite crazy, good, hard with some unexpected twists and challenges. I shared back in the spring that our family went through a really difficult season. We housed a large family for a couple of months going through extreme trauma and it was an unexpected circumstance.
Our own family experienced a lot during that time and after that season passed, God gave us a much needed new season for healing and restoration. Our kids experienced a good deal during that time too because they witnessed a lot of stuff they were never exposed to before. It was almost as if God wanted us to go through some training as a family before this all actually took place. We’ve done our best to shield our kids from many things but I’m learning there’s a fine line between overprotecting and exposing them to the harsh realities of this broken world. I think for the first time during that spring, they witnessed real brokenness. They saw a real life glimpse into others in deep pain and that sadly, people hurt one another. My prayer is that with experiences like that, they grow in empathy, compassion and awareness that will naturally result in some sort of action.
I know I’m being cryptic and I’m not trying to be but for the sake of the parties involved, it’s not my place to share more of that story. Plus, the significant part of that story isn’t all of the details as it is about the fact that there are deeply hurting people around us. It’s easy to turn the other way when we’re confronted with it because in a way, it inconveniences us. It makes us uncomfortable and often times it’s easier to ignore than to be face to face with such truth. Ignorance is truly bliss.
As far as where we are in the process, we’ve done most of our paper work. Today, I’m taking my kids for their yearly check ups to have their medical papers updated because that’s also part of the process. Jimmy and I had our fingerprints done last week and we have to schedule CPR classes. We also had to get medical exams and make sure we don’t have Tuberculosis. I tested positive and had to get a chest x -ray. Come to find out, if you were born in Korea, you got the vaccine as a small child. The rules are quite strict so here’s a list of things we had to buy and prepare just in case you’re curious or are wanting to look into fostering. We had to buy a fire extinguisher, fire escape ladder, plug covers, baby gates (thanks, Jeongs!), extra door locks, magnet locks for a bunch of cabinets, fire place screen, carbon monoxide alarm, and probably some other things I’m forgetting. Basically, it’s a lot!
We also had to move the kids around because there are certain rules that you have to follow regarding your own biological children. My kids are not allowed to sleep in the same bed. This basically forced us to figure out a new situation for our girls. I originally wanted Emmy to move into Jules’ room and share her queen bed but that wouldn’t work. Do you remember Emmy’s room makeover? Oh, I loved that one so much! I sold Emmy’s bed and we bought a bunk bed. We’re turning Emmy’s old room into another guest room which will serve as a room for future guests and foster children. My guest room downstairs didn’t work because it houses a lot of my home decor for my staging clients and I didn’t feel comfortable having any children sleep downstairs away from us. JJ has a trundle bed and even though he has two mattresses, we weren’t allowed to use his bed either because each bed needs a headboard. See, so many rules. I understand though because the system wants to help create an environment for children to feel included and part of the family as naturally as possible. The girls are excited because it’s helping them prepare mentally and they’re getting a cool bed so I guess it all worked out in the end. I’ll be putting their new room together with some pieces we already own in the home.
There are times I think we’re crazy to go down this road. I’ve heard so many stories, mostly that it’s hard. Someone close to us recently asked if we were sure about this decision bc we had such great kids and they haven’t caused us any problems… yet. haha. I laughed and said, this is another reason why we have to do it. We do have wonderful kids. They are the most beautiful, precious gifts that God could have ever given us and we are so undeserving. We just finished our second home study and our social worker who is a Jesus follower said that we were giving our children a gift by choosing this journey. I’ve always known that my job isn’t to make my kids’ lives easy or stress free. It’s still hard though because you never want to see your children hurting. But I’m realizing part of my job is to bring them into partnership with us as we minister, nurture and love those who need it the most. That will often times be very hard, messy and tiring but it’s exactly what Jesus did. HE always chose the messy road. He always looked to the ones who were marginalized. So he’s invited us into the messy. And we’ve accepted his invitation. It won’t be easy and we will fail a lot I’m sure. But, I trust he will cushion our falls and fill in the gaps where we fall short.
Lastly, can I just share my husband is a rockstar? He is the most beautiful example of what an earthly husband and father should look like. How I wish more kids could have a dad like him. Jimmy and I know this road isn’t going to be easy but it will be worth it. Thank you friends for joining us as we head towards the unknown. We covet your prayers.
Let all that you do be done in Love. 1 Corinthians 16:14