Parenting is the greatest yet most difficult task you’ll ever experience. You’ve probably heard this said before and for the Latimer family, it certainly holds true. Ron and Johanna Latimer have been a part of the Cornerstone family for 17 years. Their three grown children attended Cornerstone, and their youngest, Caroline, is currently a sophomore.
The Latimer Family shares with us their foster care journey and how their family of five transformed into a family of seven as they have all stepped up to meet the needs of their new family members.
When did you first feel the call to foster care?
God placed fostering on my heart for many years. Did I wait? Yes, I tried to wait until everything in my life felt in order. However, God kept saying, “Trust me.”
Was your family in agreement with the calling you felt?
My husband, Ron, and I have four children, and they have grown to ages that have given us experience in rearing children, knowing it can be messy at times. Ron is a planner and works hard to give his family many opportunities with his time and professional skill. Although I felt ready, I had to wait until he was also ready to take this big leap.
Caroline, our youngest child, has gone from being the baby of the family for many years but is enjoying her role as big sister. She recently did a speech in English class about the importance of taking what she learned from her older siblings and applying it to helping the foster children in our home.
Caroline’s Cornerstone friends visit and give lots of love and time, too. She agrees it is hard but not a burden.
Tell us about the foster care application process?
We registered for training with a local agency that works with the Department of Family and Children Services to help Christian families have a smoother experience with training and transition. There, we were given tools to help us make the final decision to move forward. Our family went through the process of being approved and having our home approved. It did take time, but we felt the process was definitely manageable. We received our certification in April and our first set of children came in June.
How have you all adjusted to foster care?
Foster parenting has been an adjustment but has also been extremely rewarding. Fostering has become a lifestyle where my biological children help us meet the needs of our new family members. They love having others around to care for and show them how to live and thrive. Each of my children has a gift to share with these children that have been abused or neglected.
It is not as scary as it seems to have your children share a home with foster children. They want to learn the good your children know and have experienced.
Our family has been surprised that just sharing what we have and our time is a life-changing blessing for hurting children.
How has foster care pushed you outside of your comfort zone?
Fostering children has definitely pushed my family out of our comfort zone. At one time in our lives, we were mostly focused on success and achieving comfort. I have found being comfortable is boring and unfulfilling.
Seeking God’s purpose and asking him to send children we can make a difference with, is so much more meaningful.