01 Mar Kimberly and Jeremy
There’s never a dull moment with the Blough family. Years ago, Kimberly and Jeremy pooled resources with another family and bought an urban farm in Southeast San Diego. They introduced their young daughters, Camille and Estelle, to communal living, complete with chickens, goats, rabbits, and 50 fruit trees.
That’s not all the girls learned about. Camille and Estelle watched the other family they lived with go through the process of becoming certified foster parents through Angels Foster Family Network, and bring a foster infant into their home. Initially the girls told Kimberly and Jeremy that they didn’t want their parents to foster. “I thought having another kid would take their loving away,” says Camille as she curls up like a cat on a chair in the family living room. Estelle agrees. She liked being the youngest, she says. But as they grew older, the girls warmed up to the idea in a big way. “They’re so cute!” says Camille. Jeremy adds that his daughters now understand that love is not like a mathematical problem where taking from one subtracts from the other.
Today the family lives in Imperial Beach after their five-year agreement with the other family ended. The parting was amicable with everyone remaining close friends. “We really like change,” says Kimberly. Plus, with both families welcoming new children into their homes, everyone needed more space.
The Bloughs had an unusual first placement in that the biological family did not pursue regular visitation or move toward reunification with Nico, who the Bloughs recently adopted. Kimberly and Jeremy visited Nico’s biological mother in rehabilitation, which they say was very positive. “It was cool to touch base,” says Jeremy. “And if down the road, she is in a good place, we’d be open to her being part of their life,” adds Kimberly. “It can be healthy if they know her.”
The “they” Kimberly refers to is Nico and his younger brother, who is now being fostered by the Bloughs. Baby AJ joined the Bloughs when he was two days old and has been with the family for nine months.
Having a two-month-old baby didn’t stand in the way of the Bloughs making their big summer adventure to nine national parks across nine states. Asked if it was difficult to camp with an infant, the parents shrugged. “Seriously, we’re so flexible,” says Kimberly.
Not only are Kimberly and Jeremy flexible, both have backgrounds working with at-risk youth. He is a high school general studies teacher who serves in a guidance counseling role. She worked as a program coordinator at Second Chance, a nonprofit organization that helps people transition to productive lives after having faced challenges such as drug use, gang involvement, and incarceration. “It was heartbreaking to work with young adults who grew up tossed around the foster care system, and how much they just needed someone to invest in them,” Kimberly says, recalling a girl who had been in seven different foster homes. “If she had one home, it would have made her life completely different, and we wanted to do that for a child.” She says she appreciates Angels’ commitment to keeping children with one family throughout their entire stay in foster care.
The couple also credits their success in fostering to their strong Christian faith. “We have an underlying higher purpose,” says Jeremy. “This is the most rewarding and hardest thing we have done as a family, but I don’t think having an easy life is necessarily the goal. This is more profound.”
Fostering requires flexibility and acceptance, and that’s just fine with the Bloughs. They are up for the challenge – and add their own spirit of adventure to make the journey even more fulfilling.
Interested in fostering, too? Click here for more information!
PHOTO CREDIT: Reams Photo