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Larissa Jesina

This month I am using my social media to feature individuals who are stepping up and choosing to sacrifice their own comfort in order to bring more love into our world.

For the blog today I am so happy to introduce you to single foster mama, Larissa Jesina.

Many people find a list of excuses. Many choose to stay comfortable.

But here is a young woman who felt a calling and chose not to excuse it or ignore it,

but has realized we are never truly ready and the time to jump in, is now.

Here she is, in her own words...

I’m a 30 year who lives in a suburb of Kansas City. I spend my days working with adults with disabilities.  I work with them on a variety of work related and social skills.  When I discuss this people’s first reactions is almost always “Oh that must be so rewarding.” And it is.  But truthfully it is also just SO much fun!  Every day is different.  The clients and their families are so wonderful.  They have taught me so much about life and brought me lots of joy!

Single Foster Mom Inspires Us to Help Kids

Since I was a child I was always interested in adoption. Then, as a young adult I ended up working at a daycare with many children from the foster care system.  My group was school aged and hearing the stories they would share - as if the trauma they experienced was all totally normal - broke my heart.  I didn’t think I could ever do foster care though.  How in the world do you say good bye?!  Working with kids always came very naturally to me and I continued desiring to adopt and be a mama.  The years went by and despite my deepest desires, I hadn’t found a husband.  

I kept telling myself I’d start fostering when I got married, but finally I could not ignore the calling any longer.

I ended up moving to a new city and once I got settled, I got licensed as a single foster mama.  I have now had a couple of placements and like anyone who becomes a parent, my life has totally shifted.  Instead of my life being filled with what I want, when I want it - life has shifted to become about the kids. I am currently fostering an incredible 7 year old girl. 

My advice to anyone thinking about taking a risk and changing their lifestyle to become less comfortable & more loving would be... to do it!  You will never be totally ready!   Many people questioned my choice to begin fostering knowing the challenges that were coming.  And believe me, there have been many challenges through this foster care journey.  I have experienced a level of exhaustion I didn’t know was possible. I struggled adjusting to the sudden life change and initially, wanted to give up.  Between suddenly ALWAYS having a child with me, the doctor appointments, social worker visits, family visits, missing work, behaviors and not being able to do things with friends on a whim... it felt like too much.  Life was so much easier and less stressful when I was focused on me.  But I kept going and eventually it became the new normal. Honestly some of my friendships faded because we were in such different places in life and they didn’t understand.  

Then, of course, there is the heartache of saying goodbye.  Which for the record it is harder than I could’ve ever imagined.  The pain was all consuming and unlike any pain I had ever experienced. HOWEVER, my life has now been more full than I could’ve imagined.  The love the kids have given me has been unbelievable and inspiring.  Seeing the way receiving love has impacted them, has made the pain of saying goodbye, worth it.  My foster daughter has only been with me a few months but she is not the little girl that first entered my home.  She has grown in all areas of her life and is thriving due to the stability and love.  Although I lost some friendships, others have actually grown deeper than before because of the love they have shown me and my kids.  

I have learned so many lessons throughout this time about living in the moment,

experiencing joy, dealing with pain and love.

My life doesn’t look the way I would have planned planned on so many levels &

I struggle with that regularly, but there has been such a peace from answering my calling

and being right where God wants me.  

I am honored to sacrifice some of my comfort to help some amazing children. 

The challenges and rewards may look different

depending on exactly how you are stepping out of a comfort zone

but the growth... is worth it.

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