“Rebecca and Sean O’Loughlin are some of the best foster parents we’ve seen…hearts of gold, five extremely healthy bio children, lots of family fun, navigated a very painful case with dignity and grace"- Lutheran Family Services (LFS).
After reading this note from LFS, we wanted to learn more about the Sean and Rebecca O’Loughlin and their family.
Now a family of eight, five girls and three boys (two of the boys are recent foster placements and one of the girls is newborn, Nelly) Rebecca O’Loughlin shared the beauty, frustration and pain of the family’s first experience with reunification and a little about the two boys currently a part of their family.
Rojo*, a feisty 3-year old firecracker, easily transitioned into the O’Loughlin family, joining with the other kids to play Chutes and Ladders, ride bikes and snuggle up to read books and sing songs. Rojo loved family hikes, always marching to the front of the pack with the older kids.
After just three months with the O’Loughlin’s, Rojo was able to develop normal eating habits and learn to discern between safe adults and strangers. Rebecca was blessed to watch these positive transformations in little Rojo.
While waiting for Rojo’s mom to complete her parenting plan, an uncle was identified to care for Rojo. The O’Loughlin’s were concerned about the uncle’s lifestyle and lack of parenting experience. Rojo didn’t seem to connect with her uncle during transition visits. Although frustrated by the decision to move Rojo into her uncle’s care, Rebecca and Sean continued to pray for her.
After completing her parenting plan, Rojo’s mom was able to reunify with her daughter. Although the O’Loughlin’s haven’t been able to visit, Rojo’s CASA has shared that the little girl is doing well and enjoys being with her mom and older sisters.
Like any foster family that loves a child well, even nine months later, the O’Loughlin’s still cry as they miss Rojo. When Rebecca is struggling to let go, Sean will say, “This is something we can’t control. We need to leave it in God’s hands. I know you’re sad. I’m sad, too. Let’s pray for Rojo.”
After several months, the O’Loughlins were ready to foster again. Two brothers, four and two joined the family in the summer. The boys had been living with their great-grandparents and the O’Loughlins are helping the boys continue with that relationship through twice monthly visits. Life is busy with therapy and family visits, but the family is bonding, especially on camping trips. Being out in the wilderness together, unplugged and focused on each other, relationships are growing rapidly.
The boys’ biological family approve of the boys growing up in a Christian family. The older boy is already singing the “Our Father” and asking questions about Jesus being the light of the world. Recently, he started attending a Christian pre-K program and it is sweet to watch his interest in spiritual things grow.
Sean and Rebecca continue to learn and grow as parents and foster parents. They are working on being more efficient with keeping house, bedtime routines and effective, calm discipline. They take classes and seek spiritual direction. At the request of their older children, they are also working to give each child more one-on-one time.
Rebecca shared, “I am amazed at how much we’ve grown in this journey. We are better parents, despite every day struggles. I’d like to encourage other families, that when things look black, really try to give it over to God. He has a plan. It hasn’t been easy for us to trust during this journey. This year we welcomed two young boys and a newborn into our house. To me this is crazy! But I know God has a special mission for each of us, each of these children. My job is to be the best version of myself I can be, and to equip these kiddos to be brilliant soldiers of God.”
How can you pray for the O’Loughlins and other foster families?
Rebecca says, “Any prayer is good. My prayer is that our home can be the calm ship on the stormy seas of the every day life we experience. I pray our home is a refuge for all of us.”
*A nickname is used to protect the confidentiality of the child.
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