Room for More: Creating a Home that Welcomes Foster Kids
Providing safe space and stability for foster kids in a warm, inviting and stylish Rainier Beach home
Sarah and Josh Grant with daughter Shelby in their Rainier Beach home.
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
Sarah and Josh Grant make their home in a renovated mid-century house in the Rainier Beach area of Seattle. The couple moved from Columbia City with their 2-year-old adopted daughter Shelby and foster sons, ages 2 and 1, when they needed more room to grow.
Their new, larger house offered them the stability that foster kids need, plus space to accommodate the potential for more children. Situated at the end of a friendly court, the house has a big, enclosed backyard where the kids can ride bikes and scooters. “The kids love to play outside, and our outdoor living furniture makes it feel like we have another family room,” says Sarah.
Recently, their foster sons returned to their mother, but still visit regularly. “Even though the boys have left and now live with their mom, their cribs are still set up in the room for overnight visits and possible future foster children,” says Sarah. “We see the boys once or twice a week and their mom lives close to us, so staying in a location that was accessible to her and seeing them was important. When we get together, we mostly just play in the backyard, and the kids love to run around the house and look at photos of themselves.”
Even though their house is open to rambunctious toddlers and sticky hands, Sarah and Josh also make sure their home is a respite for themselves as well. Josh is an amateur builder, and the couple has plans for DIY projects to make the space even more useful, including a freestanding kitchen island, a living room expansion, and more built-in shelving. Sarah is an avid antiquer who loves expanding on the story of found pieces: “I have a couple pieces that I walk by daily; one is a little old green train digger that came to us through happenstance, but was [our son’s] very favorite car. He used to sleep with it every night, and when he left he told me I could keep it. It sits on my built-in at the end of the hall, and I think about him every time I see it.”
PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON
Cribs allow the Grants to bring more children into their home or host sleepovers with their foster sons.
The kids’ rooms are simple — filled with books, art and the potential for different personalities, which is important for children in the foster care system.
“As new children come into that room, we hope to make it their own, just as we did when the boys lived with us,” says Sarah. “We feel like our house and family has a lot of room to grow, and we plan on building the rest of our family through fostering and adoption. We hope that because our living space is so conducive to kids, that we can keep up the relationships we have developed through foster care and with reunified families.”