how did you become interested in becoming a foster parent on Maui? 

Nate and I worked with teens and I did Big Brother Big Sister before moving to Maui. We love to host and we’ve always had big hearts for making our world and our communities better in any way we can but honestly, foster care wasn’t even on our radar. We were all done having kids and were happily sleeping through the night and enjoying not changing diapers when I felt very strongly one night like we were supposed to sign up to do foster care and we were supposed to take in a baby.

Basically Nate came home from work that night and I told him “I think we’re supposed to do foster care” and he got on board pretty quick.

Boy holds his foster sibling on the beach in Hawaii. Strubhar's on the beach.Hawaii Foster Care story and interview on the beach in Maui.Family photos on the beach. hawaii foster care family on the beach in Hawaii. Foster Care Family on the beach in Hawaii.

what was the process of becoming a foster parent in Hawaii like?

We signed up through Hui Ho’omalu.

Someone came over and chatted with us and answered some of our basic questions.

From there we did background checks, TB tests, three different group training nights, and a home study which consisted of a few hours of interviews and a quick check through our home.

Our first placement (this sweet baby girl) was born 9 months to the day from when we got our license. It doesn’t always take that long to get a placement but it was pretty cool that we got to pray for her, plan for her and anticipate her arrival during her mother’s entire pregnancy.

We had her for 13 months and during that time she was just like another part of our family who has extra appointments (like visits with birth parents or adoptive family, counseling appointments for older children, etc.)

The child will eventually ease into being reunified with birth parents if they get healthy or be adopted by extended family, the foster family or another adoptive family. This can take weeks or more than a year. When we got our baby girl they thought we’d only have her for a couple weeks and it ended up being 13 months!

The whole process is very much centered around what is in the child’s best interest. Their safety is top priority but the system also cares about making transitions as gentle as possible and giving these kids what they need to thrive. We have absolutely loved every single person we’ve met in this process from baby’s family to to social workers to the aids and everyone in between. All these people really love and care about these kids.

Foster Care Family on the beach in Hawaii. Foster Care Family on the beach in Hawaii. Foster Care Family on the beach in Hawaii. Foster care family in Maui, Hawaii shares about their journey.