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The Covid Chronicles: Fostering Edition

It's been a total of 5 weeks since Covid left its imprint on our family. For more than 2/1/2 years, our family had been Covid-free, likely due to our semi-geographical isolation in our little corner of Singapore, as well as our general dislike for shopping malls and all things crowded. But on the 2 July, the dotted "T-line" was finally crossed, and I was the first in the family to come down with the virus. I wrote the following words in my Facebook announcement:

"Thankful that it's so far been mild; fever over the past two days and an incessant dry cough. And so when I realised it was Day 1 yesterday, I just took it as a matter of fact.
What's been hard has been the non-stop work. Teaching continues with or without Covid. Zoom workshops continue. More laboured as I seem to consume a bucket of water for every two hour session. Admin work continues. Still preparing for a major 11-trainer, 55-workshop session next week, with all the client meetings and trainer briefings as per usual. Clients continue to chase for undelivered work, which has been piling up in the midst of all the chaos."

The first indication that the Covid virus had come to the Lim Family.

The younger son got the virus at the same time, with the older boy coming down with it about a week after. Sharing what Sue wrote about how the illness was for them:

6 July:

"This boy is a trooper. Day 4 of being Covid positive and he remains mostly cheerful and keeps thanking me for looking after him. Thankful his fever is gone and the vomiting is at its tail end.
It's been an indescribable week of relentless exhaustion managing sick kids, dirty bedsheets, an active toddler and @marklimsl's ongoing classes and workshops over Zoom from 9-5 pm each day, but we have been sustained by His grace and the love, food and prayers of family and friends."

E was cheerful throughout his Covid period. So thankful that his symptoms were mild overall.

8 July:

"This boy finally tested positive today after a week of symptoms and shortly following his first dose. Guess our period of isolation will now be extended, it was supposed to be ending tomorrow. 🤣
Thankfully he's just having a phlegmy cough, mild fever and lethargy. Still our ever sweet and cheerful son... Had his first harvest of quails' eggs yesterday after his brother taught him what to do." 🥚❤️😍

Z and his first quail egg harvest - after following close instructions from the younger brother.

As for the wife, she only got it a month after I first came down with Covid; after we were able to hold a birthday party for the boys and to celebrate each child's individual birthday! 
Sue shares her reflections on getting the virus:

"And so it finally came to pass, that 2.5 years after the pandemic started and 29 days after the start of Covid in our family, I finally succumbed.
Really can't figure out the path the virus took as far as I'm concerned... I had symptoms the whole time they were down and even after they recovered fully, but continued testing negative all the way until I felt rather silly. Think I went through a box of 25 ART kits. 😂 Doctors just said I probably had a low viral load.
I finally tested again this week before a family gathering, and lo and behold, Z said, "I see the line, Mummy!" So does that mean I didn't get it earlier this month when I thought I did?"

Sue worked tirelessly throughout this period, caring for the entire family and managing all household matters. She even baked a black forest cake for our newly-minted 12yo on the actual day of his birthday.

Throughout the entire time, we had much to give thanks for; especially that our symptoms were mostly mild. We have experienced much love, with family and friends rallying around us and sending us meals and drinks each day. We were also thankful that the newest member of our family did not fall ill at all - something that would have been terrible for the 15/1/2-month-old.

The first of the food deliveries. Our family and friends were such a blessing to us and sent us food on a daily basis so we would not have to cook.

B was with us for about 1/1/2 months before Covid came to our family. He adjusted quickly, and all who met him described him as a smiley boy who brightened up the lives of everyone around. 
It was most certainly an act of faith to start fostering again, about a year since dear K left us to be re-integrated with the birth family. But in a sense, Sue and I never stopped fostering. How could we ignore the cries of the kids who are unable to be cared for by their birth parents? How can we turn a blind eye to our Father whose heart bleeds for the widows and the orphans? It is a calling; and we merely God's choose to hear the voice of God and to obey His call. 
And so little B came to our house, well-loved by everyone in the family. I recorded his first day with the family, all the way back in May:

Baby B arrived with his two social workers, a bag of milk powder and diapers, and a huge comfort toy. It was a quick round of introductions as the little boy took in the sights and sounds of the home he would be in for the next two months.
With great curiosity, yet measured caution, the 14-month-old inched his way around the play mat, as he experimented with the strange sounds that he made as he scratched the surface of the mat.
Then it was off for a bath, milk and an afternoon nap.
Today had finally come, just three days after the fostering placement was confirmed.
And it was an insane weekend, as we scrambled to procure items for the new 14-month-old child.
We are so thankful for the strong support we have received from our family and church friends, who have generously given most of what we need.
And the past few days have been crazy tiring, as my dear wife almost singlehandedly managed the packing, the installation of a new baby cupboard, and the preparation of the room, even as I had to continue with my day to day work.
He is finally here. And we hope this will be a good time for him to grow and develop in a holistic manner! 🙂
Kor Kor Z spending time with little B in the mornings after both are up.

And the little child has grown so much during his short time with us. I shared about how much the toddler had changed, and how we managed his care during our family's Covid season:
B seems to be almost a completely different baby than when he first came. Now he's zipping around the house. He finds delight in the breakable glasses he uncovers. He rifles through our coasters mercilessly. He wields our boys' plastic sword menacingly like a Star Wars lightsaber. And he loves to sing, although none of us can quite figure out what he's singing 😁
He has been a source of entertainment for us during this season; especially when he gives you a cheeky grin and absconds with a forbidden item such as a TV remote control or a stolen phone. This is a very different baby now, and we are thankful he has fit in so well with the rest of the family.
Little B being cared for by his Kor Kors who love him so much.

How did our family survive Covid with a new foster child in the house? I believe that at the end of the day, it was because of the love of God, as manifested through the love of our family and friends. Covid is a virus of isolation. But even though we had to be socially-distanced because of the virus, we knew that we were not alone; that there are so many people who love us; and that there's a God who provides us with everything that we need.

God has always been good to us. He allowed us a window in-between the time we got Covid and Sue's infection period for us to hold the boys' birthday party and celebrate their 12 & 10 years of life!

The Lim Family as we celebrated Z & E's Birthdays. This is a picture of God's love for our family!



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