10 Great Loves
1. Joshua Tanner
Kate has been in love with Josh since the night that they met on a call in Birmingham, Alabama, where the both of them were working at the time. She was touched by his patience with the thirteen year-old boy whose father had beaten his mother so badly that the paramedics had been unable to revive her on site, and she impressed him with the way she didn't take crap from the father who had done it. They made a great team, though he was a cop and she a social worker working with Child Protective Services, and within three weeks they were a steady couple. They've been together for nine years now have a particularly playful relationship. Some people might think the age difference is concerning, but Kate doesn't see Josh as an older man so much as he is her best friend.
2. Harley Davidson When she was eighteen, Kate's parents purchased her her first motorcycle. It was a Harley Lowrider, and she fell in love with the orange and the feel of the bike beneath her. It was a good fit for her slender body, and she still owns that motorcycle, though she doesn't ride it as often as she used to. It's her baby, and she takes excellent care of it, but these days prefers the Softtail for regular transportation. If the weather is decent, she is nearly always on a bike instead of driving her regular Ford Taurus (black, with white leather interior, custom interior and features).
3. Her Father Though he does rank slightly behind her Harley Davidson obsession, Kate's father is the center of her world. The two of them have always been close, and though he has held high expectations for her, he has always been consistent and patient with her meeting them. Kate argues that she wouldn't be the person she is today if her father hadn't given her the power and showed her that she had as much strength as anybody else did. He was the one who taught her Taekwondo and then later, Judo, and taught her where to find her inner strength. Without him, she doubts that she'd be the powerful, passionate social worker she is.
4. Her Children The kids are technically Josh's and not hers. She's never adopted them, not signed any paperwork to legally become their mother, and besides, Journey is only 11 years younger than Kate is. She loves them just the same, however, and she considers Journey and Brian to be her children and not just Josh's alone. She'd do anything for those two kids and they are important to her. Kate has defended both of them from time to time against people who didn't understand the holes in Journey's face or Brian's persistence in smoking pot when he's told no, but she loves those kids fiercely and she will do whatever she can to protect them.
5. Social Work By the time she was thirteen, Kate knew what she wanted to do with her life. She wanted to be the person who came to the rescue when somebody hurt a child. When she was a little girl, a girl in her class came to school day after day with bruises on his legs and arms, and he became her best friend. When he was later taken from his abusive, drug addicted mother and placed into a foster home at the age of nine, Kate watched her friend turn into a vivacious, caring young man who thrived with new parents. He was adopted when he was twelve, and that was the first that she thought she wanted to be the person who made that happen for other kids.
6. Her Best Friend Raul has always been there for Kate through thick and thin. They've laughed and cried on one another since they were schoolmates together and he's been a strong and steady influence in her life. She loves him with everything in her and would do anything that she can to protect him from the world. He's the reason that she decided to become a social worker, and she trusts him with all of her secrets -- including those she won't trust Josh with. They are so close that when she moved to Trader's Bend, he came with her to work at Brook Haven with her so that he could "pay it forward" what someone had done for him as a kid.
7. Good Food Though she's partial to German food in particular, Kate loves all excellent food, and she will eat in large amounts if she's permitted to. Her high metabolism hasn't slowed down even now that she's in her thirties and she keeps herself in shape by doing a lot of running in her free time. She's not much of a cook, but that's okay because her ~daughter Journey is, and though Journey prefers Thai cooking while Kate's favorite is German dishes, she's happy to have a good meal on the table every night and she will tuck into a plate of food like a teenage boy during a growth spurt, especially if she's been working particularly hard.
8. Children It might surprise some people to know that Kate doesn't work as a social worker because she loves children (who make her top ten list but only as #7) but because she is invested in their rights as humans. Over the years she's come to love the children themselves, too, and she has a soft spot for troubled teens from rough backgrounds. Thanks to Josh adopting two troubled kids himself, she's learned a lot about who they are underneath the chaos of their minds, and she's become good at detecting which kids need some tough love and which kids just need to have some love. One day she'd like to adopt herself, though she would prefer to adopt a child of Korean ancestry.
9. Rock Music When Kate is at Josh's place using his garage, she turns the music on her stereo up loud. It's always rock music, usually hard rock, and if she can't play it loud on the stereo then she will wear full-ear-cover headphones and blast it on her iPod. People sometimes ask her if she regrets not having learned how to play an instrument, but the answer to that is a clear "no." She'll laugh if she hears another person ask her because as far as she's concerned, she doesn't have a musical bone in her body. Listening is enough for her, and sometimes she will sing off key, but she's never learned how to read the notes.
10. Her Mother Kate's mother makes her list, but she's toward the bottom of it, and she lacks the passionate love for her mother that she has for her father. When she says that she doesn't play a musical instrument, that's a lie. It's more that she hates to play because her mother forced her to sit for long hours at the piano learning the notes and how to play them. Her father maintains now that it's one of the things that made her so good at Martial Arts: Music taught her how to think. She no longer plays as a result, and resents her mother because of this association.
9 Moments of Clarity
1. Raul's Rescue Before Raul, Kate saw herself as a little girl, weak and unable to make anybody's life better or to change anything in the world. When she reported his bruises to her teacher and demanded that the teacher did something about it, she learned that she was more than just a little girl. In that one moment she had a power more than any other. Later, Kate would come to understand that she had saved a life. This was the first moment in her life when she understood that she could make a difference, and that sometimes if she could make a difference in one life, that she could make a difference in the world.
2. Sonata #3 When she was a child, Kate's mother demanded that she learn to play the piano, and that she learn to play it well. Kate argues that she was never very good, but that wasn't necessarily the truth. She wasn't a particularly good student, but she has an excellent ear for music (even if she can't sing to save her life!). This was the piece that nearly conquered her, and the reason that she gave up on music for good. Though it helped her in a lot of ways, Kate discovered that music was not the thing that brought her to her center, no matter how much it helped her to focus on her Taekwondo practice.
3. Red and White Kate was twenty-four when she received her red and white belt in Judo, and it meant more to her than the black belt she'd earned in Taekwondo three years prior to that. Years of training had culminated in her reaching the 6th dan of Judo, and the belt was a symbol of what she'd learned along the way. Judo was what taught Kate how to center herself and to harness her own inner power. It gave her strength and taught her to have courage and faith in herself. If it wasn't for Judo, Kate doesn't believe that she would have become the social worker that she did.
4. The Lowrider When she was still a teenager, Kate's parents purchased her a Harley Davidson Lowrider. At the time it was her dream bike, the most important thing that she had ever owned. It taught her how to do more than take care of herself, but to take care of something else -- something else that had power. She loved the bike and kept it in excellent condition. Although she no longer rides it, it was the birth of her love affair with Harley Davidson and she will never sell the bike -- though she may one day pass it on to one of her children.
5. And Blue The first time she met Josh, Kate was twenty-two years old, fresh out of college, and working hard to prove herself as a green social worker. While the other workers in her job -- those low-ranking peons whose primary purpose was to fill the void -- struggled to make decisions, she was quick. That was why she went out that Independence day to take care of a little boy whose father had beaten his mother unconscious. For Kate -- and to some extent for Josh -- the day had a new meaning. That little boy was, for the first time, independent of his abusive father. It's an experience she'll never forget.
6. S is for Stupid It was a year and a half after Josh adopted Brian before Kate saw him with his shirt off. She might never have seen the criss-cross of scars across her ~son's back if it wasn't for the broken lock on the bathroom door and her sense of panic that something was wrong. Brian was fine, of course, but that was the first time that Kate saw the "S" shaped burn (brand) on the back of his neck. "S is for stupid," he told her later when they sat down to talk about it. Kate had known that things could be bad for kids in foster care, but this was the first time that she fully understood that foster parents can sometimes be as brutal -- if not more so -- then abusive natural parents.
7. Hydro in the Cupboard Josh has been prescribed oxycodone for the control of tissue damage in his left leg, caused when he interrupted a bar fight and was stabbed in the leg. The first time that Kate realized that her partner had a problem was when she found hydrocodone in the cupboard in the kitchen. His prescription is for Vicodin and not for Percoset, and the fact that he has illegally obtained prescription drugs unsettled her. This is one of the reasons that she has yet to agree to marry him, though he's asked her once (and not since); She needs to see that his addiction is under control.
8. I'll Love You Forever Two years ago Kate's father suffered a heart attack that put him in the hospital and required four months of therapy in order for him to recover. He's always been healthy before that, and Kate believed that her parents ate well (a diet primarily based on traditional Korean foods). Now she's had to assess her own dietary habits and her consumption of rich European dishes. She worries about losing her father and though she has always been close to him, this brought into focus how much she loves him.
9. Brook Haven Kate has always been privileged, and she knows that. Even growing up in small-town America as the child of Korean immigrants, she has always known herself to be privileged. Moving to Trader's Bend brought into focus the fact that the world doesn't exist in the bubble that she made for herself, and though she's seen horrible things in the world outside, the things that people will do to children in Trader's Bend continues to astonish her. Children at the ranch are discriminated against because they had the misfortune to have awful parents. They have helped her to see the world differently, and to look differently even at the children she serves.
Eight Character Flaws
1. Judgmental Due in part to her career of choice, Kate is quick to judge a person without a great deal of evidence. She's trained to assess a situation quickly and to get a child out of danger before he or she is injured by someone with more power, and sometimes she's quicker to make a judgment than she ought to be. This has earned her a reputation throughout Trader's Bend very quickly as being a particularly judgmental person, and worse, a dangerous social worker in terms of her experience with CPS. Parents who are less than stellar and who make even common mistakes do need to fear her judgment.
2. Tactless She would consider herself to be "straightforward" or "to the point" and Kate generally couches this in more positive terms rather than seeing herself as being tactless. Kate rarely takes the time to think of more sensitive ways to say what she wishes to convey, and she can be incredibly offensive to people when she has something that she wants to say. In some ways this makes her fit in really well with the xenophobic small town, since people in Trader's Bend generally don't put much time and effort into being sensitive to the feelings of others, and it might be winning her some friends among the locals.
3. Self-Righteous Although she has reasons that she does the things that she does, for the most part Kate does what she does because she wants to make herself feel good about what she's doing. As with her tactless trait, she tends to try to find a way to make out that she does what she does in order to help other people while in truth most of her actions promote her sense that she's a good person who helps other people. She has trouble seeing the chaos that she leaves in her wake, including the fact that many potentially great families have been torn apart instead of her working with parents to maintain their parental rights.
4. Superstitious Faith is personal -- or so Kate believes -- but for her, faith has made her somewhat superstitious. She sees signs in everything, but has never been good at interpreting them. Though she identifies herself as a Korean Christian, she believes that there is meaning in everything, and "everything happens for a reason" is something that she says often, and with a smile. This grates on a lot of people, especially when she attempts to cite something negative as having a positive potential outcome. Some people don't understand her because of her superstition.
5. Overzealous In addition to being judgmental, Kate is awfully quick to get involved in things that she doesn't belong in, and she will push beyond the limits and capacity of her job if she believes that she is protecting, defending another person who needs to be defended. Sometimes she gets in her own way, and sometimes she pushes too far and too hard to get her way, especially when it comes to the safety of children, and most recently the safety of children at Brook Haven. Recently she's developed a reputation for going after teachers and other authorities who challenge "her" kids inappropriately.
6. Idealistic It's easy to see that Kate lives, mentally anyway, in an ideal world. She sees the world as being the place that she envisions and believes that the people around her are an anomaly. This makes it difficult for her to see the humanity in other people and makes it tough for her to accept when a person has flaws -- particularly when that's someone she cares about. Her problems with her mother are largely due to her idealistic attitudes and therefore she believes that her mother is the anomaly and ought to work harder to improve herself. She finds it hard to see the flaws in herself.
7. Blunt Kate's a woman who speaks her mind and doesn't have a filter that is intended to prevent people from getting hurt. This means, among other things, that she always tells the truth and doesn't exactly know the meaning of a little white lie. She's not the person to ask about your outfit if you can't handle her telling you how she feels about your choice to wear plaid with polka dots, and this isn't the best trait for keeping her friendships alive. She's hard on her friends and certainly harder on her enemies. Her rough language has gotten her disciplined twice at work.
8. Hypocritical Some people might argue that social workers are "always" this way, but Kate is particularly hypocritical. She doesn't look at herself with the same lens as she views other people, and while she will correct another parent for publicly scolding their small child, she has been known to yell at her (Josh's) kids in private when the mood is wrong. She doesn't always practice what she preaches with other parents and it's frustrating for the people around her that she doesn't always live by her own rules.
Seven Core Beliefs
1. Children Deserve Respect Growing up, Kate's parents respected her. Both of them, though she felt that she got more respect from her father than from her mother, treated her with respect and dignity, and she grew into the belief that all children deserve the same. She prides herself on not expecting a child to treat her with more respect than she treats them and for Kate, respect is an exchange between two people, not something that she holds over another person's head.
2. All Beliefs are Valid Although Kate is a Korean Christian, she believes that all beliefs and spiritual paths are valid, and the only thing she truly wishes for every child she comes into contact with is that they find some way to connect with spirit, even if they don't believe in God the way that she believes in God. She believes that children in particular deserve the right to make their own choices and that they shouldn't be forced down the path that their parents chose for themselves.
3. All Gods are Real Along the same lines, Kate believes that all Gods are real. This means that although she chooses to worship the God YHWH (the god of the Jews), she believes that all gods that are worshiped by people in the modern world are real by the creation of the people who believe in them. Beside which, her interpretation of the Bible is that there are more than one god but only one God that one ought to be worshiping.
4. People Can Change Sometimes she doesn't act as though she believes that people are capable of improving and changing themselves, but Kate strongly believes that everyone is capable of becoming a better person than they were when they started out. She believes that with therapy people can heal and that even the worst bigots in a town like this can turn into something better than they are at the present moment. This may only occasionally extend to difficult biological parents who mistreat their children, but she does believe that some of these can change as well.
5. People have Purpose Kate believes in the old adage that everything happens for a reason. To this end she also believes that people are put on earth for a purpose and that our goal in life needs to be to find what that purpose is. From the youngest child all the way up through elders, everyone is attempting to find their purpose and to complete it in order to continue through their lives. She believes that her purpose is to show other people that they have purpose, and so she works hard with the teens she guards at Second Chances to give them a sense that their lives have meaning.
6. Adoption is an Option But not the only option. Kate identifies herself as pro-life, but she doesn't want people to believe that the only choice that they have is to give their children up for adoption. She would prefer to see most parents attempt to parent, though she's quick to act if she feels that one of those parents has done something abusive toward a child. She's not the type of person who would ever stand up to say that a woman should not be permitted to have an abortion if she felt that it was the only option that she had, and she recognizes that someone who would abort isn't likely to give a child up for adoption.
7. Faith is Personal For everything that she believes in, Kate believes in keeping her personal beliefs under wraps. She doesn't force her beliefs on other people to the point that she rarely shares those beliefs, particularly where religion is concerned for her. Whatever a person's faith is, it belongs to them personally and it's not something that people ought to talk about a lot. She believes that those who push their beliefs on others are insecure in their own beliefs.
Six Personal Crises
1. Facing Her Faults It's not so much that Kate believes herself to be perfect and more that she struggles with knowing that her own faults have had an effect on the people that she meets with her job. Kate has always struggled, and about two years ago she ran into a case where she pulled a child from what she believed to be an abusive home and the biological mother later committed suicide. Her zeal is one of her worst flaws, and it resulted in another person's death. This is something that Kate will carry for the rest of her life, and she struggles with understanding that she's not a perfect person.
2. Dealing with Addiction When she was growing up, Kate had never been challenged by addiction. Her parents never so much as drank soda or coffee in the house when she was growing up, and so being confronted with Josh's addiction has been difficult for her. In Kate's mind this is a personal crisis because she has to come to terms with the fact that he has an addiction, and with what she can do to help him to resolve the power that alcohol and narcotics have over him. The fact that she can't seem to help him has destroyed her confidence in herself, largely as a social worker, and this is a true crisis for her.
3. Mother in her Heart The fact that Josh and Kate aren't married means that she can't be a legal mother to Josh's two children. She's considered adopting Journey when she does marry Josh because she believes that in spite of the fact that the girl is twenty-one years old now that she deserves to have that permanence. It's a crisis to her that she cannot overcome her feelings of being a mother without actually being a mother to those children, and she struggles with these relationships because she feels that she ought to be able to be more.
4. Moving on Out One of the toughest things that Kate has ever done is moving out of Josh's house when she had lived there for two years, but she could no longer live with him if he wasn't going to work through more of his struggles with addiction. She couldn't watch him wallow every day and so she gave him an incentive, by moving out. When he moved to Trader's Bend, she moved with him, but things haven't been the same due to her having decided that she couldn't live with him until he'd straightened his act out and gotten clean.
5. Marrying the Man Josh has asked Kate to marry him on more than one occasion, and she continues to tell him that he is, right now, married to his drugs. If he can divorce them, then she will marry him, but until that day comes it won't happen. With that being said she is completely and irrevocably in love with him and she wants nothing more than to have a family with the man who she loves, but she fears and dreads that it might not be possible. She'll never move on from Josh. That much is something that she's sure of so far.
6. Missed Period Kate's period is late now by two weeks. She's chalked it up to the stress of dealing with the barn fire and the fact that the entire town is pointing at two of her kids and saying that they're the ones who started all of this, but she's not sure that's the reason that it's late. With rumors of "something in the water" in Trader's Bend, she fears that she's pregnant with Josh's child. How is that going to turn out when she decides for the fourth time that she can't marry him?
Five Playlist Songs
1. Concrete Angel - Martina McBride
2. Respect - Aretha Franklin
3. Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys
4. Who I Am - Jessica Andrews
5. Fucking Perfect - Pink
1. Always be grateful. Life sometimes throws you things that you don't like, but Kate lives on the principle that no matter how down you are, there is always something in life to be grateful for, and that we should praise God in the moment for the things that we do have instead of whining to Him about the things that we don't have. She believes that an attitude of gratitude makes the world go 'round and she tries to help other people to be more upbeat and happy as a result of adopting this attitude of gratitude.
2. Put others first. When she was a child, Kate's father taught her that she should always put the needs of others before herself, and she has carried this into her life today. For the most part for Kate this means that she puts her boyfriend and his children before herself, and she does tend to hold other people to this same insanely high standard, which means that sometimes she finds faults where there are none because a person is just taking care of themselves.
3. Take care of elders and children. Kate believes that a person ought to take care of their parents in their old age, and of their own children. Her belief is that the children were once cared for by the people now elders and that this is an exchange. When the parents are elderly, the children ought to step up for them, and that the parents ought to take care of the children because one day they are going to be old and rely on the children to care for them as well.
4. Defend the underdog. In every fight, there is an underdog, and Kate believes that a person ought to go to bat for the person who is more likely to lose on the basis that they are the one who need someone to defend and protect them more. If the underdog proves that they no longer need help, she will back way, but this moral belief is one of the reasons that she has stepped up so strongly to take care of kids in abusive situations, and the reason that she has a reputation as a badass social worker.
Three Key Fears
1. Losing her Father Kate's father is in perfect health, but he's getting older and she has become afraid that he's going to pass away. Eventually all things must die and she recognizes that this is part of the cycle of life but she doesn't want to face the loss of either of her parents, and the potential to lose her father is so great that she is terrified that it's going to happen before she's ready to handle losing him.
2. Losing Josh to Addiction She's already lost him more than once to his addiction, and it doesn't take Josh's death to cause her to lose him. All it takes is him deciding that he's not going to put aside the drugs and the alcohol for her, and at that point she will have lost him. It's one of the most terrifying things that she can thing of, and Kate struggles whenever he asks her to marry him again because this is the thing he's truly married to.
3. Discovery She's Not Perfect Kate tries to recognize her own flaws, but she is terrified of other people -- her father and her boyfriend in particular -- finding out that she isn't perfect and that she has her own set of flaws. It's hard for her to think about what might happen and who she might lose if someone finds out that she sometimes had to go home from a particularly rough case and cry her eyes out because of what she's seen, and the thought of someone diagnosing PTSD is terrifying.
Two Life Goals
1. Adopt a Child Josh has already adopted two remarkable children and Kate wants to add to their family by adopting herself. She has it in her head that this would be an amazing journey and that she'd make a great adoptive parent, but any child she adopts will have to be aware that she isn't perfect and that her temper has caused her to smack Journey twice during their time together. This is one way that she will for sure discover that she is not perfect.
2. Marry Josh Tanner If Josh can give up his addiction, Kate will marry him. If he can cut out his addiction to something other than her, divorce the drugs, and make himself available to her, she will marry him in a heartbeat. This is one of her life goals, that he get clean, that he divorce the things which stand in the way of her marrying him, and that she should be able to put a ring on his finger and move into his home with him so that they can raise their children together.
One Good Woman
1. Katelyn Yu In spite of her many flaws and the fact that she is far from perfect, Kate is a good woman. She's a lover who puts others before herself, is loyal to the underdog and who protects those who need it the most. She may not be perfect, but she is good, and that's the foundation of the person she is.