Well.. we completed our training! I have to say, getting a certificate with the words foster/adoption on them was really exciting. BUT it’s not our license.. so I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. The last day of training was by far our favorite, but we kind of expected that. In the morning the session was about going to court, and in the afternoon there was a panel of guests that are involved in the foster system and they all shared their stories with us.
I’m going to say it like it is: the morning session was completely overwhelming. It wasn’t like it was scary or too intimidating, there was just SO much information. Court is not something we necessarily have to go to. If we do not feel comfortable being there, we don’t have to go. Simple as that. However, most people working in the system recommend going because it gives you a better picture of the children that are in your home. Every parent that was on the panel in the afternoon had been to court.. and we have already decided that it was something we would be going to when the time comes. We want to be there when decisions are being made that will affect a child that we love. Anyway, our trainers had printed some example court documents so we could see what a permanency plans look like. It was a lot to take in.. and it was only one type of court hearing that we were talking about. There are SO many different types of hearings that we could experience while we foster. We are just hoping that it’s one of those things that you can learn as you go. Our trainers were really great at explaining everything, but it’s just a whole separate world and lingo that will take time to fully understand. I was having flashbacks to my college days when I had to study acronyms for hours so that I could one day be a part of the special education world. If I could make it through that – I’m confident I can learn this!
The afternoon – where do I start?! There was a panel of foster parents (and a teen in care) that came to share their stories. And man, were their stories amazing. Some married, some single. Some had recently been licensed, others had been licensed for years. All of them shared very different experiences – different ages (of children and parents), different schedules, different numbers of children they’ve had in their care, different lengths in stay, etc. But even though they were so different..a lot was the same. A lot of them spoke about love and progress. They ALL talked about how fostering now consumes them. There were many comments about how they are now “known” for things they never expected: being able to put together a bed in five minutes or less, driving a 15 passenger van, always having a new baby. Even though they were clear on how hard fostering can be, you could just tell they all loved it. And that it mattered. These people ARE making a difference for these children. Every day.
Since the training, this is what’s been happening:
- We decided to start praying about getting a bigger vehicle. We were sure we would both keep our cars (with no intention of having more than 2 kids at once – and that’s still our intention), but apparently that is what all these other foster parents told themselves too. Even if we have 2 children at once, a bigger vehicle would be nice to have. So because it wasn’t in our plans at all – we are just praying about it for now. We don’t feel rushed yet, but we know it is inevitable for our future.
- We met our home study worker! She seems great and she came for a short visit on Monday. Everything went well – and the biggest thing we need to do in our house (for now) is get a better lock for our cleaners and medicines. Easy enough.
- Next step is to set up a safety inspection, our lead paint test, and our interviews. We will be interviewed for 2-3 hours individually. Our home study worker assured us it was nothing to be worried about, but that it does get really personal really quickly. Oh and… there is more paperwork.
- We were told on our last day of training that it should still be about 2-3 months before we get licensed. My husband and I have this ongoing joke (..but not really a joke) about wanting to be licensed before a crab feast they are having for foster parents in May. While our trainers and home study worker know we are joking, they have all said, “well it might happen..” So fingers crossed! because even though I do love a good crab feast, quicker licensing means baby snuggles sooner.
- In other news, being who I am.. I managed to drown my cell phone AND lock myself out of facebook (such a long story) all in the same day. So if you have tried to contact me since Monday afternoon, I’m sorry that I haven’t responded. Please feel free to email me if you need me! Life without a phone has been good in a lot of ways but fortunately it is going to replaced soon. Oh and if I happened to ask for your address Monday.. please email it to me! I am so annoying and I know that, but my phone hit the water before I was able to write all the addresses down.
As always.. thanks for reading and being a part of our journey!