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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cancelled appointments, a home visit & a stank eye

Last Wednesday (17th) was when our first home visit was scheduled.  I had worked all weekend on cleaning the house (knowing that they were not concerned with spotless, yet away I cleaned), and saved mopping the floors for the day of.  I had sent Graham out for lunch, and had literally just finished mopping when he got back with disappointing news.  The home visit had been rescheduled. I couldn't be too upset, because they were busy trying to find a foster home for kids that had just been brought into the office.  But still.  I was a tiny bit disappointed.  So we rescheduled for two days later on Friday afternoon.

Friday afternoon arrived.  And it was raining.  On the way home from work, the rain increased from a light drizzle to a straight up downpour.  I'm pretty sure at one point I looked to the heavens and gave God the "stank eye".  All I could think about was that now our social worker would hurry inside, not noticing the freshly manicured landscaping we had labored on.  Or that the dogs would be staring through the door, wet and muddy, forlornly gazing at us and making us look terrible (even though they have shelter from the rain!).  I was having a selfish day, to say the least.  And so you know what happened?  I came home, did some last minute cleaning, fixed my hair & makeup, changed clothes....and waited.  Graham came home early from work and so we sat, staring out the front window (it had stopped raining at this point), waiting on our social worker to arrive.  Thirty minutes past time, and still she wasn't here.  Eventually we were able to get in touch with her, to find out the same thing had happened.  No rescheduling at this point.

Monday evening we had our Week 5 class, which was on discipline.  We rescheduled for this past Wednesday (24th).  Our social worker made it this time, checked our house, chatted a bit and asked questions, and that was it!  Simple and painless :)

We did, however, get a slight timeline.  After our class ends in October, our social worker will have a final visit to our home to ask more questions, and then she will write up our file/report.  This can take up to 60 days.  After that, she sends all our information to the state office, where they will make the final approval.  We don't know how long that will take, but once we are approved, we can then move forward with looking for a child/children!

Looking back over the past two weeks, I'm glad that there were delays.  Lots of things were tested: my patience, my need for control and a plan, my selfish desires.  This process has brought up so many emotions and provided lots of self reflection.



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Friday, September 19, 2014

What's this process like...

The question of the week has been, "What's this process like?"

I'm so glad we have so many people interested in our adoption and everything that comes along with it. For those of you that would like to know where we go from here, sit back, eat a cookie or two or five, and read on.

This past Monday was our fourth class out of ten.  We have a GPS (Group Preparation and Selection)  class once a week, where we learn parenting skills, why children are in foster care, and how we can form attachments with our children.

During this ten week process, we will also have at least one home visit and some interviews, just to make sure we aren't crazy people.  Once the ten weeks are up (this ends October 27th), we will be approved to adopt and can then begin to really move forward.  If we haven't selected a child to request information on by then, they will give us profiles to review based on the type of children we are looking for.  We will then submit our profile to the child/children's social worker, who will be the one to decide if we are a good match for that child.  If so, we get to meet the child/children, and if everything goes well, begin the process to adopt them. Confused yet? Eat another cookie; that always helps :)

Some have asked if we are adopting a baby, and more than likely we will not.  We have put our age range as birth through ten, but most of the children available are near the older end.  We also are willing to accept siblings.  If we find a single child that is meant for us, then we will most likely adopt a second at a later date.

We also decided that we only want to pursue legally free children.  This means that their biological parents' rights have been terminated.  To have come to that point, the parents (if the child was removed from their care)  have had a little over a year to basically get their crap together, and if they fail to do this, then they lose the rights to their child.

I came across this quote the other day on Pinterest, and teared up a little.  All those months that I was trying to talk myself out of pursuing adoption, my child was watching his/her family fall apart.



 If adoption or foster care is tugging at your heart, talk to a friend, do some research, and go for it.  Lives will be changed and hearts will be healed.
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

We're Adopting!!!

Surprise!  Graham and I have begun the process to adopt from within the foster care system!


We have FINALLY told our families, so we can make the news public. All I can say is, this is such a relief! It's been difficult keeping the news from everyone, not only because of our own excitement over it, but also because of the difficulty of hiding the time spent at our GPS classes and the stacks of paperwork.

To say that we have a lot of paperwork is an understatement. My fellow adoptive/foster parents know perfectly well that just when you think you are done filling out forms, another stack appears. I'm sure domestic is not nearly as complicated as it is for those going the overseas route though!

Our adoption journey actually began around Christmas. We had met a few couples from church, one of which had just adopted three children from Ukraine. Adoption had been lurking in the back of my mind for some time, but I kept pushing it aside. I felt that if we were able to have biological children, why should we adopt? Wouldn't people think we were crazy for CHOOSING to adopt rather than have a baby? So I continued to ignore the adoption thoughts.




Several months went by before I finally got the courage to bring up the subject to Graham. I use the word courage because I'm an avoider. I avoid serious, embarrassing, emotional or any other uncomfortable conversations like the plague. Sooooo, one day I just blurted everything out. And you know what? It wasn't that bad! And he was actually excited about it!

And then we waited some more.....

Months went by, something always "coming up" or us making excuses. I spent most of that time Facebook messaging an old friend (who had also adopted), asking her tons of questions so that I could be as prepared as possible. She actually was the push that I needed for us to submit an inquiry, fill out the application, and sign up for our training class (literally a week before it started!).



So here we are, a few days away from our fourth of ten training classes, up to our eyeballs in paperwork and about to have our home study (let the cleaning BEGIN!). This whole process has been about as far out of my comfort zone as possible. At our classes, I've had to speak in front of a group of people, act in a skit, and do group activities. Everything about that scares me to death.  But it's worth it. We're learning so much about parenting children that have come from foster care. Their little lives have been filled with disappointment, with loss, with pain and sadness. Through these classes, we're learning how to help them, how to counsel them, and that we're not alone.









When I said before that we chose to adopt, what I should have said was that adoption chose us. It slowly worked its way into our minds, and even though I fought it, God worked it into our hearts.




Photos by my lovely friend Haley at: www.photosbyheart.com

Thanks to Jessica for answering so many questions!
Thanks to Prudence for inspiring us when you didn't even know it. Follow her blog and learn about their newest adoption journey at:  www.blissfulfrenzy.com







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