Category Archives: foster care
We have been contacted by our foster care licensing specialists and completed our mounds of paperwork required to transition into fostering.
We have an added household member who now needs to get fingerprinted, etc… in preparation for children coming into the home.
We have completed our household preparation checklist, which includes safeguarding medications, adult beverages, weapons, or anything else needed to be out of the reach of kiddos. We have put locks on cabinets and outlet covers are in place. We have created and posted our emergency evacuation plan.
It is really ironic how much you do to become a foster or adoptive parent, beyond what people do who have children naturally. I can’t imagine any of our parents or friends creating a emergency evacuation plan and posting it in the house. I understand the purpose for great need for safety and the trust that will be put in us caring for others children if and when we are approved as foster parents.
Now we are waiting our the state inspection of our home, which will include checking for all of the safeguarding, checking our water temperature, making sure there are no hazards and we have indeed appropriately prepared our home for children.
Our new foster licensing specialist will be coming to the house to inspect and meet us as well as all our communication so far has been via phone or email.
Not sure how long the process will take with the holidays approaching. Hoping everything goes smoothly.
Funny. I haven’t posted in a year and now 2 posts in two days??? WOW!!! I wanted the update and the new plan to be two different posts because one was kind of where we’ve been and the other is where we are going. This one is kind of a long one but well worth the read!
When we originally started towards the process of adopting through the foster care system in October 2010. We were discussing with our licensing specialist about fostering, foster to adopt, and adopting, what the differences were, and how we should move forward.
Fostering: Bringing children into your home with the purpose of caring and loving the them, while their family has the opportunity to meet certain requirements for the them to return home. The initial goal is always for the kids to return home or be placed with a family member if unable to go back to birth parents. If family is unable to take the child, the foster parents have first option to adopt the child. If the foster parents do not choose to adopt, the child is placed on the adoption registry. This type of placement has a lot of unknowns and there is a high likelihood for reunification and having a multitude of placements before we might be able to adopt.
Foster to Adopt: In this stage, the foster parents are not planning on adopting the child and the case plan for the child is moving for adoption. The parental rights have not been severed yet, but reunification is unlikely. CPS will work through the process of red file staffing and choosing an adoptive family for the child to be placed with. With this placement type, there is less chance of the child returning home, however it is still an option. Also, family members could be located who will take the child and you still might lose the placement and not get to adopt this child.
Adoption: This type of placement occurs when the parental rights are already severed and the case plan is adoption. The foster parents are not adopting, an adoptive family is selected and the child is placed with them. This is the safest route with the smallest chance of not being able to adopt the child.
Initially, we were planning on fostering with the hopes of adopting children one day who came into our home and were unable to reunite with their birth family. Being supportive of our ultimate goal of adoption, our licensing specialist encouraged us to start with adoption or foster to adopt. We really wanted to add to our family as soon as possible and were willing to take the extra risk and chose Foster to Adopt as the placement type we would accept.
From the Decision to Now: The Process & Events
We have been on the adoption registry for two and a half years now and do not have children in our home yet. We have had a potential foster to adopt and a private adoption fall through in this timeframe. We have also had one little girl we were contacted about but not chosen for the red file staffing. And another child we were contacted about that we were chosen for the red file staffing but we felt the needs were beyond what we were capable of and the child needed a true stay at home parent who didn’t work.
When preparing to decide if we were going to renew our adoption certificate this year, we had many lengthy discussions about our future and plans, being in limbo, frustration, and discouragement. We have love to give and want to experience the joy of parenting. After previous disappointments we weren’t sure how much more we can handle.
Limbo is an awful place in between setting out on a mission and achieving the desired result. When reaching your goal is out of your control and your life is in someone else’s hands, it can be maddening! I have been taught lesson after lesson through the process of infertility, pregnancy loss, feeling like my body is failing me and I am failing my husband, and potential adoptions not working out.
Patience is something I have been tested with over and over again, as well as releasing things, trusting in God and believing there is a plan for my life even when it seems impossible. Sometimes I would really love a flashing neon sign showing me the plan and explaining why the road has to be so rough, however I do believe everything happens for a reason. Ultimately we have learned we are an amazing, strong people and our relationship has grown and blossomed. In August, our plan became not to renew our certificate, to let our current one run out and that would be it. We were disappointed and did not feel we would receive an adoption placement for our preferred age range but didn’t feel changing our parameters was the right thing to do. We have aired on the side of the cautious one, not pushing each other into anything. I was very unsettled with this decision. I was crying every day and not ready to accept I would never be a parent.
For quite some time I have felt called to fostering but have been resistant because I wanted less risk and more certainty. I was feeling particularly distraught one day and while online I searched for a church I had been to a long time ago. I found the website and I watched some sermons online. I was having a crisis of faith and truly was seeking help, guidance, or comfort with our decision and decided to go to church the next day. A friendly woman sat next to me. After the service she talked with me, said God told her she was to sit next to me, she asked questions, I cried, and she prayed with me. Later she introduced me to a member who is currently fostering. Both ladies offered support and encouragement and I felt comfortable and loved (even after crying in front of strangers). When I got home, we had another difficult conversation where I expressed I was not done or ready to accept I would not be a parent and believed we were called to foster. We decided to renew our adoption certificate at this time but could not come to agreement on fostering.
The unknown’s of fostering when you are hoping to adopt can be challenging. In the process we could have the opportunity to bless multiple children and enjoy parenting even if it is for a short time. But also know we may be faced with reunifying multiple children and not have the opportunity to adopt arise. When we went notarize our adoption paperwork, the notary who signed our paper last year talked to us about how he is fostering and now adopting a foster child. He discussed his experiences, providing encouragement and answered questions. It multiple ways, God was leading us towards what I already felt called to do.
We have decided to move towards fostering at this time. We have completed the classes we needed but still have additional paperwork and an inspection to pass before approved. We are both excited and nervous about our new path, and are hopeful it will lead to adoption one day. We know our family and friends share in the roller coaster ride of building our family and hope to receive the continued support of our loved ones on this new journey.
J & M
Getting up to speed….
A year ago now we were preparing and amping up for a private adoption. We were overjoyed and so excited as we were about three weeks away from the birth of little boy we believed would be our son. Unfortunately, the birth mom changed her mind two weeks before the baby was born and wanted a family member to have him. It was devastating for us. We have so much love to share and are faced with disappointment after disappointment!
I truly believe God has a plan for each and every one of us and everything happens for a reason. However, wish when things are really tough, you could get a memo explaining some of these reasons. Each challenge and disappointment has made us stronger. We are definitely hoping to still grow our family. We are ever so grateful for the love and support of all of our family and friends who have been encouraging and helpful when things are really tough.
the good: becoming parents to children we have been praying and longing for, for a long time, fulfilling a dream, expanding our family to have more than furry babies
the bad: for children to be in the foster care system something bad has to have happened to them. This is sad and something we will have to work through with the children we adopt.
the ugly: waiting, praying for a child to adopt through the foster care system is tough. I feel guilty sometimes. As a nurse, what I compare it to is someone who is waiting on an organ transplant list for someone to die for them to get the organ they need to live. While I don’t need to be a parent to live, it still feels like I am waiting for someone to screw up or fail so I can be a mother.
Deep down I know people make mistakes and this is out of my control. I can be challenging though to think we will be benefiting from it. This is one way I feel foster care adoption is different from private adoption. With private adoption the parents are choosing to give up their children.
I am not feeling discouraged, just thoughtful about all of the parties involved. I’m feeling the need to pray for our future children and their families.