On Hold…

I know I’ve been away for quite a while.  Life seems to get in the way of blogging.  The holidays get busier and crazier every year.  The main reason I’ve been absent however is that shortly after I completed my CPR certification (the very last thing I needed to complete for Step 3) DH told me he was having second thoughts about Fostering.

To be honest, I knew this was coming, but pretended that he’d come along once he knew he was the one holding up the process.   He hadn’t completed most of his portion of the paperwork or other items in order to move on in the process.  Maybe he was just too busy.  He didn’t want anyone knowing we were getting licensed.  I rationalized that he was just a private person and didn’t want everyone in our business.

Knowing my husband and not wanting to proceed if he is not willing, I’ve left him to his thoughts on the matter.  It has been difficult not bringing it up, but I don’t want to pressure him.  I’ve had many questions and doubts during the last couple of months.  Does this mean we aren’t going to adopt?  Is this God’s way of saying I’m following my plan not His?

Much to my own surprise, I’ve come to a place of acceptance.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up.  It’s become clear that I need to be content with the life I’ve been given and not spend my time whining and sulking about things not going at the pace or way I wanted.

I have been blessed with two healthy, beautiful, fun-loving children.  My husband loves me and provides for me in a way that allows me to have my dream job of being a SAHM.  Our home is safe and (mostly) happy.  God is an ever-present part of my life.

I’d appreciate prayers that I remain focused on God’s plan as I know he can and will do the rest.

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Foster License – Step 6

RAPT III class completed!  The day didn’t start out so well.  Hubby told the sitter to be at our house at 8:30am.  Sitter showed up just under 10 minutes late.  Unfortunately it takes a little over 30 minutes to get there and the class was set to start at 9am.  We made good time getting there as it was a Saturday and not much traffic.  However once we got the building all the doors were locked.  Hubby rang the buzzer, knocked on the window and we even turned the light switch on and off several times.  Finally an employee happened by and let us into the building.

The class itself went well.  It went over some more of the basic information that is required of a Foster Family.  Most of the other attendees were there to get license to help a family member and many were eager to share their story.  Because of this, the class ran a little long, but not too bad.

We were not given any further instructions, so I think all that remains for us to do is complete the pile of paperwork and additional activities.

Foster License – Step 5

Shortly after attending the RAPT 1 class, I received an email providing me with a link and directions on how to sign up for the RAPT 2, online course.  It’s completely online and can be paused or stopped as needed.  Throughout the day yesterday I worked on getting the course finished, and succeeded.  However, the certificate can not be issued and training hours logged until we have both completed the online hours.

Also in the above mentioned email, was a link to schedule the RAPT 3 class.  We are set to take this one in about a week and a half.  There are only two classes each month, so we were stuck with when they had one available.

Foster License – Step 4

The level 1 class was scheduled for 3 hours and both of us had to attend this as well.  Speaking honestly, both my husband and I assumed it would be boring and torturous.  The class began quite slowly and seemed to be exactly what we expected.  Thankfully it progressed somewhat quickly and was informative.  The staff distributed booklets to allow each family to follow along during the meeting and to reference at home if needed.  As a whole, the class opted to skip our breaks thereby cutting the time down to two and a half hours.  🙂

A lot of important and interesting information was provided and I’m glad we attended (not that we had a choice).

The next step would be 4 hours of online training.

Foster License – Step 3

This step will be drawn out a bit, so I’ll have to update you as it progresses by leaving a comment.

I went through the packet of documents and ‘extra’ activities required list that was given to us at the initial home visit and made a spreadsheet.  As I completed and scanned/emailed the document to the manager, I documented it on my sheet.  This serves two purposes.  One I will know what we have and have not completed and two I can make sure that the manager and I stay on the same page (I sent her the spreadsheet with my notes too). I’m not sure if she found it helpful or insulting.  LOL

Some items were pretty easy to gather and send it (ie car registrations and insurance), others we’re still working on.  All the quick easy items are sent in and confirmed that she has them.  The more extensive items are a work in progress.

I’ve had a few more items ready for a few weeks, but my scanner won’t work because I ran out of ink.  Hubby bought more ink, so I should be able to get those in to her in the next few days.  Should being the key word there!

Foster License – Step 2

See Foster License – Part 1

Once the papers provided at the information meeting, which include a general application and background check forms, to the assigned manager, the process has officially begun!  In our case, it took about 3 weeks to get a call saying that our background checks were successful and to schedule an initial home visit (not to be confused with a home study).

Since both spouses are required at the initial home visit, we scheduled our visit for an evening.  Our assigned manager came to our home for the visit.  She was reassuring that the initial visit was just to give us (and them) a general idea of the conditions the foster child(ren) would be living in.  They have requirements on the amount of space each child in foster care receives in a foster home.  We walked through our home looking at every room.  She made notes and comments (such as the need for medicine to be stored higher, each child needs their own bed, etc) as we went.

She asked us a few general questions and provided us with a packet of additional documentation to complete.  Within these papers were instructions on getting fingerprinted, CPR certified, and a few other ‘extra’ tasks we’d need to complete for licensing.  Just before she left we agreed on which of the available level 1 classes we’d like to sign up for and attend.

The level 1 class was scheduled for 3 hours and both of us had to attend this as well.

Foster License – Step 1

To initiate the process of obtaining your foster license in the state of IN you must first attend an information meeting.  This meeting lasts for about an hour and is rather informal.  They provide you with some broad ideas of what fostering is and is not.  You receive a few forms to fill out and are assigned your contact with their office.

In my own opinion, the information meeting is merely required to weed out people who think being a foster parent would be easy or wanting to do it just for the money.  While fostering does pay, it’s not a lot.  The staff also makes it very clear that potential foster families need to be stable (including having a little money left over at the end of the month).  I believe it’s important to also mention that only one adult in your household needs to go to the meeting; however all adults are required to complete forms which can then be faxed/emailed/mailed to the manager.

Once the papers provided at the information meeting, which include a general application and background check forms, to the assigned manager, the process has officially begun!  In our case, it took about 3 weeks to get a call saying that our background checks were successful and to schedule an initial home visit (not to be confused with a home study).

Before the journey began

A little background about before the journey began.

I had tried, unsuccessfully to deny my constant desire to add to our family through adoption.  Even as a child when thinking about what I wanted to be when I grow up, the first thing I’d think about was being a SAHM to at least 3 kids, some of whom would be adopted.  These thoughts subsided a bit as I grew and began my family, but I still maintained that I would like to adopt someday.

About 3 years ago my longing for adoption started growing again.  At one point I couldn’t see a baby without almost breaking into tears.  I wanted to grow my family, but my husband assured everyone we were done having children.

I cried myself to sleep several nights a week during this time.  My days were filled with begging, pleading, asking and praying to God about what His plan was for us in this regard.  At one point I was praying that He would just take the yearning from my heart if it wasn’t in His plan for me to add to our family.

I began seeing information about adoption and fostering everywhere I turned.  I convinced myself that I was just noticing it more because it was so heavy on my heart and mind.  Eventually I realized this was God telling me that He did intend for me learn more about adoption and fostering.  I began reading, researching, and attending any meetings I could informing people about all the options of adoption.

I wanted to adopt internationally.  God said no.

So I focused on domestic adoption (mostly, I was still trying to convince God to see things my way).  God again said no.

I was totally confused.  Why are You practically shoving adoption in my face when You keep saying no?  To say I was angry would have been a great understatement.  I let God know how unfair I thought it was that He would give me such a strong desire to help orphans and then not allow me to DO anything (I’m getting a little steamed just remembering it!).

Then I started seeing ads about fostering.  Talking to people and learning they have or are fostering.  Hearing people talk about helping children in foster care.  I knew that God wasn’t saying no to adding to my family.  He just had a different way of getting there.

Once I realized God’s plan was for us to foster (and I’m still hoping adopt through foster), I began praying that He would talk to my husband for me.  It took a bit more time, but He came through in a big way.  Hubby was on board (nervous, stressed, but ready to start the process)!