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).

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My decision to home school

The decision to home school (or choose public or private school) is a deeply personal choice and should not be taken lightly or be a choice made out of guilt.  Every family is different and each should make their own decision based on what is best for their unique needs and desires.  We should all try to respect others’ decisions and not make judgements.

When our daughter, “K”, was getting ready to turn 3 we signed her up for preschool at a local church two days a week.  She loved it and was doing quite well, so the next year she stayed at the same school and attended the Pre-K class.  This was 3 days a week for half day.  Again she loved it, but was more than ready to leave by the time school ended.

Most schools in the area were offering only full day Kindergarten.  That meant 5 days a week, full day.  I really didn’t think she would be ready for that emotionally.  After much research I narrowed our choices down to two options, Public school (who at the last moment decided to offer both full and half day) or a hybrid charter school.  Both offered half day Kindergarten.  However the date for the age cutoff for entering Kindergarten had been changed.  We now had to have K evaluated to be in Kindergarten at all.  In the end, we chose Hoosier Academies hybrid program.

A few reasons for our choice follow.

  • K would often fall asleep on the 7 minute ride home from school.  If she didn’t nap in the car, she exhibited less than angelic behavior at home.
  • Her teachers told me she often asked when school was over during the last hour of class.
  • K does not like to sit and even when she sits, she still wiggles around a lot.  Even at dinner, she sits on the edge of her chair with one leg on the floor.
  • She asks a LOT of questions.  More than her fair share.  I didn’t want her getting in trouble in school for asking too many questions, but I also didn’t want her to learn (by necessity) that she couldn’t ask any question.  I love her curiosity.
  • I wanted to be involved in her learning.  At the time, that just meant having a good understanding of what she was doing during the time she was away from me.  Was she struggling or excelling with an area?  Was she well-behaved?  In what ways could I help her?
  • I missed her while she was gone!  It’s a very selfish reason, but it definitely played into my decision.
  • HA takes care of all record keeping.  Testing, grades, transcripts, etc are all handled by them.  All I do is make sure she gets the lessons completed.

K is now in 2nd grade with HA and we are still happy with our choice.

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)!