Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So far...

When we decided to pursue foster to adopt at the end of November, I called and requested the application packet and we attended an info session to find out more about the process and requirements.

The packet is pretty intense and we are still trying to get organized with that. It’s a bit overwhelming. We have to complete a really long personal history form with lots of questions about how we were raised and our plans on raising children. This is what I am most struggling with. When you give birth to a child you don’t have to articulate all of your rules, how you will discipline, what values you plan to instill in them, etc. And especially not months before they are even born! And since we don’t already have children, it is very challenging to imagine how we will handle some things down the road.

Some other things that are required include a background check with finger printing, a TB test, fire evacuation plan and financial review. We had to take a 30 hour class, called PRIDE Pre-Service training and a CPR/First Aid class. Once all that is complete we can turn in our paperwork, which must be turned in all at once. I think we are still a couple months away from having that ready to go.

After the paperwork is complete they will do a home study where a licensure comes out to make sure we are in compliance with all the minimum requirements. These can vary depending on what age group we wanted to be licensed for. We are interested in infants, but would be willing to take a sibling up to 2 years old as well.

The class we just finished was the Pre-Service training. It is an intense 30 hour class that we took over 2 weekends. Our instructor was fabulous. He was a social worker for DCF prior to becoming a trainer. His knowledge on the system and the psychology of children that have abuse/neglect backgrounds was incredible. I could have listed to him for weeks. I’m hoping to take more classes with him in the future.

They covered a broad range of topics like anger/pain, grief, discipline, attachment, sexual abuse as well as prepared us for visitations and having relationships with birth parents. A lot of what was talked about in relation to behavior was invaluable and I couldn’t help but think that all parents should take a class like this. I could see on the faces of our classmates with children that they wished they had learned some of these things while their kids were young. So, I feel fortunate to have had this experience. I think it will help us if we are able to have bio-children too.

The thing that has most impressed me about this process so far is the amount of support in the foster-parent community. I always expected them to just through us to the wolves and we’d be on our own. But that’s really not the case. They encourage you to make friends with other foster-parents and have support groups that meet on a regular basis. They provide respite care to all foster-parents so they can take time off. And there are organizations that provide support in various forms. A very unique community and we are really looking forward to being a part of it.


  1. Sounds like you have a lot on at the moment with this and the pending IUI. The fostering course sounds like a fascinating experience

  2. Lea, I agree--think everyone should be REQUIRED to take parenting classes. Everyone has room for improvement. But what you mentioned in the beginning is a huge sore point for me: how friggin' unjust it is that any ol' high school crack whore can get knocked up by blinking at their pimp and is not required to jump thru any parenting hoops. Wait. Did I do too much paraphrasing there?

  3. Lea, all I can say is boy do I relate. The autobiography questions were just too much. As I've said, as invasive as fertility treatments are physically, adoption is just as invasive personally. I read the questions, thought about answers, wrote answers, then by the time I was re-writing them on the application, the personal-ness of them was worn off. Be honest, be yourself, and don't worry about what the "right" answer is.

  4. Wow....All parents need this information really. I remember when they sent me home from the hospital with baby Chance, I thought, "I have no idea what to do with this baby!" And I was 26! Imagine being like 14! Really....the classes will make you a better parent, whichever way you go. I am rooting for you!