Orientation went great last night. It had a differnt effect on Andrew then it did on me. We went to DFCS at 4:30 for our meeting. Ms. Moore was sick so we met with the other case worker. She was so nice! I really liked her. She was honest but still encouraging. She went over the basics of the adoption process and told us what steps we will need to take. It is going to be an intense month for us! The first thing we have to do is go get our fingerprints at the police station and then bring the cards back to the DFCS office. This is so they can run a background check and make sure we are who we say we are. So we will be doing that this week. I am also going to set up our doctor appointments. We have to have a physical done and have the doctor sign a form stating that he feels we are capible of raising a child. How funny is it that we are having to do all of this while other people can just have children whenever they want?!? But I totally understand. They are choosing to place a child with us and the primary concern is the child's wellbeing. So I am totally ok with jumping through any hoops required.
Once we turn in our fingerprint cards we will get a letter inviting us to attend the IMPACT classes which start on September 8th. The first class will go over the detail of why children come into care and other parts of the foster and adoption process. We will get a HUGE packet of forms that we will have to fill out. And when I say huge, I really mean huge! We will basically be writing our life story along with answering every imaginable question about our relationship with eachother as well as with the other people in our life. There will also be many forms that we need to obtain to turn in; birth certificates, marriage license, septic and well certificates, etc. So I am going to start working on rounding all of that up this week and early next week so we will be ready to turn it all in. I plan on filling out that HUGE packet as soon as we get it.
There are two caseworkers for our class and so far, they have both been so nice. One of them has been working there for over 36 years. That's amazing considering the turn-over rate for case workers. They told us last night that the first ones to turn in their green sheet in the packet are the first ones to get their homestudy started, we want that to be us! So the night of September 8th will consist of Andrew and I sitting at our dining room table writing our life out on a green sheet of paper! Lucky Andrew!
We asked about how long the process would take. She really couldn't tell us for sure. A lot of it will depend on how quickly we move. It will take about 3 weeks for our homestudy to be completed and then it will need to be approved. She said that would bring us to December. They don't really move any children during the holidays unless it is an emergency so we are probably looking at the new year before we get a placement call. That's ok with us. We will just enjoy this holiday season with the hopes that it will be our last one without children.
She told us that there are not many babies that are placed for adoption. Faith Hope told us that they would say this so it didn't really phase me. Plus, I'm ok with the child being a toddler. We won't know until we get a call. When we start getting placement calls, it will still be up to us if we feel led to that child or if we want to keep waiting for a younger child. She said that chances are that someone in our class will be placed with a baby, she just didn't know if it would be us or not. I hope it is!
The reason that it is difficult to get a baby is that we are only going to do "foster to adopt" placements. This means that the children that we will get calls for will have over an 80% chance that they will be available for adoption. It usually takes about a year for them to determine weither or not they are going to terminate the parents rights. It makes it harder to place a child with us, but it also will help cut down on the heartbreak of getting attached to a child and then having it returned to it's parents. We have to remember that DFCS primary goal is the child's best interest, and sometimes that means going home to their birthparents. But I am fully confident that God will lead us to the child we are meant to parent.
We are hoping that I will be able to stay home at some point with the child. I feel that this is the calling that I have on my life. We will just have to see what God has in store and keep our eyes open for opportunity.
After the meeting, Andrew was a little unsure if this was the route we want to take. They were very honest that they are looking for families for their children, not children for our family. The child comes first. He just doesn't want me to get hurt. But we talk a lot last night and decided that we know what we are getting into and we are ready.
I know it would be difficult to have to return a child after it lives with us, but I have the mindset that I want to help the kids. I want what's best for them.
I am ready and going into this with my eyes WIDE open. I am ready!