Monday, August 8, 2011

And . . . we're off!

Although our family profile is still on file with an adoption attorney, it was full steam ahead towards foster parenting. We went through the hours of initial training. We submitted fingerprints for background checks. We handed over copies of our marriage certificate, our tax returns, and our financial records. We went through medical exams and drug tests. We got letters from the pediatrician and the vet stating that our children and animals were in good health. We submitted letters of reference from employers, friends and family members. We answered questions about our childhood, our parenting philosophies, our activities, and our marital relationship. And finally, someone came out to examine the house and talk with us about our fire safety plan, where our medicines and alcohol were kept, and which rooms would be used by the foster children. At the end of that visit, we were told we would get a letter stating our approval for up to 3 related children, ages 0-7; soon after that we would be called if there were children needing placement for whom our home was a good fit.

The day after her visit, the first call came. R was an "active" 6 year old boy and A was a 3 year old girl who the case worker described as "a pistol." They had been in foster care before, but the former family was no longer fostering, due to a change in the husband's work schedule. It would probably be a somewhat long-term placement, since it wasn't the first time they'd been taken into care. They were currently with a short-term care family, but needed somewhere they could stay as long as they needed to. Would we take them in?

We weren't ready, but we didn't have a good reason to say no. We took a collective deep breath, then asked if we could wait til the next day for them to arrive, so we could go get a few things we needed. Mr D took the day off work, so we were both home when R and A arrived around 9 in the morning.

Since they had been in care before, there was already a network of people who knew these children. One of them brought us dinner for the first night and visited with the children a little bit. She was able to tell us a little bit about their history and gave us the former foster family's phone number. School was still in session, so most of the day it was just Mr D and I and two new kids.

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