On Saturday we had our third meeting for foster care. In the steps it was classes four and five because of our accelerated meeting rate. Saturday mornings from our house in western Goodyear to the eastern part of Mesa takes about three quarters of an hour of driving, we always seem to think it is twice as far so we started the morning about forty five minutes early. Better early then late because at some point we would be on time by being early, but if we were late we would always be late.
Once we decided to go into the meeting building and walked around to our room. One of the presenters came around to us and told us that she would “be our worker”. “Being our worker” is relatively new idea for us but this means she will be the person who interviews us. She will be the person who comes to our house to check to see if is ready for the state to complete a home inspection. She will be the person to call us with a precious little one to join our home. We found out that she would be doing her interviews in November, but we do not have specific dates as of yet because of the newness of the assignment. Hopefully, we will find out this information during this upcoming week or maybe next weekend. She also said that she could contact the state if we felt that our home was ready for the state to complete its inspection. Which means we could be doing her interviews and the state inspections at the same time… one does not have be done in order for the other one to happen.
The two class topics were content heavy; lots and lots of information to take in. In class we use case studies of the same children that were introduced In the first session and as the class sessions go on the children’s behaviors continue to develop, much like a child would. The content is good and the evolving concepts are important to discuss and put into the context of child care.
On our way home from our session we decided to get a few things need for our home inspection. We bought a tool box that had a lock loop on it. The state of Arizona requires foster parents to lock up all medications including vitamins and $7 tool box with a $1 lock is much better than anything else that we could find. We also bought a Sesame Street slip resistant item for the bath tub. Again lots of items to choose from, but this seemed to be the most inviting and gender neutral of the mats that the store had to offer. A third item that we picked up is not a requirement, but we thought it is a must have and that is a mattress cover. Sometime today or in the early week we are going to do a self-check of the house against the state’s check list and most likely contact our “worker” to ask her to set up a time that a person can come from the state to our house.
To come… weeks 4, 5 and 6 of classes; home study (which we have not been scheduled for – but should be some time very soon); welcoming to parenting party, placement and the life with helping to raise a child/some children. Thanks for taking your time to read and for all of the continued support.
Today is our third class in becoming licensed to be foster parents. In the last two weeks (we did not post after last week’s class) there has not been a lot of outward shows of movement. It has been familiar like the ebb and flow of so many other months in the last almost eight years. It feels very much like the “hurry up and wait” of the past.
We have had a few inward pieces of progress; the first of which has been in finding a suitable location for child care. Earlier in the process we had made a decision to go to one place however that location does not meet the DES requirements which sent us back to the drawing board. Because we are more like casual onlookers into the foster world then the full throttle ones we drew upon finding another place to the ways we knew how; you guessed it first a Google search. We found lots and lots of places but every time we would research a bit further they all did not meet the needs that we have. Finally the good old fashioned phone coupled with a lucky Google search led us to two very good possibilities both close to the path to or from work. Some time in our future we want to go to tour the facilities in person, maybe one un-booked Sunday in the next few weeks.
A second glimpse of inward progress came last weekend after class. We took some time together to reconnect. Sure we do lots of things together and do not have lots of non-work related time apart. On Sunday we had some good old fashioned bonding time. Somewhere in the middle of all of that togetherness we thought of how special it is going to be in just a few short weeks to have another person in our home. Home will feel different, but during that time that we were together we remembered how the different is something that we have been working towards.
The Saturday before last (which was the last time we posted) we ventured over to mom’s house to conquer another inward planning side of making ourselves ready. This is more for the physical needs of preparing a home for children. All of the things that a foster child needs as they are coming to a new place to live with different people. In class, the presenters talk all about the importance of having a few comfort things. Show the kids around, make sure they know they are safe and give them a chance to explore. Because we have never been parents before we do not have all of the things that a parent would have had. None of the toys, or the cloths or the diapers or the furniture or any other the other things that a parenting unit might have. More over we do not really know the age or the sex of the child/children that will be living with us. The typical thing for new parents to do is to have a “baby shower”. After lots of brainstorming and debate we have decided to have a “welcome to parenting party” even though we know that some feel this is some sign of greed. Everyone will have their own opinion of our choice but for those of you who have followed our journey can see that it is just another piece of our puzzle.
Today, like last Saturday and the Saturday before that we will drive to Mesa (which sounds like an outward sign). This drive already feels like routine. Already feels like the high and lows of a reproductive cycle. Just the thing that we do in the normal way and flow of trying to be parents. For almost eight years we have found some much normalcy in going through that cycle. One difference between this circle and the others in the past is the closeness that we now feel to finding an outcome of something other than a BFN.
To come… weeks 3, 4 and 5 of classes; home study (which we have not been scheduled for); welcoming to parenting party, placement and the life with helping to raise a child/some children.
The foster class that we attended was in the far eastern part of Mesa. We drove and arrived early. The mutigenerational center that they have the classes in is an awesone idea because of the many many uses that it could have.
We were in “class 3”. There were about 26 of us plus 2 presenters. The first 2 hours of class the presenters went over the nuts and bolts of the foster system in Arizona. They talked about those involved including the children, the courts, CPS, birth parents and the foster parents. Lots and lots of information about the ins and outs of the the program. The first part of class up to lunch really was like an orientation.
After lunch was served we did a quick ice breaker where some people were given foster parent cards and others were given foster children cards. We found our matching pair and then introduced our partner to the group. The second part of the class was much more interactive. We looked at things that would leed one to be placed in foster care, feelings and then behaviors. This led to lots of interaction and a better understanding that even though it is the intention to have as much information as possible, most likely a foster parent will be having to identify as they go along. Once we completed this activity we were given a case study and a list of questions that we talked through as a group.
In all we both felt energized by moving forward. It is going to be a good group. The day was a long process, but at the end we will go through the whole curriculm in about 5 less weeks.
More to come later in the weekend when there is more time. Today we completed the first of 6 sessions to be licenced. Lots and lots of information. Good class and the presenters keep the information flowing at a good rate. We are both much more energized about the process after todays first class. Sill lots more to learn and do. Specifics of the session to follow later tonight or tomorrow. Have a great day.
Yesterday in the AM we decided to go togethger to knock out the fews things we have remaining on our list of things to do. First step??? Get a notary so we headed to the first place we could think of to get this done… yep you guessed it our insurance provider. An added bonus to getting our criminal history page noterized was getting to cautch up with a friend from the past. Always a great expereince getting to see those that we do not get to see nearly as much as we once did. We are very greatful for the service that was provided and some wonderful conversation to go on top of it.
One retorical question … Why ask so very many specific questions? Since we can both say “no I have not been charged, suspected of or convicted of a crime” why can’t there be a single box that we check to to skip the 5 pages of boxes to marked. Oh well either way “check” done with that.
After that we sought out a doctor or someone who is qualified to fill out our health surveys. The person at the foster agency said we could visit those “minute clinics” inside of our local drug store. The one that was closest to our house did not have a clinic so they sent us down the road. We went in and signed us both up on their automated computer system (which is supposed to be easier) to find out this local drug store no longer does this type of screening. Ah new news to give the foster agency, do not send clients their way. So…. we did not want to give up there which led us to find a third (non affiliated) small in grocery store clinic. Instead of going into the clinic we called to make sure they did the screening — they do — but one more thing “your insurnce doess not cover the paperwork filling out so the visit will be out of pocket”. This information led us to call our local doctor of 5 years ago who gave us an appointment for Friday morning with just a co-pay due. The good news in the end is we will be able to get this checked off our list of things to do. Now we know for other future foster care seekers that certain places do not provide services, others cannot charge insurances but sometimes one can find a places that will do it just right.
After I post this post this morning I plan on making photo copies of our marriage licence, drivers licenses, CPR certs, and pet vaccine records. Tomorrow we start our foster care linsure classes
In 26 days we will have been married for 8 years. This means in less that 4 weeks we will have been trying to conceive one way or another for 8 full years. It has been more than 10 full months since we decided to go the most aggressive route we could. It has been a few days short of 5 weeks since implantation of our four embryos. And 22 days since we found out that they did not take… A long line of BFNs.
On Saturday we go for our first foster licensure class which will extend past our anniversary to the middle of November. We have gotten all of that pesky paperwork we can do without anyone else done (still have a doctors visit and a nitery sheet to fill out). With all of these facts, it has never seemed more real that we are so close to having the chance to share our love with another little one. It is kinda like we have made the boarder of the puzzle complete and now it is time to find out what the inside of the puzzle will look like.
Thanks for reading. We hope to post something about how the class goes latter this weekend.
This morning We sat down for our second crack at filling out the paperwork for becoming foster parents. In about three hours worth of writing (both of us on different forms) we now only have about 8 more things to fill out. The paperwork process is in-depth and inclusive which it should be.
Since our last post Conversations, nothing much has come from that lead. It seems that even though it might be the desire of the family to have us adopt we are still far on the outside because of? paperwork. Family members of the child have until mid November to come forward to adopt. If no family comes forward then the stoat will take custody. There is no step for friends of the family to step in and because we have not filled out the UT state paperwork we will not be considered. All of which is in the name of protecting the child.
Preparing our home and household for the AZ foster process we will need all follow their paperwork guidelines. We are on our way with things like smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, places to sleep, but still need to get locks for hazardous materials and slip resistant shower area. They also suggest having things like a car seat, clothing and toys with a wide range of ages (well 0 to 7) which should be non gender specific.
Next Saturday will be our very first class for the licensing to be foster parents. 6 classes in all putting our last class in mid November. We plan/hope to have all of the paperwork we need to have completed by this fist day so we can schedule our home visit. It sounds like that visit will consist of a review/tour of our home to make sure it meets all of the requirements, separate and together interviews of the two of us. Still trying to piece all of the process together. We want to be done with everything that they are asking from us by the start of the classes so that the agency sees we are serious about the process and so we can have as little down time as possible.