Hey there! Thanks for following along. I left off with us starting our journey with Monroe Harding.
Once we decided Monroe Harding was the place for us, the paperwork began. One of the biggest things I need to stress is yes there is a lot of paper work and every single piece WILL BE WORTH IT. Yes, you are going to get annoyed and want to stop filling out paper after paper, but then you’ll have that moment when you realize a kid needs you, and you’ll push through.
Your first step is of course the phone call. Calling in was nerve racking because in a previous post I told you all what happened last time we attempted this journey, so we were preparing ourselves for another disappointment. However, when calling Monroe Harding I got a completely different experience. The lady on the phone, Roz, had a smile in her voice and was ready to answer all my questions. Even the hard ones. I believe we spent an hour on the phone just going over the process and the details. At the end, we scheduled an appointment for our test to ensure we were fit to work with kids who have been through trauma. There is a special name for this test, but for me I call it the “shocker exam”.
So this exam, the Diana Screen® asks a series of questions that helps identify applicants who fail to recognize sexual boundaries between adults and children. The answers you think would be common sense, but then you read the questions and think this is being asked because someone has actually done this! This test WILL take your breath away at moments and maybe even question your faith in humanity, but you’ll survive it, I promise. Truthfully though, it is terrible to think what these kids go through, and it will reassure you as to why you’re needed. After the test, which took about 30 minutes, we were told it would probably be a day or two until we had our results.
After we took the test, we began to chit chat and just talked with Roz about why we wanted to be parents. We discussed our struggles to get pregnant and why we chose foster care and our plans for our foster care journey. During this time, God was once again working to ensure we knew that we were on His path. As we were leaving Monroe Harding, a staff member walked by and hands Roz a paper and says “wouldn’t it be funny if these were your results…” And they were! We had our results back in 30 minutes and yes, we passed or I wouldn’t be writing this now.
Prepare yourself: the home study experience is the most awkward interview you’ll ever have. When you go into a job interview, they ask you about your work and you can brag about how awesome you are. In a home study interview, they ask you about how often you talk to your mom and what your financial situation is. Secrets will not be secrets! It’s kind of like inviting a little private investigator into your home, but it makes sense because they want to know as much as they can to help place children with the right parents. Yes, it can be uncomfortable telling someone you don’t all about your personal life, but the major positive is how much you bond with your foster care team – Roz and I now have a friendship that is awesome. She is there to answer questions at the drop of a hat. I feel more confident just knowing that.
Can we talk about THE LIST for a second? To prepare the house for a child, the list looks three miles long and you think, “Oh my God, I’m never going to get everything on the list!” The good news is, not everything has to be done by the first home visit. Roz and Monroe Harding helped us find what we needed and answered all our questions. If you’re interested in doing this, and don’t already have your home child-proofed, mental note: you can spend $100 really quick – everything from outlet plugs to tv mounts and fire extinguishers. Now, we’re ready to go!
PATH Class (Parents As Tender Healers) began a week after our Diana screen, and for two people who are old souls and in bed by 9:30 every night, they can be ROUGH. I won’t lie to you – almost every class night we got home by 10 or 10:30pm (But we also live 30-40 minutes from where the trainings are done). Classes are 2 days a week, but on a good note they bring snacks (HAHA)! Classes were also interesting because I feel you learn a little more about yourself as well as about how to be a foster parent. We were super lucky to have a talkative and opinionated group so it got really fun some nights. My husband Justin, however, really had a hard time with the classes. Once we started getting closer to the end, he was really getting tired of the twice a week late nights and getting up early for work. He took a little reminding from time to time as to why we are here and doing this.
Best part of the classes is you will make friends and connections that you never imagined. These people are in the same place as you with all this information and sometimes even in their life outside of class. Justin and I were lucky to meet an amazing couple who not only understand our struggle, but are living it. We talk weekly and now I wouldn’t trade our friendship. On the bad days when we are questioning “why why why” to whatever is going on, we call each other so we can remember what’s important.
NOW!!! Exciting announcement!!!!! We are welcoming our Miracle Child Tuesday July 18, 2017!!!!!
I am feeling nervous and excited. When you have a baby you have 9 months to prepare. We completed our parenting classes and home visits, but we’ve only had one week knowing that a 12-year old will be coming to live with us. This blog is getting ready to get a whole lot more interesting!