Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's almost like being pregnant...

...only we know NOTHING about the future child(ren) we're going to have. We don't know when they might be coming. We don't know how old they are going to be. We don't even know if they are boys, girls, black, white, Hispanic or something else. And we have no idea what baggage they'll be bringing with them.

This waiting thing is strange. But, at least I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I can still sleep through the night...for now.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Home Study

We had our home study last night. I'm thankful that the children settled down. It had not been an easy day with the littlest cherubs. They fought like cats and dogs most of their waking hours. But, like I said, they each settled down long enough to answer the questions posed to them by the social worker.

It was a long and in-depth study. The worker was at our house for 3.5 hours! I do hope they put as much effort into matching children into the foster families as they have done getting our family history. Doubtful - but I can pray about it.

Mr. Amazing and I have talked a lot about what kinds of children would be a good fit for our family. We've decided that we're not equipped to handle medically fragile children. We don't want behaviors that would put our own children at risk (ie. super violent, abuses animals, fire starters, etc.). It also would not be wise to place a middle school girl in this home. We've already got a middle school boy and we just don't need those hormones together. Other than that, I think we're pretty much fair game for anything. We've talked that we think we'd be a good fit for a teen mom and her baby. That one would be some serious work! But I've got a peace about it so I guess it's out there now. Scot even remembered and told the worker that last night. She said there is a real need for foster homes that can make that sort of accommodation. We'll see what happens I guess. I got rid of all our "tiny baby" things before we moved to the Valley. If God wills it, I hope I can easily find all we would need again!

Not sure when we'll get our license. We have to have criminal background checks done for every state we've lived in for the past five years. Between Mr. Amazing and I, that makes six states. Somehow I don't think that many governmental agencies will all manage to work quickly to get that paperwork turned around. This whole process is being bathed in prayer though. It will happen in God's time. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Conflicted

The littlest cherubs were eating a treat from the "garbage" truck. (We have at least four ice cream trucks that drive through our neighborhood each and every day!) I rarely purchase anything off the truck, but tonight seemed like a good night for a surprise.

As they sat at the table alone, they had conversations as only 5-6 year olds can. I'm not sure how it came up, but the topic turned to adoption. Cherub 2 made a comment that really made me stop in my tracks. It seems I got the big surprise of the evening. He said, "You guys all look alike. I don't. It makes me sad."

First, I'm thrilled he could put words to his feelings. He's only six years old and he was adopted at birth! But...wow! We've always discussed his adoption so he would know. And I think he looks a good deal like our family. But he went on to explain, "You guys all have those things on your face. You know. When you go out in the sun." As he pointed at his cheek I realized he meant freckles.

I crammed as many positive comments about adoption into the next five minutes as I could.
• Some kids do feel sad about being adopted. This is normal.
• Some kids are happy too because they love their family. This is normal.
• It is possible to be happy and sad all at the same time. We call it conflicted. It too is normal.
• You can love your first mom and me all at the same time.
(At this point he tugged at my heart strings! He said, "I love my first mom. I love my second mom. And my second mom is my best mom.")
• You can love your first dad and Daddy all at the same time.
• I also assured him that he can take pride in how he looks - even though it's not just like "us". (I must say though, I hate the "you guys" and "us" part of this whole conversation. I just don't know my way around it yet.)

Adoption conversations get complicated sometimes. Cherub 3 is a biological child. In the past, he has wondered why he's not adopted. He feels left out of something special. Other times, when Cherub 2 seems sad about it, he doesn't understand why we talk about it at all. In fact, tonight he suggested that because being conflicted is such a hard feeling to deal with, maybe we should never talk about being adopted again and Cherub 2 will forget that he is.

Again, I tried to cram as much as I could that was age appropriate in as possible.
• Sometimes people have been told to keep adoption a secret. But the kids usually find out. And when they do it makes them even sadder. They think that there is something wrong with being adopted and that's why it had to be kept a secret. This isn't OK.
• Cherub 2 didn't do anything wrong when he was born. It's not his fault he was adopted.
• And then, because we're getting ready to foster, I had to quickly explain that Cherub 2's first parents made an adoption plan. They hadn't done anything wrong. It's not the same as fostering.

By now, the two little guys were up to their ears in all this talk. They just wanted to eat their ice cream in peace. I dished out lots of hugs and love and then left them alone with their dessert. Quickly the conversation turned to flying dragons, battles and such.

Hopefully, I planted the right seeds. I look at this adoption thing a lot like how I look at Christianity. I can't make anyone a Christian. That's not my role. I'm just supposed to live my life in a way that glorifies God. That, and plant the seeds of truth. Stretching the similarities a little, I hope that I can plant the seeds of adoption truth with Cherub 2. I hope he knows that even when he's older and conversations like this happen fewer and farther between, he can still talk about whatever is bothering him. Even if he's conflicted.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Surprise Me

We're doing a new Bible study on Wednesdays at church. It's on a book by Terry Esau called Surprise Me. Basically, the prayer for every day is "surprise me God". Then, you open yourself up to seeing how God moves in your life. It's simple and complex all at the same time.

I made mention Wednesday night that I'm not seeing anything major right now. God is with me all day long and I'm aware of that. I'm just not having any "ah ha" moments. That's when another lady pointed out that God is moving in a very large way in my life right now.

She pointed out how I'm not freaking out about all that it takes to become a foster parent.

The more I've thought about that phrase, the more truth I see in it.

It's not just the physical things we're doing. Like remodeling the house to add another bedroom. Or preparing the cherubs at home. Or all the inspections. I do have a peace with all of these things.

The emotional side of things is OK too. I've practically OD'd on foster and adoption blogs lately. And let me tell you, there are a lot of scary stories out there!! But for some reason, I'm not scared. If anything, I'm realistic about what we're getting in to. And that's a good thing. But I'm not scared. I've got to give all the glory to God for that! My trust in Him is huge right now. I trust that He's preparing our family in the right ways for this adventure. I trust that He's going to match us with kids that are as good of a fit for our family as possible. I trust that we're going to be able to do this, and do it well, for all the right reasons.

Thank you God. And...surprise me again tomorrow please.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What it takes

In order to have a baby, you gotta have sex. That's about it. No one comes in to make sure you're a fit parent or anything. You just get to do it.

Now, if you want to become a foster parent it's a total new ballgame. Don't get me wrong! I agree with (almost) all of the rules. However, this is waayyy more complicated than just having a little nookie.

My fun today came when the doctor's office called me back. You see, I have to get two different forms signed by them. One of them states that the doctor's office agrees to take Star County Health (Medicade) insurance. The other form states that I am fit enough health-wise to become a foster parent.

I had dropped off those wonderful forms on Tuesday. It took 2.5 days for them to look at the forms and say that I have to schedule a doctor's appointment in order to get their approval. I said, "What?! I just had a physical in February. I really have to have another appointment?!" So the nurse said she'd check and have someone call me back.

Several hours later the Office Manager called me back. It seems I do have to come in for another appointment. The doctor said she's only seen me once - so I guess this time she'll do a better job of determining my health. The physical I had just four months ago must not have been to important enough to do thoroughly. Then she babbled off something about me being on lots of medication, having high cholesterol, and wanting to make sure my diabetes is under control. I had to stop the conversation right there! If that doctor had really read my file she would have seen that I'm on lots of medication but they are all managed by my rheumatologist. I get to see him every 8 weeks for blood work and an appointment. My cholesterol is borderline high. Nothing to freak out about for sure. And diabetes - well, I don't have that. I informed the nice office manager that I have PCOS and everything is under control. Still, I have to come in for an appointment.

So then I asked if I could just get the form about their office accepting any future foster kids that we have placed with us as patients. She said that although they do accept Medicade, she's not sure the doctor will be willing to sign the form I brought by. She'll have to call me back.

AAACCCCKKKK.

And really, a doctor's appointment wouldn't be that big of a deal if this part of the country didn't run on siesta time. I have yet to go to a scheduled doctor's appointment and get in to see the doctor within two hours of the scheduled arrival time. Yes, you read that right. Two. Hours. I spent almost three hours at the doctor's office for my physical in February and I think I had a total of 5 minutes face time with the doctor. The rest of it was spent waiting.

However, things are moving along. We should be able to complete the fire inspection next week. If the health inspector ever calls me, I'll get that appointment scheduled too. Everyone in the family has to get tested for TB. (I'm not sure where we're going to do that at but I'm hoping I find somewhere where it doesn't take several hours to get the quick needle stick done.) Mr. Amazing and I also have to take a CPR/First Aid class. Oh yeah, and I can't forget about our FBI fingerprints that we have to have on file for our background checks too. (Whew -- nookie was a lot easier than this!)

It's going to be worth it though. I don't know why except that this entire process is being orchestrated by a much Higher Power! I know that God will guide us through it and will bless our family because of it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm baaack....maybe.

OK. So I haven't written in awhile. Things have been a bit busy I guess. Life has taken us from Utah to Mexico. Yeah yeah yeah -- it's technically Texas. But not by much.

We've got a new adventure though - and it is going to be a big one. Mr. Amazing and I are in the process of getting our foster parent license. We are going to become professional parents. ha ha ha

It's been quite a different experience from when we did this in Iowa. We are going with a wonderful Christian licensing agency that is more than thorough. We have to have a fire inspection, health inspection, full background criminal inspection including FBI fingerprints, and lots and lots of training.

On the flip side, when we showed up for training on Monday this week, we were the only people there. The trainer was able to fly through the material and we were out in only two hours. That part was nice. We've got one more parenting class to take next Monday, a class on psych meds, CPR/first aid and then our home study before the process is finished. We're thinking we'll be done around the last week of June. It doesn't need to happen sooner because I. am. going. on. vacation!! And, because you have to have approval from about a million people to take a foster kid out of state, we don't need to be licensed until we get back from Iowa.

The cherubs at home are warming up to the idea of being a foster family. Cherub 1 doesn't seem to care one way or the other. Cherub 2 is really nervous but hasn't been having major issues with it. Cherub 3 is his usual bouncing-off-the-walls self - placing orders for little girls, and then changing his mind and saying we need to get boys his age, and then saying no...teenage girls. He's all over the map.

We're in the process of doing a quick remodel to make the whole sleeping arrangement thing easier. Our master bedroom is GINORMOUS so we're putting a wall and a closet up to separate it into two different bedrooms. I measured today and the foster kid room is going to be 12x15. And that's not even half of the size of our bedroom. (Did I tell you the master is huge?!) Mr. Amazing is doing a wonderful job along with his friend Russ. We've got it framed out and some of the drywall is hung. I'm looking forward to when it's finished though. And it will be nice to still have a guest bedroom for when Granny and Papa come to stay.

We'll see if I can keep this whole blogging thing current for awhile. Lord knows I READ enough blogs all day long. I'll see if I can make the posting a little more frequent.