Monday, June 8, 2015

That little piece of paper...

that is all we're waiting on!  We have completed our hours (and hours!) of PRIDE training, loads of paperwork and had two home visits.  As soon as our license shows up in the mail, we are officially foster parents!

When our licensing specialist was finishing up our final home visit, she mentioned that she has a sibling pair that might need a new placement.  So, we are waiting to hear for sure about those kiddos. The more days that I have to think about them, the more excited and nervous I am getting. It is nowhere near a definite thing yet, but I will be disappointed if they don't come to us.

I pray for our family, our future foster kids, and for help knowing the right path to take every day.  I have so many fears (which I hope is normal) about how well we will be able to transition into our new "normal".  I am scared of how it will change us, especially our marriage and Reeve. As scared as I am, though, I know it's what we're supposed to do.  I read on another blog that we need to not think of it as getting a child for our family, but giving a child a family. I am doing my best to keep that thought in my mind- these kids need a family, love, security, safety.  I hope we can do that for kids.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

First Meeting

We met with our licensing specialist today.  We got more papers to fill out and a few things added to our to-do list.

I had my physical and TB test this week.  I still have to get a paper filled out for Reeve and Nate needs his TB test.

She also said she would get us signed up for our classes today.  We start taking our PRIDE classes on April 18.  It is getting more real now- I'm excited and a lot nervous.

Until then, we are just waiting for our confirmation about our class and working on our to-do list.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Slow Start

When we first decided to look into foster care, we contacted our local DCFS office.  We were put in contact with a woman who help us through the process.  I started calling in mid-January and we finally had a meeting set up February 17.  We met with her and she gave us more information.
We set up a time for two days later for her to make our first home visit.  We will filled out paperwork, selected the ages and number of children we felt able to take care of.  (birth-5 years old and 1-2 children, in case you were wondering)  We were also able to select race, but that doesn't matter to us.

She visited our house and gave us a list of things we would need to do (dog's shot records, letter from vet, physicals for us, etc).  She assured us that we were a priority to her, but she did say the licensing department was very busy and it may take awhile to get licensed.  I was hoping we would be able to be licensed by summer.  I'm a teacher and I thought taking in our first child over the summer would be the easiest transition for all of us.  Now it was time for us to wait until licensing contacted us to set up a meeting.

After a week, we hadn't heard anything, so I called the woman we first spoke to about foster care.  She assured me that she had mentioned our names and had passed on our information to the appropriate people.  She said to give them another week and then call back.  Another week passed by without hearing anything, so I called again.  She again said she would try to push them a little to get things going.  Two weeks gone... I knew this would take some time, but I wanted to be doing something (at least be able to start our classes!)

Nate and I waited and talked and waited some more.  Finally, the week of March 16 rolled around.  Nate and I decided we were tired of waiting and decided to try to do something.  I got the phone number of the licensing supervisor and left her a message.  I just explained that it had been a month and I hadn't heard anything at all.  The next day, lo and behold, I got a voicemail from a licensing person stating that she just got my file (huh?) and she would like to set up a date to meet.  I called her back and explained that I was wanting to get licensed as quickly as possible so we could maybe have our first child placed before I go back to work in the fall.  She quickly told me there was no way that would happen.  She stated it took months to get licensed.  I told her I understood that and that is why we starting calling in January.  She acted annoyed and said again that she just got my file and wanted to call me right away.  Now, I can't say for sure that she was lying, but I find it strange that I was told our file was sent back much earlier than that and she just happened to call the day after I called her supervisor... just seemed a bit far fetched.  Anyway, I went ahead and set up a meeting for two weeks later.

That evening, Nate and I talked a little about our frustration with the pace things were moving.  We were aware it would take awhile and that our state isn't known for moving quickly, but not even a phone in over a month seemed ridiculous to both us.  We started talking about other options we may have to become licensed.  After some research, we decided to contact another agency to see if we could get things done any faster.

On Friday, March 20, I called and left a message with another agency during my plan period at 1:00.  I told her on the voicemail that I would be available after 3:10 if she could return my call.  At 3:20, my phone rang.  I got to talk to a super nice lady.  I told her our situation and how we were excited to get things going.  She warned me that we still may not be able to get our license by the end of the summer.  I kind of knew this would probably be the case since we had wasted a couple of months waiting, but she assured me she would do everything she could to move things along.  She offered to get a packet of information and an application in the mail that day.  I told her that would be great and gave her my information.  I called Nate, excited that things seemed to be moving, and he asked me why I didn't just offer to pick up the packet.  I had no idea, so I called her back and asked if I could pick it up on my way home.  She said that she would leave it at the front desk for me.  So, I had an application in my hand less than 4 hours after speaking with her.  I was getting excited again!

We spent quite a bit of time that weekend filling out all the paperwork and answering 68 questions about our marriage, family, childhood, and parenting.  Nate returned it to her on Monday morning and he also found out we could get fingerprinted for our background checks on Tuesday.  Wow~ in less than a week we were already further along than before!  We got fingerprinted and set up a meeting with our licensing person for Thursday, April 2.  That is where we are now.  We meet with her in our home on Thursday.

She also gave us some dates for our PRIDE classes.  We're hoping to get to take them in April and May on a few Saturdays.  Things are moving now.  Yay!

I will update after our meeting.  Wish us luck!

Monday, March 30, 2015

From the Beginning

In June of 2012 I my first miscarriage.  It had taken about 9 months for us to get pregnant in the first place and we were devastated.  As soon as I was able, we started trying again.  We got pregnant in early November.  For the first 18 weeks I was sick- really sick. I was thankful to be pregnant, but so incredibly miserable at the same time.  We told our families we were pregnant at Christmas, but didn't tell anyone else until that 12 week mark.  It was a rough pregnancy, but in July 2013, we were so excited to welcome our son, Reeve.  As I think any mom can understand, he is my world.  He has brought me more happiness than I ever imagined possible.

I always knew I wanted more than one child.  We decided to try again when Reeve was about a year old.  On Halloween, I took a pregnancy test and got a positive result. We were so excited.  At our first appointment with our midwife we found out that the due date was July 18- one day after Reeve's... oh my!  We could possibly have two under two (even if it was only a day- ha!).  We also saw on the ultrasound that there were two gestational sacs, but only one heartbeat.  Then the nausea hit.  I was sick... all day, every day.  It was even worse that when I was pregnant with Reeve.  I thought maybe my body still thought I was pregnant with twins, so it was on hormone overload.  I was miserable.
I remember calling and practically begging my midwife to give me something.  She did, but it really just took the edge off.  I still couldn't hardly eat and was getting sick a lot.  I remember telling Nate that if something bad happened I didn't want to do this again.

The week after Thanksgiving we were scheduled for another ultrasound to check everything out.  Nate was stuck at work and I had Reeve with me, but I went ahead and did it anyway.  I think I knew what was coming.  Mother's intuition?  When she started the ultrasound I didn't see anything.  Since I had an ultrasound every two weeks with Reeve, I knew sort of what was going on.  There wasn't a heartbeat.  The ultrasound tech didn't really say anything.  I finally told her that I didn't see anything.  She said she didn't either, but she wanted to get the midwife to look at it, too.
When our midwife came in, she said she was so sorry but she didn't think it was a viable pregnancy anymore.  I already knew, but hearing it is always a little bit harder.  She gave me hugs and let me cry for a minute.  She scheduled a follow up in a week just to be sure, but I knew.  I had to call Nate on the way home and let him know.

He was able to leave work and met me at home.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table and crying.  He didn't say a word but hugged me for a long time.  I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling.  I wasn't alone in it.

At our follow up the next week, it was confirmed that I was going to have a miscarriage.  The first time I had a miscarriage, I had a d & c.  It was actually really easy recovery and not bad at all.  I was under anesthesia though and I hate that feeling.  After discussing my options, we decided to go the natural route and let my body take care of it.  So, we waited and waited.  I had bloodwork done every week or two to check my hormone levels.  They were coming down, but it was a slow process.

Nate asked me one night if I really meant it when I said I didn't want to be pregnant again.  (I think I was still sick at this point- the nausea remained for about 3-4 weeks after I found out I was facing a miscarriage).  I told him I was pretty sure I didn't want to, but didn't want to make any decisions until the miscarriage was over.  This was something we talked about several times over the next couple of months.  We discussed our options, but I just didn't feel like I was done being a mom, I just didn't want to be pregnant anymore.  He suggested adoption, but what I knew about it, I just wasn't sold on the idea.  It also seems so expensive and I just don't know how we could that.  One night, he brought up adopting through DCFS.  I didn't know anything about it, but he was telling me what he'd learned. Over time, our thought of adopting through DCFS turned more to foster care.  I loved the idea of foster care with the hopes of being open to adopting if a child is not able to return to birth parents.

The decision had been made.  We were going to contact someone and learn more.

Until I post again... <3