Infertility to Adoption – Part 6 “Foster Care Class”
We were excited to begin Foster Care Class. Classes were two nights a week for 3 hours and I believe they were for 4 weeks. My husband and I learned so much about foster care during those classes.
What we learned in Foster Care Class
Here are the impressions I took away from the class.
- Every single child who has ever been in foster care has suffered trauma.
- No matter how clean, nice and safe your house is, children long to be with their birth parents. Especially age 2 and older.
- There is nothing wrong with you if the child is distant.
- This is not fun for the child, its scary, and everything about their new environment is gonna take some getting used too.
- Supervised visits are hard on everyone.
- There are no guarantees that you will be able to adopt, even if it looks that way at first.
- Every child needs to be loved like they belong to you.
- Children will act out and push your buttons to see how you react.
- This will be one of the hardest things you ever do.
- This will be one of the most selfless things you will ever do.
- Hands down, this will be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you ever do.
- Your heart will get broken at some point.
- Your heart will heal.
After the required classes, we were assigned a social worker. This is called your licensing social worker. Their job is go through the licensing process with you, and be your point of contact and resource during your time as a foster parent.
Things are about to get personal
Our licensing social worker, we will call her Pat, interviewed us together and separately on different dates. She asked us questions like why did we want to foster? Did we hope to adopt? What age range children did we feel comfortable fostering? What ethnicity did we feel comfortable with? How did we think this would affect our marriage? You get the point.
After the interviews, she came to do a home study. So that means she comes to your house. Looks around. Gets a feel for your home and if it looks safe and all that good stuff. Now if you remember, we were living in our super dope 1 bedroom apartment. She said we could foster a baby there, but we did not feel comfortable with that. We have a hard and fast, no kids in our bedroom rule, and yes, we have stuck too it if you are wondering. Weekend morning snuggles is the extent of our kids in our bed. Back on subject.
So we waited to finish up the sell of our old house and find a new one before we moved any further along. Here we were once again in a holding pattern.
A couple months later, we found our dream home
We were so excited to find a home that met all our criteria in Statesville, just a 25 minute drive from my work, and our old neighborhood. And the bonus was we were not far from DSS. We moved in May of 2014 to our huge, new to us home. I was not sold that we needed a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house, but my husband was. But that big house comes in handy real soon!
We moved in, updated the 35 year old kitchen right away, and got to painting. In just a few months we were ready for our home visit with our social worker Pat. She came over and ooed and ahhed over the house. If you have ever been here, you know it has a retreat and calm feel to it. We are surrounded by forest on two sides and this is the most therapeutic space to us and our friends.
Time for our home visit
I gave her the tour of the upstairs including the nursery. Pictured below. When the social worker comes to do your home study, she is reporting how many bedrooms, cribs, and beds you have. This determines how many children your license will allow you to foster. I know it was sparse, but isn’t this a sweet little room!
We also built bunkbeds in the other room upstairs.
Then we headed downstairs to show her the rest of the house. I was just talking and all of a sudden, I saw something crawling on the floor, and I screamed. It was a snake in our basement. Thankfully it wasn’t too big. Pat pinned it down with her clipboard and I ran up stairs to get something to put it in. I grabbed a ziplock bag, I know that’s a random thing, but I was freaking out y’all!!! So I turned the bag inside out and grabbed that snake, zipped it closed and continued the tour.
We decided to head back upstairs to finish up, and I just couldn’t concentrate. I told Pat I had to kill that snake. I couldn’t wait a minute longer. She told me to go on ahead, and I did.
Then the list of other things had to be checked off.
- Fire inspection
- Finger printing
- Criminal back ground check
- Wait, and wait some more
April 2015, we got the call that we had been approved and licensed. Now it was just a matter of time. How long would it be? When would we get the call? Boy or girl? Infant or toddler?
This picture was taken inside the Mooresville Police Department the day we did our fingerprinting.
Interested in becoming a foster parent?
Here is a list and link to the NC Dept of Health & Human Services for specific information on state guidelines.
NC Foster Parent Eligibility
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have a stable home and income
- Maintain a drug free environment
- Be willing to be finger printed and have a criminal records check
- Complete all required training and be licensed by the State of NC
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