Now that my husband has started his career, it is time for us to start on our next journey. My husband and I have wanted kids for a LONG time. I have battled with my infertility ever since we tied the knot. In the last three years I have really accepted the fact of not being able to give birth to my own biological babies, so we have been preparing our heart for foster care.
Surprising Things I Learned in Foster Care Orientation
This week my husband and I attended the foster care orientation. We are so excited to start this journey! Once we arrived we were handed a huge packet of information to fill out so we can get approved to start the foster care training classes. I was not expecting the paperwork to start so early. The packet had a lot of questions and asked previous addresses, health concerns, criminal history, financial information and questions about our past.
Once we sat down, we introduced ourselves to the group and shared what brought us to the decision to foster. For us the reason is twofold. Being a former foster kid, I knew of the need. My husband and I want to be a positive influence on a child, to love a child, and make a difference in their life. The second reason, a kind of selfish one, is that my husband and I want to be parents. We eventually want someone to call us Mom and Dad. We want to spoil kids on Christmas and share the wonder of God’s creation with our children. Others were there because all of their children were grown, kinship care, and wanting to help. It surprised me how many people were former fosters. I think that is awesome!
One of the social workers explained the relationships and people we work with as foster parents. Working together with others is vital to the child’s well being. As a foster parent you communicate with the birth parents, courts, schools, day cares, therapists, and more. Though I am kind of timid in most situations, I think I would be able to advocate for a child.
The foster process was explained and how Florida works its plans. The ultimate goal is to reunify the parents and children, but that doesn’t always happen. I surprised to learn that a timeline is given. Parents have so many months to prove they are working on their plan. Since I had only been a child in the system and that was 20 years ago, I learned quite a bit about how things progressed. Then the adoption process was explained. I knew about the stipend given for fostering foster kids. I was surprised to find out that after an adoption that Florida has a grant that gives additional monthly financial support until the child is 18 if they are adopted. The grant may eventually run out of money, but it is available now.
We watched a short film, which I had seen before, but it still moved me. It is called Removed and it is quite compelling. I pray that this short film motivates someone to answer the call to be a foster parent.
My husband and I are not quite ready to start the classes as we have to move to a bigger place. We are planning to move as early as September or at the very latest by February 2016. Please pray for us as we take this step towards finding our forever family through foster care.
If you are looking for more foster care and adoption stories, check out these 5 Heart Warming Adoption Stories!
Photo Credit: Flickr CC (text added)