Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thank you!

Thank you to all of our wonderful friends who read our post An Update and a Silly Way to Help and responded. We got feedback almost immediately, and we are so appreciative of your love and support!

We now have some of each diaper sized newborn through size 5. Each person who offered something offered a different size. Amazing! And some kind friends also passed along their bottles for our use.

Thank you Leanne, Emily, Nate, Gretchen, and Chris! It seems like a little thing, but having these diapers in hand is so exciting and makes me feel more ready to welcome any baby into our home. You have been a blessing to our family!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

An Update and a Silly Way to Help

Hi Friends!

Josh and I have made lots of progress in getting ready for little "Foster Baby". It's a little complicated at times thinking through what it means to be ready when we could have boy or girl, at any stage from newborn-leaving-the-hospital through... well... however close to Aaron's age we let them talk us into.

We were given a second dresser for Foster Baby and have freed up 1/2 of the closet space in the Nursery. Our homefinding social worker had requested that we do these things, so this was an immediate priority. We even have a growing collection of emergency clothes. I've tried to get a few clothing items for each age range to keep readily accessible. We may pick up a child who literally has nothing but the clothes on their back (which might not even fit right), and we need to have enough to last until we can go shopping. Of course, we have baby boy clothes hanging around, but our social worker hinted that we might want to find some pink for our emergency closet, too. And I also wanted some cute going-home outfits in case we do bring home a new baby. We want that child to have the same special photos and memories that we tried to make for A.

As we mentioned before, we have a bed for A. That frees up the crib for Foster Baby. That's another requirement before we can start foster care, so that was an exciting bit of progress. I even dug up a bottle (a single bottle!) so that we can serve formula in a pinch. We'll probably have to expand that collection a bit.

We have an awesome babysitter lined up to watch A during our classes. That was a huge answer to prayer. He was super happy about hanging out with her and went to bed just fine for her last week. It's so helpful knowing he's in good hands and allows us to really focus on our classes.

How you can be praying for us:

  • Getting all of the homework and paperwork done can be a bit overwhelming. Josh works a lot of hours and, well, I'm just not used to homework anymore. The paperwork tends to be composed of thought questions, scenarios, and self-assessment, all to be answered in paragraph format, so it's a lot of writing. Pray that we'd give Biblical and meaningful answers even when our hands (and heads) are killing us.
  • Please pray that we'd continue to grow and learn and prepare ourselves and A, so that we'd be ready for what's ahead.

How you can help:
We have a kind of silly task that we'd like to accomplish. We'd love to have a couple of each size diaper on hand to last us until we can get to the store. We're really not up for buying a bag of each size of diaper when we might not use it! So if you know of a place that sells 3-4 packs, let us know! And if not, if you have a few diapers you might be willing to contribute, that would be awesome. We have size 4 and 5 already.

And... Token pumpkin patch picture for 2013:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Classes Begin

Josh and I attended our first of 10 classes for our foster care certification last night. They're 3 hours long, and our session is packed full of awesome people looking to extend their family through foster care. I'm so excited to get to know these people better. I hope some of them can be part of our long-term support network.

Just to clarify- these are not "classes" in the typical sense. This is what our "MAPP/GPS" course title stands for:

Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting / Group Preparation & Selection

What does that mean? It means that we don't automatically get certified because we attended the class. We're supposed to get as much information- as much hard truth- as we can from the courses, and then decide whether we're ready for foster care. They "aren't trying to scare you, but..." It's important that we make an informed decision, for the sake of consistency for kids. The social workers absolutely want to weed out anyone who might only last for a couple of weeks, putting a child/children through a whole extra round of adjustments. So, at the same time as we're analyzing our family and making our decision, our trainers are monitoring our homework, responses, and participation to decide whether to select us for foster care.

The class content was neat. There was some helpful information about how to use kids' behaviors to figure out what their needs are and how we can help them cope by using their own strengths. These kids won't be sitting down and explaining their problems; they're going to act out, and we need to be ready to respond in love, and grace, in a way that will help them sort through their hurts and learn how to help themselves. There were some video testimonies from foster parents, foster/adopted kids, and biological parents of fostered children. You can fit a lot of info into a 3-hour session, and we covered a lot.

One of the biggest impacts on me, though, was not the course itself- it was my first glimpse into the building where our class was held. It's the combined Visitation Center and Pediatrician's Office for our county's foster care. Theoretically, we'll be frequenting this building, as we're required to use this pediatrician's office for foster kids (this provides them with awesome consistency and doctors experienced with their situations), and most children will have scheduled visits with their bio parents and possibly even siblings. What amazed me was the level of security at this place. Metal detectors, purse search, card-swipe locks on the stairways and doors... I should have probably expected that (I can imagine all sorts of scenarios where that might be necessary) but I just didn't. Somehow, though, they managed to still make the actual visiting area look kid friendly. I'm pretty impressed with the level of thought the county puts into every. single. decision. for these kids. And this was another heavy reminder about the kinds of situations these kids are facing.