Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mountains of Paperwork

photo cred.

Anyone that has gone through the foster care and/or adoption process understands what I mean when I say that there is a mountain of paperwork required throughout the licensing process. I knew going into the process that there would be extensive applications, forms, papers etc. but I don't think that I fully grasped it. We walked out of our first class (of 10) with a stack of probably 200 pages worth of reading material. Little did we know that it was just the beginning. At this point, it feels as if we've done nothing but sign our names, answer questions and fill out personal information for weeks.

We have 2 classes remaining and have turned in our first few rounds of paperwork. I was so excited to hand our licensing specialist our application that I had spent hours completing. I could see that the end was near and suddenly all of that time spent reading and writing didn't feel so bad! However, that excitement was short lived when she handed me another stack of papers with a list of additional documents required by us. Jordan and I spent the next evening filling out 9 more pages of paperwork…each. 

We've had to dig up birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificate, proof of vaccinations on our dog, financial records, mortgage and insurance records, car documents, proof of health from our doctors…..and this list goes on. I joked that we'll never be more prepared for a disaster than upon finishing our licensure.

In addition to all of the paperwork that we've completed thus far, we each have to write a 4-6 page autobiography. I'm not sure I'm old enough to have a 6 page autobiography! Jordan reminds me daily that all of this work will be more than worth it in the end, so until then we have to keep on writing!

I understand that paperwork comes with the territory in this line of parenting and that it'll only increase as times goes on. However, I'm trying to ignore that little piece of information at the moment!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bookcase Redo

Since we're trying to completely redecorate and furnish two bedrooms (a nursery and a toddler bedroom), it was essential that I try and use what I had on hand or what I could buy fairly cheap. I wanted all of the furniture and decor to look great and be high quality, without the "high quality" price tag! So, I decided to try my hand at re doing an old bookcase that my mom gave me. After 8 hours of sanding, priming and painting (no joke!), I'm pretty impressed with how it turned out. I will admit, the hardest part was actually starting the project. Once I got going, it was more time consuming than difficult. 

Here is the break down of cost:
Bookcase: FREE (best price of all)
Paint: around $35 for 1 gallon (I only used about 1/3 of the gallon)
Primer: around $20 for 1 gallon (I only used about 1/5 of the gallon)
Paint brushes: $10

That comes out to under $20!

**You'll have to excuse my cell phone pictures, I forgot to take any with a real camera!

Coat #1
Coat #2

Coat #3


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Foster Care Announcements

I recently shared some pictures from our foster care photo shoot, and you can see those pictures here. We knew that we wanted to send announcements to our family and friends to share our exciting news and give everyone some insight into how our lives are about to change. We knew that everyone would have questions and be curious as to our decision and we wanted to keep everyone as informed as possible, without having to re tell the same story 100 times :) 

On the back of our cards we included a special note asking for prayers, expressing our thanks and explaining a little about the foster care journey.

"There are many ways to build a family, and we have chosen to build our family through foster care. Over 11,000 children are currently in foster care in the state of Ohio, and over 2,500 of those children are waiting to be adopted.

We hope to have the opportunity to become the forever, adoptive family to our foster child(ren). But, we know that just like a biological child, we are not guaranteed any certain number of days with him/her. We want to be thankful for whatever time we are given.  The love we have for our future children has been growing in our hearts for a long time. They are our real, chosen, beloved son/daughter for whom we would give our lives for.

Every child's story is unique. We hope that you will be respectful of the children's stories that are in our home by not asking a lot of questions of their history and giving them the opportunity to share their story as they grown older. We are thankful for your kindness and support and appreciate your prayers during this exciting transition in our lives."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Our Big Announcement

We've announced our big news to our families and friends as well as mailed out our official announcements (you can check those out here). Now, I can finally announce the news on here…
We're becoming Foster Parents! 
We're very excited for this transition in our lives, and having so much fun preparing our house and lives for these new additions. Anyone who has had children knows how much baby stuff there is out there, and we're thoroughly enjoying picking out what we like best. One of us has loved decorating the nursery and toddler bedroom (hint: it's not Jordan!). However, Jordan has made the playroom his special project, and it's been fun to see how enthusiastic he gets. 
Since foster care is an entirely new idea for some people, we wanted to take some time to answer a few questions that may be on your mind. Our goal is to open up the line of communication between us and our loved ones, and help others understand what exactly it is that we're doing. 
Why foster care?  Many people have asked us why we are becoming foster parents instead of having biological children. Well, to put it simply: we want both! We want to build our family through birth, adoption, and foster care. Each child that enters our home under any circumstance will be part of our family and equally cared for and loved :) We have many friends and loved ones who have entered our lives through foster care and adoption, and we feel very strongly this is something we want to do. There are thousands of  children in the Ohio foster care system alone. All of those children are in need of love and understanding. We have been blessed with so much more than we need and we can’t imagine not sharing our home and time with these children.

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” 

-Mark 9:37

Will you choose what children you take in? Yes. The training course we are taking goes over all of the possible scenarios and issues foster children may be dealing with. We are assigned a case worker who will go over our personal strengths and we will decide what situations we can best handle. Because we hope to be able to adopt our foster child(ren), should that become an option, we are planning to become licensed for up to 3 children (ages birth-3 years).  There is a huge need for foster families willing to take sibling groups, which is why we are becoming licensed for so many children at one time. 
Won’t it be hard not to get attached? Not hard, impossible. The point of foster parents is to build strong, healthy attachments and bonds with their foster children. These children have been through more than most people have to deal with in a lifetime. They need loving parents, stability, patience, and attention. It will definitely be an emotional roller coaster for us. We will love these children very very much and do all that we can for them while they are with us, even it’s just for a short while. It will be exciting, scary, and heartbreaking. It will be extremely difficult to not be selfish, and support reunification with birth families if that is what’s best for our foster children. However, it will all be worth it for the chance to make a positive influence in the life of even one child. 
How soon are you expecting foster children? We have a few more weeks of classes and then a home inspection by the state. We were told that the entire process typically takes 60-90 days, which would mean we should be licensed and able to receive placements by early March. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014