Sunday, May 27, 2012

Just Waiting Now.....

Our homestudy is complete!  What that means is the county has finished with every possible interview, investigation, paperwork, question, home inspection, and reference check.  All that's left is for Angela, our social worker, to draw up every last piece of information she got from us and to put it into a presentable form for her superiors to look over and approve.  Once they have approved everything, the county will give us a license, and we will be available to foster and/or adopt.

Wow, what a process.  From my first phone call to the agency all the way to now, it has been a whole year.  It doesn't always take that long.  Last April when I called, they were just finishing up their spring preservice classes.  There are no classes in the Summer (at least, for the county we reside in).  So we had to wait until the fall to begin our training.  Training is a little over a month and is a total of 36 hours. We started out pre-service training at the beginning of October.  While the training was happening, we had a social worker, Katie, come to the house for an initial walk through.  What Katie was looking for was to see if there was anything about our home that needed improvement in order to keep children safer.  Indeed there was. We needed to child proof out cabinets, buy a fire extinguisher, and remove locks from crawl spaces (the locked crawl spaces had potential not only to use as punish bad kids, but also, they could accidentally get trapped in them while playing and no one would know. So off with the locks).

Once the pre-service training was complete, we started to really get into the nitty-gritty.  We got a ton more paperwork.  We did a ton of paperwork when we started, but that was nothing compared to the next batch.  We had to fill out questions such as "What first attracted you to your spouse?" and "Who are your heroes?"  We filled out financial questionnaires and gave the names of friends that would be willing to fill our reference questionnaires. If that wasn't daunting enough, we then had to write an autobiography of our life, from birth to present day.  (For anyone thinking about going down the foster care road, this part of the process is frustration, please don't give up!)

When that was submitted, we had interviews to attend to.  Angela came to our home and questioned us about our life, from birth to present.  At least for me that took about 4 or 5 visits and since I worked fill time at that point, they were stretched out over a longer period of time because I had to be off of work and Angela had to be available.  This part of the process may be shorter for those who either don't work or work at night.  Meanwhile, my husband was also being interviewed, usually on different days though as they had to be separate.  Once the separate interviews were complete, we had a joint interview, which spanned a few hours over a couple different days.  After that was done, she then interviewed to kids.

While the interview process was still going on, we had forms that needed to be filled out by our doctors-basically just saying we are somewhat healthy, mentally and physically, to have children and we also had a form for the fire department, saying our home was safe.

When that was all said and done, Angela did one last "walk-through" of the house to make sure we improved everything that was questionable during the first inspection.  Then it was done.

As of now, we are just waiting to hear from the agency for our approval.  Lots of hoops to jump through, but I learned a lot and am pretty sure I'll continue to learn more as we go along.  And also maybe one day give someone a permanent home who would otherwise just keep waiting for someone who is willing to go through the frustrations and stress of "the system" and see the faces of the fatherless on the other side of the paperwork.

1 comment:

Heavily Caffinated :) said...

Yay!! So excited for you guys!