We probably need to ask for a whole bunch of forgiveness on this. You guys are the best and so supportive and ask us all the time how this journey is going, but I rarely talk about it on the blog.
My one excuse is that really, up until the last week or so, our fostering journey has been understandably and predictably slow. We went through training back in May, filled out a stack of paperwork that was about six inches thick, and have spent a lot of time seeking wisdom and encouragement from the people who know us best.
We’re reading a lot and praying a lot and I’ve entered into the phase where I’m crying a lot. Morgan and I are also basking in this time where it’s just us–this is all we’ve known in the nearly 2.5 years we’ve been married, and foster kids means the end of this sweet phase of our lives.
A quick update on where we are in the process:
- Training: Done. We need to do 10 hours of training in a year, so this is ongoing–but our initial training was completed in May.
- Paperwork: We were so confident that we were done…but then realized we forgot to make copies of all our important documents. This will be checked off the list at the end of the week! (Or maybe next week. I’m not quite as confident in our getting-this-done as I used to be.)
- Home studies: The fostering process in our county consists of three home studies: individual interviews, an interview with both of us together, and a house walk-through. We did our individual interviews last week and have our next study planned for the end of the month. The final walk-through will be in the first weeks of September, and then we will be ready to roll (insert me starting to cry and shiver and giggle with excitement and go cross-eyed with anxiety).
- The actual, physical, getting-ready stuff: Yeah. We haven’t done that. I’ve started to compile a list of items we need to buy, like baby gates and outlet plugs and cabinet locks and more. I have one cute piece of neutral-colored decor. Which is contrary to what was expected of me. I walked through IKEA and actually bought nothing for this child. (That’s a good thing–we want to personalize as much as possible, and, if they’re older, we want them to have a say in how their room looks, just like any other kid.)
- The big move: Can we just not talk about moving until we physically have to put the couch in the truck and drive the 10 miles down the road? Because let’s be so honest right now: our house looks so comfy and cozy with the sun beaming through the windows and the refrigerator is full of food and our bed has tangled sheets and my clothes are still hanging so organized in my closet. And I have no plans for the packing of all of the things. But, alas, our goal is to move slowly in the next few weeks and be settled in Blacksburg by September 1. (Classic Morgan–up until two days ago, I thought we we had no set move date and were relaxed. And he said, “Oh. Did I not tell you that I told the landlord we’d be out by the end of the month?” Bless.)
- Our hearts: In the midst of the chaos, we have such a sense of peace over us right now. We can’t wait to welcome whoever into our home, and our hearts are also burdened with prayer for their biological families. We have this sense of anticipation to watch and see what the Lord is going to do, and we have a certainty in hope that it’s going to be so, so good.
What’s next? After the move and the final home study, we are ready to roll. We are guessing we’ll be certified by the end of September at the latest, and we could have a child in our home within a few days or within a few months. It really all depends. The foster care system processes quite a few more placements at the beginning of the school year because teachers start to report signs of neglect to Social Services, so September is a busy month.
(Teachers, have I ever told you how much I respect all that you do? You are the watchmen of these sweet children, and you are brave enough to report the really hard stuff. Thank you for loving these kids. I promise I will shower you with teacher appreciation gifts if we have a school-aged child placed in our home. Expect baked goods. Probably break-n-bake cookies if I had to guess at this point.)
Also, if you’re the praying type, Morgan and I would love love love your prayers. At our home study this past week, we were asked to make a really big decision and consider some different options than we originally had planned. Would you pray for discernment and wisdom? And for the acceptance of whatever God has for us? We’re learning that He likes to throw us off our plans and remind us that His plans are always infinitely more glorious. We love that, but it’s not always super easy to accept and work though.
When we have shareable information, I promise I’ll be better about blogging these updates! My goal: an update every week. Don’t hold me to that too fiercely.
And finally, just as a heads up–we won’t be able to share pictures or names or the background stories of our future foster kids on the internet. It’s not our story to tell, and we’re also legally bound to confidentiality agreements. But you can meet them in real life! When we talk to our social worker, we gush about our community and how our support system is actually unbelievable. Y’all are the best. It takes a village to raise and nurture these kids, and we can’t wait to do it alongside you.