Don’t call us, we’ll call you

February 28, 2016

A foster-adopt update

The last couple weeks of writing I’ve been trying to tackle those two guest posts that I’ve promised for other blogs. I am daily feeling how much “writer’s block” I still have. I think writing 30 minutes per day is the best way to get back on track. But it’s also occurred to me that maybe for a few days or weeks, I should just write whatever comes easiest. Or in this case, what everyone keeps asking about!

Back in May 2013, I published part IV of my “new life story.” (Incidentally, that post is an important example of why I need to write, even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard. I remember how difficult it was to put some of those thoughts into words and it took me about 8 full months to do it to my satisfaction. But oh, the strength I’ve gotten from re-reading it! It reminds me of things that feel crucial to continuing to move forward in my life.) How often do you write a short synopsis of what you’re going to do over the next three years . . . and it actually ends up being accurate?

In a few months, we plan to move a few hours away to a different county in California. Once there, we’ll restart the process of understanding the local public and private adoption resources, particularly focusing on foster-to-adopt programs. When Addison is between five and six years old, we hope to foster-to-adopt a sibling set of two kids. Maybe a five-year-old and a two-year-old. Or a six-year-old and a three-year-old. Or possibly a five-year-old and twin babies. Or . . . you get the idea. There’s an endless number of specific combinations, but we’d like the older child to be around Addison’s age.

Um, nailed it! Addison is six now and we’re officially certified foster parents. Hurrah! We’re still hoping for a “sibling set” (which my friend Lindsay says sounds awkwardly like we’re buying furniture — totally not how we think of it, in case you were wondering, but it’s the lingo), with the older child being close to Addison’s age. We’re still open to various age combinations, though Neal is really really REALLY hoping that we still get to sleep (AKA not an infant).

In the intervening almost-three years, we feel like we’ve done our homework. We went to orientations with both our county and explored some private agencies before we settled on one. We’ve attended a foster-adopt support group off and on for about a year and a half. We’ve read more books (obviously) and loads of regulations and manuals. And then there were the official trainings: PRIDE, CPR, first aid, and water safety.

Of course all of that was easy compared to getting the house ready! Some foster families struggle with the little nitpicky things, like locking up all knives, household cleaners, scissors, and medications. But us? They had to gently recommend that we get ACTUAL BEDS. (Apparently, nobody can be sleeping on little foam pads in the closet. Who knew?) Neal used his massive collection of power tools — did I ever mention he won the Ryobi contest? THANK YOU! — to build us a new bed frame, locking medicine cabinet, and more garage storage. A sweet sister from our ward gifted us a nice cozy mattress for the kids’ room. I dejunked like crazy thanks to a Minimalism game my sister-in-law Robin-Elise started on Facebook. I jettisoned almost 2000 items in November and December, even spending New Year’s Eve cleaning just so I could finish (because: goals).

Our final inspection was on January 5 and the house never looked better. (And surely, never will with a couple more kids in the mix!) We passed with just one minor recommendation: to change the location of the carbon monoxide detector.

So now we wait for a phone call. And try to keep the house from seriously degrading in the meantime. And continue to help Addison understand the actual import of what will happen next — not just her idealized version of big sisterhood. One of those recent such conversations ended like this, “Well, I didn’t really think about the sharing so much. Maybe I just want it to stay you and me and dad forever.” Heaven help us!

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6 Comments »

  1. With respect to the last line of your post, it (or more precisely They) will! 🙂

    Comment by CBL — February 28, 2016 @ 9:51 pm

  2. With respect to the last line of your post, it (or, more precisely, They) will. 🙂

    Comment by CBL — February 28, 2016 @ 9:54 pm

  3. Good luck Lindsay! I hope it goes well for you and your family! Sending lots of love.

    Comment by Sabrina — February 29, 2016 @ 12:39 am

  4. I love this kind of update! (And please teach me your minimalist/decluttering ways! Especially with kids!)

    Comment by Rachel — February 29, 2016 @ 1:11 pm

  5. YAH! I can’t wait to see how your family grows

    Comment by enelo — February 29, 2016 @ 5:37 pm

  6. Great update, and I’m excited to see the next steps of this story!!

    Comment by laurenhoya — March 1, 2016 @ 4:57 am


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