Sunday, August 19, 2007

Home Study - Part I Complete

It's been a busy few weeks - thus the lack of posting. After spending one and half days in Raleigh/Durham to visit my grandmother, go to Harry Potter at IMAX, and my sister's baby shower, four days on the Appalachian Trail backpacking, 2 days in Tennessee, 1 day white-water rafting, and 2 days in Wilmington, we are back home. We traveled 3,000 by car in those few days.
It was a busy week back also. We arrived late Monday night, and had to go back to work. After work each day we worked our butts off cleaning, unpacking, organizing and child-proofing as much as possible by Thursday morning for our home study.

The steps to foster/adopt have been very normal thus far. We have really enjoyed the folks at Girls and Boys Town who have trained us and are helping us through the process. Thursday morning was no exception - it went really well. Stephanie, our licensing consultant, and Ariel, our class instructor, both came for what I now know is only Part I of the home study process. As expected from everything we've heard already - it was mostly questions. And all the same questions we've answered before. I'm guessing they figure if they space out the questions enough in time, they might find holes, or inconsistencies in our stories. After about an hour of questions, we were told that they would only do half of them today, come back another time for the other half, and some photos of inside the house. We asked to please do all the questions that same day so we wouldn't have to schedule time to be off work again. They were willing to work with us. We finished all the questions and did a walk-through of the house; and they are coming back for a short visit for photos this Friday. At the end of the visit they announced that after they came back Friday for the photos, they would be back one more time to go over all the paperwork one more time. Who knew it would be so many times! The good news is that they didn't foresee any problems.

So, we are nearly there for completing approval by the state to foster or adopt children between the ages of 0 and 6. We were required to give an age range, and decided that for now, younger was better. We want to raise the age in the future, but not now. There are still a few things that had to be done. Thursday afternoon, after 4 hours here with us, we had a final list of things to complete.
1. Buy a crib - Check, done (pictured above). we are required to have a bed for an infant to receive approval for that age. So we went ahead and purchased the crib we liked best. (Or I should probably say that I liked best) After ordering online, I became frustrated to learn that it may take up to a month to arrive. --- Stephanie is coming back Friday for photos of it. Yikes. So in the meantime I purchased a used pack-n-play to set up as a infant bed while I was down in Orlando this weekend.
2. Tag the fire extinguisher - Check, done. A short trip down the road and $10 was all it took to get it "approved." This it turns out has to be done yearly.
3. Proof of income, insurance, driver license - Check, done.
4. Letter to a child - Check, done.
5. Copy of Marriage License - I think this one is done. I am waiting for confirmation.
6. Bouy and rope for the pool - Check, Done. $50.
6. And the hardest of all - approval by the Florida Department of Health. I'm more concerned about this one than any. Mainly because of the pool. They have to agree that the locks on our doors are satisfactory. And I don't want them to have to come back for a second visit. To pass this, I also have to have all medicine in a locked box, and all chemicals locked up. So we still have some work to do. I have to find a box to put the meds in. And get all the chemical in one place.

That's about it for the home study. I am very excited, Thomas has voiced concern about all the equipment (car seats, bottles, toys, etc) we are going to need when a child gets placed in our home. It's a lot, but I know we can work it out, so I just don't see a reason in getting all worked up about it. We won't have much planning time for it, if any. But I'm not concerned. That seems like such a simple hurdle compared to everything else. And anything seems simple compared to this infertility crap.

We also learned during our home study that anyone who babysits for us will have to have a background check. We really didn't expect it; it never even crossed our minds. So we will be tracking down some folks we took the class for possible services.

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