Monday, August 19, 2013

A Foster Parent's Bucket List

I Must Be Trippin' recently wrote a post about her personal "foster parent bucket list".

This is one of my favorite foster blogs as the author is very honest and isn't afraid to share the nitty gritty. But balances that with lots of encouragement and cheerleading for the unusual life that is foster parenting.

So go read the whole thing HERE

A few of my favorite excerpts:

"Clothing/supply swap for foster families - Over the past five years of fostering primarily infants, I have accumulated more baby gear, clothing, and other odds and ends than I know what to do with!  Now that I'm leaning more towards fostering PreK-1st grade next, I need to trade in the baby things for older child supplies and toys.  Wouldn't it be great to have a weekend where foster families could get together in one place and swap clothing, gear, toys, etc?"

Can we get real here? Being a young, single first time foster parent- the expenses leading up to this new phase HAS to be budgeted for and if you hear "well, people only foster parent for the money" you know they have never actually met a foster parent. You think $300 a month is going to cover food, clothes, school supplies/activities, baby items and possibly a *gasp* babysitter once a month? Hahahaha. Not to mention all the expenses leading up to opening your home- I had to buy a crib, multiple car seats, clothing for ages 0-10, baby gear, and books. I haven't bought a single toy yet. That is hundreds of dollars. Not to mention the little costs that happen during training (physical, drug test, sewer check, etc.)

I don't regret or wish back a penny I have spent but in the back of my mind I can't help but wish for a community that we could mutually help each other with some of these things.

"Establish a foster/adopt ministry at my church - I know this would be a huge undertaking, but I truly believe that we as a church can do more.  Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but I do believe that every person has the ability to help a hurting child and the families who have opened their hearts and their homes to the children who need them.  We can do more, and I think it just takes one person to step up and call others to action."

I love this. I want to be the start of a forward movement of being involved in the foster community locally. Whether that means more foster families from my church or just being a support system for case workers and foster families- I think we can do it. I'm hoping to be the spark to get this in the hearts of my church family.

"Join some foster parent organizations - I can't believe I've been a foster parent for nearly five years, and still haven't joined a foster parent association or any other organization geared towards fostering families!  It's a great way to network and meet other families."

I'm an organizer (seriously, my bookshelf of 300+ books is alphabetized) so this is a "Must try!" in my mind. I've looked and searched and scoured all resources to find a local foster parent support group. It doesn't exist. I would love to begin it. Pipe dream quite possibly but I would love to see this in my community.
Anyway. Go check out the rest of items on her list. It really is an awesome testament to the fact that your world expands with foster parenting in all the best ways.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I'm still waiting to find the perfect white dresser/changing table and a decent chair in the room but its coming together.

I'm totally obsessing over yellow chevron lately.
Diaper bag from Target and bin of books.


Waiting for the phone call that tells you that you have been approved and/or that they have a possible placement is triggering a lot of feelings that I am not accustomed to. Mainly this weird "I'm terrified and nervous but it feels like Christmas is coming but with a touch of Halloween and I have zero idea what is going to happen so HANDS IN THE AIR AND SING HEYHO"

Wait, I'm an adult, I'm supposed to be all chill and zen about this.

Right. Not gonna happen. Even if it might be months before that first phone call.

So how about a little gif fun of showing how I feel?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Encouragement for the day

This image was borrowed from the Facebook page for Preschoolers are Awesome. If you have this age in your home- join the group! Its filled with friendly people and good ideas for crafts, books, quotes, etc.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Encouragement for the day

I'm thinking about printing this out and hanging it on my bedroom wall as a reminder for the bad days ahead. Because I know there will be some and I want to prepare my heart for what is coming just as much as I prepared my life.


Let's talk about the most dreaded part of foster parent training- paperwork. The stories are true, there are A LOT of forms to sign, fill out and bare your soul to. On my computer are 14 separate documents that I filled out over a course of two weeks. 14 doesn't sound like a lot until you get to the part where each one is pages and pages long, but as a single person, I lucked out. I had to do exactly 50% less paperwork than a married couple because there is only one of me to poke and prod ;)

Those 14 documents do not include the forms I filled out during training or the information about myself like my DL, birth certificate, electric bill, etc.

Here is a good working list of the information you will need to provide.

  1. Resource Family Questionnaire
  2. Fingerprinting of all household members 18 years and older
  3. Consent for Criminal Records Form 404
  4. Schedule medical appointments (Form 36 for parents only) 
  5. Health statements with TB test for everyone over 16 yrs; Health statement on all children in household under 16
  6. Drug screen 
  7. Sign Authorization of Release of Information (Form 5459)
  8. Application (Form 35)
  9. Financial Statement Form 44
  10. Verification of income (copy for record)
  11. Safety Agreement/Discipline Policy (Form 29)
  12. Resource Family Questionnaire
  13. Foster Parent Agreement (Form 38)
  14. Sensitive Issues Inventory
  15. Stress Index
  16. Mental Health Questionnaire
  17. Personal Network Matrix
  18. Drivers License
  19. Auto Insurance Card
  20. Confirmation of US citizenship
  21. Birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers, Green Card.    
  22. Marriage License (any you've ever had)
  23. Divorce Decree (any you've ever had)
  24. Death Certificate (of anyone in your immediate family)
  25. Pet Inoculations for Rabies
  26. Environmental Statement (information will be provided if your home is not on county/city water service.)
  27. References
  28. Pictures of Family
  29. Layout of home
So yes, there is a lot of information to compile and turn in while also filling out forms that are meant to screen you in an intensive and invasive way. After all, they are handing children over to you- they don't take that lightly.

I will say the something that makes the process easier is to give brief (but accurate) answers. They are looking for any triggers that would make a you ineligible to be a foster parent so don't spend paragraphs telling about your great aunt who played the harmonica for the Beatles. They don't care and it only wastes your time. Stick to the facts, be truthful but keep it concise.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Home study ready to be sent! (again)

Well this is only about the third time I've been told my home study will be sent in "this week"... and the first time was about 2 months ago! So word to the wise (and me)- realize that the folks doing your home study are not as excited as you to start this process. Also that their view of time and schedules may be more of a guideline and not literal reality.

The whole process itself was so smooth, I knew something would trip me up!

First post!

What should the first post be? The whole point of this blog narrowed down to a single sentence.