Starting the paperwork

Our DHS trainer sent us a packet of papers to read, fill out, and return. The packet included:

  • Application
  • family financial report
  • medical reports
  • SAFE questionnaires
  • Criminal Records and fingerprint checks
  • home certification policy

We’re mostly done filling it all out, and will be returning the whole packet in less than a week at the initial training!

The Safe Questionnaire was interesting…. there were 11 pages of boxes to check,  the first 6 pages mostly asked about experiences in childhood and relationship with parents. Things got slightly confusing and a bit amusing starting on page 7.

One of the questions that we don’t understand why it was included was “check the boxes that describe your early sexual experiences.” ??!! What does that have to do with parenting abilities?

The next one was a bit of a giggle; “check all the boxes that best describe the characteristics of your current spouse/partner”. followed by “Check all the boxes that best describe the various roles you and your spouse/partner play in the relationship”. Mike and I both laughed separately when we reached those questions. His response was a raised eyebrow, chuckle, and “Do you want me to answer honestly?” I told him yes, but to remember that he loves me while doing so.  Once we were both finished we compared our answers.

Mike says that I am: appreciative, affectionate, friendly, self-centered, playful, outgoing, competitive, sarcastic, stubborn, social, happy, romantic and impulsive.

I described Mike as: affectionate, introvert, friendly, gentle, good listener, considerate, playful, thoughtful, supportive, sarcastic, flexible, stubborn, tolerant, clear thinking, smart, happy, understanding, honest, romantic, generous, dependable, good sense of humor, and kind.

My idea of his role in the relationship included: peacemaker, comforter, money manager, wage earner, organizer and negotiator.

Mike thought his roles were: head of household, peacemaker, comforter, homemaker, wage earner, rational one, follower, and negotiator. (Does anyone else think it’s funny that he picked head of household, but not leader or decision maker? When questioned on the balance of that, he just smirked.)

According to him my role in the relationships include: emotional one, social planner, initiator, risk taker, compromiser, caregiver.  I put my roles as: emotional one, social planner, initiator, comforter, risk taker, caregiver and negotiator.

 

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Finding Resources

It’s shockingly difficult to find the paperwork/resources that you need. My hope with this blog is to document the process so that my child(ren) can see that they were wanted from before we knew about them. I also want to lay out the process for others who wish to go this route. It shouldn’t be this difficult to find the correct steps.

Oregon Foster Parent Handbook

Standards for certification of foster and relative caregivers

Foster Parent Orientation

How to become a foster parent

Contacting DHS

I filled out an online interest form last week, then after not hearing back, decided to send off an email:

To whom it may concern,

I am interested in finding out more information on fostering/adopting. Our long term goal is to get an infant to foster to adopt, but while we wait, I would like to help with school aged child(ren). I work as an educational assistant with high medical needs and special education. I feel that I have the skill set to help with that population in particular, but would like to have an open home as needed.

Will you please contact me with the Foundations class schedule and let us know how to proceed?

 

Today I got a voicemail letting me know that it’s premature to be asking about the classes- we need to complete an interest interview and the application that we would get there. We would then schedule a home inspection and finally take the class from there. I returned the call and left her a voice mail requesting a call back today since she’s not in the office tomorrow, and that I would call her on Monday if I didn’t hear back.

We got a return call and decided that we will go to the interest interview/class on the 19th. We discussed our interests and background skills and it was noted that we were open to any age between 0-10.  It doesn’t matter if we get part of their high density populations (african american, native american, LGBTQ) and that we are open to high medical and/or special needs.

The Thought Bubbles Are Growing

Mike and I have talked about having children for almost 5 years now. Our first year of dating brought kid names into our lives. If we had a girl, we would name her Araeli (Rae) If we had a boy, it would be Alexander (Xander).  I went a “little” baby crazy and bought a whole children’s library from board books all the way up to beginner chapter books.

Mike got into the excited, we’re actually planning a baby spirit last summer (even though I’d been off birth control for almost 6 months before that) while we were in Niagara, Canada. He bought his first piece of baby gear- a reversible monkey hat at the Niagara Zoo.

Flash forward just over a year and I had missed two periods with a negative pregnancy test. I was convinced that the tests were wrong; I hadn’t bleed, was exhausted and dizzy and nauseous. By the third month of this, I was wondering if it was all in my head and made a Dr. appointment. I was diagnosed as diabetic, had borderline thyroid numbers and was sent to OBGYN. They made a guess that I wasn’t ovulating and sent me to get blood work done to look at hormone levels. My blood looked great, so I was given a referral to infertility services.

After sperm and yet more blood were tested, I will be going back in next month to receive medication to force a period, then what can almost be described as reverse birth control (forces a dip in estrogen that way you can produce a follicle into maturity and dropping).

Throughout this time Mike and I had a talk and decided that we were open to adopting (which costs more than IVF?!) and would like to try fostering to adopting an infant