Adoption – Latest NEWS!

We had our second home inspection last Friday.  My husband and I made sure that everything was in order before the 3pm visit.  We had to put locks in all the windows in the seconds floor, child proof the cables under the computer, moved all the knifes to an out off reach area, we then sat down in the living room waiting for the social worker.  While waiting we got a phone call that was lost and no one call back, that was strange.  We kept waiting and 30 minutes went by, then my husband started asking are you sure the appointment was for today? Do you have the social worker’s card?  I got up went and got the card and we only had an office number, we went ahead called with no answer.  i said do you want to redial the phone number for that call we lost? and my husband said OK?  We dialed and it was the Social worker’s cell phone, she said she was stuck in traffic and on her way.  That made us feel so much better, the second inspection was really going to happen today.

The social worker got to our home 20 minutes later and she walked inside the house as soon as we opened the door and found her way to our dinning table and sat.  We sat down on the seat in front and beside her.  We started going through the list of pending actions, one by one we showed the corrections and the paperwork missing.  We went up and down the stairs, inside and out to the garage, everything went very well.  We won’t have another visit, we just have to finish our PRIDE classes and send the results of our Physical exams. 

Early Friday morning we had our Physical exam and all of our test were in process.  The following Monday (Feb 14th) we went to get out TB test checked and got our physical exam results, the results were mailed to the CPS that day.  We went to two more PRIDE classes this week, we only got three more to go, it feels great we are almost done with this first part of the process.  So in the middle of all these classes we are also taking a Baptism class tomorrow, we will be Godparents to Lucas Michael and Gregory.  I can’t believe that February is almost over, we have accomplished so much in our process and we have been so busy.  I appreciate days off, like President’s Day.

Advertisements

Taking a break during Valentine’s

The Friday before Valentine’s we had our second home visit.  This visit went really good, we were able to complete most of the request from the initial visit.  However, we still had two items pending, the results of the Physical exam and the PRIDE training certificate.  Before our visit on Friday we went to the Doctor to have our Physical exam.  We had a TB test, lipid profile, HIV.  The results will be available the following Monday.

So early morning on Feb 14 we went to have our TB test checked and Physical exam results, everything went well both our test were negative and they were mailed on this day, how special is that.  On valentine’s day we sent out and completed one major requirement for the completion of our adoption process.

We have been so busy preparing for our Foster-Adoption process that we really have not relaxed and pay attention to each other.  I took the time to do something special for my husband (I did not shared this before because we have been so busy).  My Father in law spent last summer with us and during that time we enjoyed his cooking,  delicious.

I went shopping and started cooking as close to the original recipe as I could remember

As I was wondering through the aisle, I remembered that my Dad gave me some strawberries that morning and suddenly hurried to the baking aisle and bought chocolate to melt and cover the strawberries

Then I walked to the aisle with all the sesonal items and found the heart tin box (see pic above) and thought that it would be a cute gift.  I decided to cut some different colored stationaire and add some personal messages for my husband look below

We had a very relaxing evening.

Adoption – Changing the child’s name

PRIDE Class # 4: LOSS

Today’s class started with an exercise that had one of the instructor as the subject.  The other instructor started asking her questions regarding her marriage, she shared a couple of things about her husband and how long they had been married, then they ask someone from class to step up to the from next to her to take the place of the husband.  The next questions was about her children and grandchildren, then someone from the class step up next to her left side.  Now the main character was surrounded by her immediate attachments.  Then more questions were asked and she talked about her job, that took the place next to the husband.  Then she talked about her hobbies and someone else walk up to the front next to the kids and lastly she talked about her special trait.  Then the last student walk up and stood up next to the hobbies.  Now we had her attachments around her and a card with her name over her lap. 

The next step in the exercise was to show how she starts getting affected by the loss of her attachments by making a decision to move to another town due to work opportunities.  The main character first thing she looses is her special trait, under so much stress and trying to coordinate her move she can no longer be the same person and let’s go of her trait.  Then again, due to all the activities of the move she can no longer spend time for her hobby and that attachment is loss.  By now you can start seeing a discomfort in the main character she has lost her special trait and her hobby, she has loss all the things that make her relax and enjoy life.  After her kids and grandkids found out about the move they try to keep in touch but after while they stop contacting her and are not that happy about the move.  That attachment is also lost.  shortly after that she looses the remaining 2 attachments (her work and her husband).  To top it all off, after her move her new coworkers, store clerks, etc. can never pronounce her name, not even her name has remained the same.  At this point she has lost the attachment to her name and as a consequence her identity.  At this moment the instructor says that now the main character has lost her name!!! It was like a light bulb!!  This brought some recent memories.

A couple of years after I got married, I was taking my citizenship exam and the officer at the time told me that my name had to changed.  He proceeded to tell me that my name cannot be hyphenated and that I had to take my husband’s name and lose my last name.  At that moment I agree, I felt forced, after all i was taking my citizenship exam and this officer was in charge of it.  After I left the offices I felt so depressed, I was crying on the way to my car.  I decided to give one of my sisters a call.  She gave me great advice and said just go back and say you don’t want your name to change.  So I turned around talked to the officer again and got the name I wanted…. “My name”, I love my name.  When I was observing this part of the exercise in class i actually felt i could connect with the characters situation.

The next part of the exercise was to understand the reaction of foster children to overcome all the losses before they are placed in you home.  She went one by one, exactly all of the losses that the main character had to go through applied to the foster child and then the name.  i had actually discussed changing the child’s name when adopt, but now this made me understand a lot better.  We will give our adopted child the name he wants, if he wishes to keep his/her name our love won’t change.

WOW, I am actually learning a lot from these classes.

Adoption – Spreading the news

BEING MORE OPEN

Yesterday was a breakthrough for me.  I am usually a reserved person and do not share my personal life with coworkers that much or at least that is what I think.  I finally feel more comfortable about our adoption process and I have opened up with some of my coworkers and shared our news.  Everyone has been so accepting and open, one lady that is also an adoptive mother will bring her car seat for us, her son just graduated to a booster seat.  Everything appears to be falling into place, we are securing the access to the garage and other areas in our home, and we have completed most of the paperwork.

There are still some actions that we need to complete like the Physical exam, which we have scheduled an appointment for next Monday, I think we are still missing two of the reference letters, put a fence around the roses, buy an additional car seat, put a safety lock on the windows, removed the bottles of wine to a restricted area, and organize all the cables under the computer.

Today we attended the 3rd PRIDE Class on attachment.  I enjoyed this class better than the previous one.  I felt we got a lot of interesting information and the instructors are trying to prepared us as much as possible.   We got instructed in determining physical, intellectual, and emotional developmental delays.  We also looked into potential strategies for improving those delays, and the importance of working with the resources available (Teachers, Social Worker, Therapist).

The class also touched on the Foster Care Statistics for our county, here are some fun numbers.

40,185 Hotline calls per year

74,489 children affected by these calls

23,927 were turned into assigned investigations

1,726 Petitions to remove the children from the hoes were filed

1,625 children have birth parents that are performing some type of volunteer services (taking anger management classes, getting drug tested on a regular basis, etc).

Ethnicity percent for children in Foster Care

43% Hispanic

30% White

22% Black

4% Asian

1% Native American

Making some changes to our garage

Finally cleaning up the garage

One of the things the social worker mentioned when she did the last home visit was that we had a lot of things that could be a safety issue for a child in the garage; and also that the paint cans and fertilizer needed to be locked.  See the pictures below and you would understand, when we were preparing for the visit I never thought of the garage.

So we look at different storage units, at different paint colors and started working.  As you can see we picked a blue-gray color.

We finish painting and got some of the new storage cabinets, it looks great.  This little one(s) has us working even before we have met, but we are enjoying the journey.

We are not done completely but we at least we have started.  This coming week is going to be an interesting one.  We have two more PRIDE classes (of 3 hours each) and a second home visit on Friday.  We are supposed to have the physical exam by Friday, we’ll see if we can have that done by then.

Conflicted about ADOPTION

Lenght of stay in U.S. foster care

Image via Wikipedia

We started our PRIDE (Parent Resource Information Development Education) classes this week, today we attended the second of nine sessions.  Last Tuesday we had an overview of the process, the meaning and responsibilities of being a Foster Parent.  We had a video that was an eye opener (even though is an old one), you get to see potential reactions/behaviors of a foster child.  However, today’s class was somehow depressing.

Today’s class was called “Teamwork”, through the three hours the three instructors emphasized the main objective of the child welfare services is to reunite families.  They demonstrated with videos and exercises.  They had a specific video showing how “Professional Teamwork” works in making sure that families are reunited.  They also emphasized that the child always want to reunite with the birth parents.  We went through an explanation of the Juvenal Court System and how long does it take until parent rights might be relinquish from or by the birth parents.  It takes approximately 18 months in court for the parental rights to be relinquish and at that time the birth parents have the right to appeal.  On average 80% of the childs that are removed from their families due to neglect are reunited, the remaining 20% will either remain in foster case for more than 5 five years or be adopted.  It was also interesting to learn that a child at the age of 12 years old can decide that they do not want to be adopted and remain on the system until they can become an emancipated minor.

Today’s class hit me hard.  Although I had already thought about open or semi-open adoption.  It was difficult for me to acknowledge that the child is being removed from their house/family and that they really want to reunite with them.  While I am really looking forward to adopting somehow today the class didn’t make it feel right.  They made us realize how traumatic the child removal process is and how important it is to try to keep childhood memories, pictures (scrapbook), cultural traditions.  All these things help make a placement where the child feels more comfortable, safe and improves the adjustment time.  This was all great information but somehow did not made me feel good about the adoption process, at least not this one.  Now I understand why they say that this process might not be the best one for you.  We’ll just continue with the process and see how I feel after a couple of more classes.  I will want to adopt to help, nurture, educate, love, and play with a child not to hurt them or separate them from their family.  Adoption is hard, and  I haven’t even started.