So we went to orientation last night. A little bummed that there were only two other couples there and they are wanting to be foster families, not adopt. I had heard from another family that has adopted that the group you go through classes with becomes your "extended family" and kind of a support group. I guess were expecting to see more people there that would be adopting.
Other than that, the class was good. It was basically just...well orientation...a lot of facts. They talked about the process and all of the steps that we would have to go through, the children that come through AGAPE (that's the agency we're going through), and how the foster system in general works...oh...and they gave us a nice folder full of paperwork that we will have to complete throughout the process and it only took like an hour for them to go over all of it...At least we have like eleven weeks to complete everything, right?
The class did get us thinking from another perspective. They talked about the children a bit and how what we are doing is a ministry...a ministry to children. They said that part of that ministry is to support the birth family of the child...that these children still love their birth parents despite the abuse or neglect they've experienced, and vise versa. The ultimate goal is to get the children back to their birth families, so foster parents should provide the birth family with support and help and share their faith with them. Same goes for adoptive parents...we should be open to supporting the child's birth family (only when the situation allows, of course) because these children will be missing a part of themselves when they are removed from their home and they experience a significant loss. By keeping the communication open with the birth family, the child experiences many benefits. We never would have thought about it that way before.
Todd says that we are about to enter into a whole other world. One of the checklists in the folder was on home safety and things they will be looking for when they do the home visit. Things like the hot water heater temperature setting and having fire extinguishers on every floor and keeping all medications including over the counter ones in a locked cabinet...not just out of reach, but locked. Who would have thought of that??
So anyway, we have a lot to learn, yet. Until next week...