Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Final Class

Tonight was our last training class. Hard to believe it's been 12 weeks! It FLEW by! The class tonight was CPR/First Aid training. So now we are equipped with the knowledge to save a life! I just hope I never have to use it! And we have a handy little book on first aid and how to id the symptoms of and treat several different emergencies (gun shot wounds, head trauma, hypothermia, etc.). Again, hopefully won't ever have to use that! Not too much exciting to blog about from tonight.

So, we're supposed to be contacted within a couple of weeks by our assigned social worker to start scheduling our home study. We will keep you posted!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Last Thursday

So we are officially done with the PATH trainings! We even got a certificate! Wow! We just have the CPR/First Aid class next week to complete, then our home study will begin. For the last session, sessions 8 & 9 combined, there was a panel of adoptive/foster parents for the first part. They shared their experiences with us and we were able to ask questions. It was very helpful! The second part was just an overview of the adoptive process. Lots to take in! I will have to go back and re-read that section for sure!

I have to say, we felt a little emotional after this session. It kinda sunk in and felt very real for the first time. They even presented the group with two little boys (brothers) who are coming into AGAPE's care for a foster placement, but will likely be an adoptive placement. They asked everyone to "prayerfully consider". We don't believe these are the children for us, though, as they are 13 and 9 years old. We really would like to adopt younger children. Still, the fact that they could be calling us in just a few months to ask us to consider adopting a child (or two)...very real!!

After next week, we should be contacted by the case worker who is assigned to complete our home study. That process will begin and they will have 90 days to complete everything. We will have to schedule 4-5 home visits/interviews with the caseworker over the next several weeks. During this time, there will be more paperwork to complete. We will have to go get fingerprinted, get physicals, and prepare our home to meet their "inspection"...and did I mention...more paperwork?

Keep the prayers coming...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Session 7: Surviving Crisis

Seven down, two to go! Tonight was on surviving crisis. Crisis is something that we will inevitably encounter when adopting. Of course, that's true for everyone in life, isn't it? What we learned tonight was that there are some predictable moments of crisis when rearing a child from the foster care system. Things such as holidays, anniversaries of events in the child's life (day they were removed from their birth family, for example), pre-placement visits, and at the finalization of adoption, to name a few. Things that might trigger emotions or memories, basically. We learned that the goal is to attempt to prevent the crisis whenever possible. Talk to the child about an upcoming event and how they might be feeling about it. (Of course, you can't predict every situation.) Pay attention to the child's "warning signs" and try to prevent the crisis from escalating. One of the main things is that you have to remove yourself from the situation--realize it's not about YOU. Then you will not have the emotion to get in the way and you will be more capable of being a bigger, stronger, wiser, person and be there for the child.
You might be wondering, "What kind of crisis situations might occur?" Things such as significant behavior issues, school problems, medical emergencies, the child running away, among others. Of course, again, some of these are crisis that any family will deal with.

Other key points from tonight were:
  • Asking for help is a strength! Utilize the resources that are available to you
  • Have a plan in place for dealing with crisis
  • Crisis is time limited. It will pass (That reminds me of the saying "This, too, shall pass"; can't remember where that is from. Is that in the Bible?)
  • All crisis yields opportunity--mainly opportunity to build a closer relationship with the child (that reminds me of the Bible for sure. How God will use everything that happens for good.) James: 2-3 says "Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." I would think that would definitely apply here!
Next week is the last PATH class, sessions 8 & 9 combined. There will be a panel of adoptive and foster parents that will share their experiences and advice. We will be able to ask them questions that we have, too. The final week is our CPR training class.

On a different note, I think Todd is going to try to enter a golf tournament that will benefit AGAPE. He's getting more info tomorrow. We'll keep you posted on that. He will need sponsors to help him raise $1000! Hint, hint...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last week's Update

I fell a little behind and didn't post after last week's session. Last week was our medication management training. Todd was not there because he's at furniture market in North Carolina. Luckily, for this class, there's a DVD recording of it so he can take it home and watch it on his own time. Nothing interesting to report from this class. Just basically a lot of common sense about safety when dealing with storing and administering medicine to children.

But on a more interesting note, we only have three classes left--two PATH courses and a CPR training. We've already turned in our application and related paperwork, so in three weeks, they can begin our home study process. This involves 4-5 visits with us and interviewing us separately and together. They will contact our references (some of you may be getting a letter or phone call...not sure how that works). Tell them only good things, please? :) This process can take several weeks. During this time, we will have to go get fingerprinted and go get physicals, too. And, there's more paperwork to complete, too that goes with all of this. After the home study is completed, they will type up a nice little report summarizing everything about us and "deeming" us eligible to adopt (hopefully!). They have up to 90 days to complete this report. After that, we'll be eligible to adopt a child. We can adopt from their list or any list we choose. Many of you have asked about a time frame. It looks like it could be August or September before we're eligible to adopt. Then it's a matter of finding the right child (or children). I could be sooner though...difficult to know. So keep praying for us and keep your ears out for any child needing a good home!

I'll try to be better about posting sooner this week!