The Home Study Interview… Part Deux

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Yesterday I had my second home study interview. I get a lot of questions about what the home study entails, so basically it consists of 3 visits to my home to make sure I am who I say I am :-). During the first interview, my caseworker sat with me and discussed various parts of the process and asked if I had any questions from the training. She did a walk through of my home to see the space to gauge where the child will be sleeping and to see if there are any areas that needed to be changed. Thank goodness that I didn’t have a lot of things to change, just moving a bookshelf from the child’s room (apparently kids like to climb). I have a great support system and two of my friends (Shout out to Naomi and Rasheda) came over to help me move the books and shelves down to the basement. This second home study visit was a little more personal. The case worker asked me more about how I was raised and my relationships with my parents. She also asked me about how I think people would describe me… to be honest, that was a hard question for me to answer! LOL! How DO people see me? I dunno? She also asked how I am feeling as the process is getting closer about how my life will be different. This is where I got a little misty eyed.

If you read my first blog, I eluded to the emotional rollercoaster that I have been on throughout this process. This process has made me face a lot of emotions I have been dealing with on the inside for a while. It started last week when I took a trip out to Babies R Us to see what sale items may be available (yeah right!) for me to stock up on. As I went through the aisles of the store, I was first of all very overwhelmed with all of the options for infants/toddlers. I mean, different types of pacifiers, nipples for bottles, etc. I was screaming on the inside “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I NEED!!” How can I even begin? LOL! I picked up a few things that another foster parenting blog mentioned and some things that I knew I would need regardless of the age and some toys. BUT as I was going through the aisles and seeing mothers with their child(ren) and pregnant women shopping with their families, I did have a feeling of sadness come over me. Later that day, after I had time to process my feelings… I cried to the Lord for a least 20 minutes. I could not stop crying. I felt so sad that I was going through all of this… buying baby and toddler items… and it was not the way that I pictured my life. I thought I would be buying these items for my own biological children. My cousin helped me put together a crib and I was excited and wanted to take pictures, but then I realized… I didn’t. (see emotions all over the place, LOL)

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You couldn’t tell me in my teens, 20’s or even early 30’s that I would not be married and have my own children by now. The reality is… that is not my story and I really grieve for that [story]. I go from excitement, to fear, to sadness, to relief, to stressed, to indifferent…. all in a weeks span. LOL! This process has been wonderful, my trainer and caseworker are both really nice people. I have met and spoke to other foster parents who give great encouragement and support.

My third home study visit is scheduled for next week. By this time, I should have most of the things in place to welcome a child into my home. I will have a final interview and my references will be interviewed. From there my caseworker will put my file together and route it through to her two supervisors. If all goes well, I will then get my license.

As I am traveling on this road to get license I know that this is something that I really want to do. I know it will be hard, anything new is… and parenting is never easy. My goal is to just be there for a child who needs me.

 

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So… I Guess… I want to be a Foster Parent

Over the past year, I have been going through the process to become a foster parent. I have a lot of emotions over this decision. I have been on an emotional rollercoaster through out this process, but I guess I will take you guys back to the beginning. The question I get most often is “why?” Why did I choose to go through this process? I have always had this passion in my heart… just to help others especially children. I attribute this to two reasons. The first, when I was in high school I remember watching an episode of ‘A different World’ where Freddie worked with a group of orphans and she was encouraging staff on campus to adopt this particular little boy. Well, no one wanted to adopt this little boy and he was so disappointed… I just remember him saying, “Why doesn’t anyone want me?” that broke my heart. I never want a child to feel that way, that they don’t matter or that no one cares about them. Over this past weekend, my mother reminded me that when I was younger (elementary school age) I would always encourage her to adopt a sibling for me… so I guess it has always sort of been in my heart, even before I really knew what it was. The second reason is attributed to a saying that one of my Aunt’s used to always tell me, “A kid is only a kid for a short time, they should be able to enjoy childhood and be a kid.” That is my goal, to allow a kid to be a kid!

I know it is going to be hard, I have gone through all of the emotions of an expectant parent. LOL! I have gone through excitement, fear, terror, sadness (yes, sadness at the loss of some of my freedoms), and joy as friends and family have supported me. As the process to become licensed has been coming to an end, I have found myself crying uncontrollably as I wonder what will happen next (when I tell you an emotional rollercoaster, I was not joking… LOL!). I have had folks encourage me, support me, tell me the truth and make me take a look at the hard side of becoming a foster parent. I have also experienced not so supportive people who make me feel as though I am making the biggest mistake of my life. It’s in those times, I have to dig down deep into myself and remember that God will give me the strength to get through each moment. Will it be easy? I don’t think so! Acting as a single parent will be tough. I was raised by a single mother, so I have seen first hand how hard it can be. Will it be tough? I do imagine. There are so many possible trauma’s that these children face and variables that I may not know how to handle. Will it be rewarding? I know it will! As long as I keep my focus on the purpose, I know that I will see nuggets and gems somewhere.

So, why did I make the decision to become a foster parent? If one child, even if they don’t remember my name or even me… if they can remember that at a moment in their life… there was a time when they felt safe and able to just be a kid, I will be happy.