Our Imperfect Lives


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We Got a Delivery

This week we had a special delivery, but not the kind that’s generally associated with starting a family. The bundle of joy we received was a lot of wood flooring! This of course means we’re at it again with the home improvement projects. Well, really we never stopped.

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The projects we’re hustling to finish like the flooring, electrical work, and painting are items that have been on our to do list for quite some time and we decided that going through this adoption process is the perfect kick in the pants we needed to set some hard deadlines for ourselves. Plus, it helps keep us busy during this long process.

Pairing our infatuation with home improvement with our adoption process doesn’t end with giving ourselves deadlines, its also spilled over onto the start of our toy stockpile. During a recent trip to a thrift store Meg’s eyes immediately latched onto a toy toolkit, so we scooped it up.  Then, since we spent the holiday weekend away, Meg proceeded to scratch that home improvement itch by playing with the toy toolkit herself. Naturally she wanted to make sure it was good enough for our future child/children. As you can see we plan on indoctrinating them early.

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Now our short holiday is over and we have our first home study meeting with our social worker this coming week, so we’re going to be neck deep in work around the house. Our primary goal for when she comes over is to simply get our new wood out of our dining room so we have a nice place to sit and chat with her. She’s already seen our home so we don’t envision this first meeting will include much in the way of an actual inspection of our physical home. More likely this visit will be about our home as an emotional place – how welcoming and nurturing it will be to a foster child/children. Also, from what we gather from our MAPP classmates, we’ll be discussing ourselves a lot. Pretty much it sounds as though we’ll be rehashing a lot of the information from the profile packet we completed as part of our MAPP class.

While we would have liked to have already started the home study process it is nice having the opportunity to learn about our classmates experiences. It helps us to know what to expect, since we have a tendency to get a bit of anxiety about these types of things. While Meg is sometimes prone to some anxious feelings over such important matters, Marcy is a bit more relaxed about most things in life but gets super quiet and is rather uncomfortable about the impending one-on-one interview.  Plus, even though we have the luxury of hearing about other people’s experiences – it’s still a lot of unknowns.

It seems we’re also pretty lucky to have the social worker that we do. We’ve only met with her once, way back in October when we kicked off this whole process, so we don’t really know much about her other than she seemed pretty nice according to what we could glean in that short meeting. A fellow teacher at the high school Meg works at recently adopted two young girls and worked with our social worker. She gave her a glowing report card. We’re told that she is a great advocate and very attentive to the needs of an adoptive parent.

All in all as the days tick by our excitement still stays high and we’re looking forward to our first home study meeting!

 

 

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Seems We’re Taking the Scenic Route on this Journey

We’ve had a bit of a lull in the process, which is why we’ve been MIA in the blogosphere for the past week. Well, also because Meg has been a whirlwind of educational fun with lesson planning, tutoring and the like; plus Marcy has been coaching and fawning over her flora, willing the grass seed she planted to grow with all her might. So, even though we haven’t been doing anything with our home study we’ve still been doing a lot.

Because it had been a while since we first reached out to our social worker, we decided it was time to drop her another line – boy are we glad we did! As it turns out our MAPP trainer never sent our paperwork to our social worker and who knows how long we would have been waiting if we hadn’t followed up.

After we reached out to our social worker and MAPP trainer, and discovered what happened, we got our paperwork to our worker. So, we might be getting a slow start on our home study, but the child, or children, that is meant to be part of our family will find a way to our home regardless of when we’re eligible foster parents. Our worker has since reviewed our paperwork and now we’re on the calendar for our first home study appointment. We’re making our way to becoming eligible foster parents – wahoo!

While we wait out the next couple of weeks until our first home study visit we’ve decided to take a stab at our one page family profile. This will be a document we can use like a business card. We can hand it out to social workers at events as a quick way that they can get to know us and decide if we might be a good match for a child in need.

Naturally we’ve been trying to keep an eye on our own interests and growing our family by doing all we can to be prepared, but we also have loved ones who are close to the DCF system looking out for us too. This is particularly exciting because what we’ve learned about the placement process is that it has a lot to do with who you know, well more accurately who knows you. A child’s social worker needs to ‘know’ us, or at least get a really vivid picture painted of who we are to make the decision that our family is right for the child. This is where our loved ones, a friend that Marcy grew up with who’s a social worker in another region of the state and Meg’s aunt, who works in the juvenile court system, can be very beneficial. They both have already offered to share our story with their coworkers and help us network and find the match we’re hoping is out there.

While our path may have been the scenic route up to this point we’re enjoying the ride and the immeasurable amount of support that we’re getting from our friends and family.

 


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And the Wait Goes On…

Well we should probably get used to waiting, as we’re likely going to have to do a lot of it during this whole process. Right now we’re still waiting to hear from DCF about when our home study will begin. However, as we wait it is comforting to know we aren’t the only ones from our MAPP Class still waiting. Out of the nearly twenty people in our class (9 couples and one lovely single woman) only two or three couples that we know of have heard from their social workers.

For those of you who don’t keep up with the local news, there is a lot of hubbub going on at DCF. Recently, over the last year or so, three children have died that were involved with DCF and a lot of what goes on in the department has been brought into question. The negative attention is so significant that the DCF Commissioner resigned this week. A new commissioner has been appointed, but who knows what that will mean for us.

In fact, all of the changes going on at the top of DCF could have absolutely nothing to do with why we’re still waiting to be contacted. Of course it could also mean that everyone is moving a little slower and a little more cautiously – we just don’t know. What we do know is that many social workers are over worked, so we want to walk the fine line between being a bothersome nuisance and attentively following up. If we don’t hear back by early next week we’ll send another follow up email.

We’ll continue to keep in touch with some of our classmates from MAPP so we’ll have an idea if we really are falling behind in this certification process, or if everyone is moving along at the same pace. At least at this point there are several others in the same boat – so we have no reason to be concerned.

For now, it’s business as usual; we’re living our lives and moving forward. We’re continuing to tackle projects around the house and we even booked an anniversary trip for June.

We’ve also started to collect photos to use in creating a “Welcome Book”. The Welcome Book will be a way to introduce a child to our home and our lives. It will include photos of our house, our neighborhood, our cars and more. Friday was a beautiful spring day, so after we finished work, and  we were ready to kick off our weekend, we took our very rambunctious dogs – even our almost 10 year old beagle was playing like a young pup –  for a walk to our local park; there we took a few photos of the playground, the basketball court and the path by the river. The neighborhood children and teens were even nice enough to be out and about to make playful (unknowing) cameos in our photos. (Photos coming to the blog soon!)

We also took a photo of our cars in the driveway, but now we have to take a new photo because – we bought a new (used) car! And… we’re officially old – you know just in case there was ever any question. The car we bought is a “family car.” It seats 6 and has sliding doors. Sometimes it is classified as a station wagon. Marcy insists that it is “not a minivan.” Meg is thrilled to have a working a/c for the first time in years. In case you are a “car person” and would like to see for yourself, it’s a 2012 Mazda5 Touring Edition.

The New Ride

We had been researching cars and were planning to buy a new one soon, as Meg’s car was on it’s last legs (it was a 2001). Our salesman was a super sweet guy and a graduate of the high school Meg teaches at, but he graduated before she started teaching. We’re happy that we made the decision to buy and that he’s the one who got the commission.

It may still be a while before we have children to cart around in our family car but we’ll be riding in comfort with a moon roof, Bluetooth, and heated seats(!) Meg’s old car and Marcy’s car have manual everything, including the transmission. We’re also doing all that we can to not focus on waiting for the next step in the adoption process.