Our Imperfect Lives


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Paper Pregnant

We’re paper pregnant! That is to say we completed our home study, had it approved by the area office supervisor and signed all of the necessary paperwork to become officially eligible to be placed with a foster/pre-adoptive child/children. And it’s equally terrifying and exciting!

Now that we’re officially a home studied family we have more access to the child listings on the MARE (Massachusetts Adoption Resources Exchange) website. Previously we only had access to children chosen for the public page. However, as a home studied family we can read about many more children that need homes. We didn’t waste anytime and started searching our expanded list right away.

The sheer number of the children in the DCF system with the goal of adoption is heart wrenching and the thought of searching the list like a department store catalog is a little weird and a bit sad, but it’s exciting too. One of these children or sibling groups could be “the one.” In the time it takes for us to be placed with and legally adopt a child or sibling group we’re probably going to have inquired about a lot of children and viewed the profiles of even more but we know somewhere in that database is or will be the missing part of our family.

In our first night of pursuing the listings we found a few children that seemed like they might fit what we’re looking for. The listings only give us a quick snap shot of the child – even less that your typical online dating profile – so it will be difficult to tell for sure if they’re right for us without speaking to the child’s adoption worker and then the child. After looking for a bit we decided to inquire about a sibling group of three children, two boys and a girl, all of whom are under 4 years old.

In order to inquire about these three children we simply just shot an email off to our social worker who in turn emailed the social worker for these children. In all likelihood we won’t hit one out of the park our first time up to bat, so we’re still going to keep our eyes on the list of children. The children we inquired about are young and have only mild emotional needs, so there are probably many inquiries being made. Not to mention we may not be the right family – the social worker may prefer to place the children in a Hispanic home or perhaps a home without pets, or perhaps another family is just a better fit.

We can’t say for sure how long it will be until we get that phone call that says we have a match and we won’t know for sure if once we get that phone call it will work out, but we’re going to stay positive. And until then we still have plenty of projects around our house to keep us busy as we enter this next phase of our journey.


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The Home Study is Complete!

We took a few days away from the craziness of our home repairs and the home study process for a quick vacation to the west coast. Some like to call the trip a ‘baby-moon’ since any time this summer or after we could get a placement through DCF, but really it was an early celebration of our wedding anniversary.

It was nice to be away from the smell of saw dust and to take a break from compulsively checking off tasks from our list towards becoming foster parents. It was a brief stay in sunny San Francisco and it was great. We meandered around the city, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, visited the sea lions at Pier 39, took the ferry to explore Alcatraz, strolled among the giant redwood trees in the Muir Forest and puttered around wine country. We were busy, but we loved it, and as soon as we returned home we scheduled our final home study visit.

Meg during a winery tour at the Beringer Vineyards.

Meg during a winery tour at the Beringer Vineyards.

Meg and Marcy outside the well-known Castro Theatre in the Castro District of San Francisco

Meg and Marcy outside the well-known Castro Theatre in the Castro District of San Francisco

The final home study was primarily to discuss the checklist of possible disabilities or behavior problems a potential child could have and to do a final walk through of our home to test all of our smoke detectors. We hadn’t looked at the checklist since we went through it a few weeks ago following our very first home study visit, so we actually had forgotten what some of the items were that we checked off. We did of course remember the majority of the items we marked as “least acceptable,” because they weren’t many.

The disabilities we did mark as “least acceptable” were primarily because our home is not equipped to handle a child in a wheel chair or other mobility problems that would make living in a bedroom on the second floor very difficult. We also are very hesitant to take on the needs of a child who requires around the clock care as we both have full time jobs. Although we intend to take maternity leave when we’re first placed with a child or children we both intend to return back to work after maternity leave.

We want to keep our options open and not immediately rule out a child just because we marked off a certain box on a checklist. We know that we have certain limitations and may not be equipped to handle the needs of every child in DCF’s care but we wouldn’t want to miss out on the child or children that might be perfect for our little family.

Since we marked that we were open to discussing most disabilities or problems it was a relatively quick chat about the checklist. Then we moved on to our next steps. Our social worker would write up our home study, which is what will be presented to the social worker for a child/children to help that social worker determine if we might be a good fit, and then we would be eligible to be placed with a child. Unfortunately, our social worker can’t complete the home study until she receives all of our references back. Thankfully our family, personal, and medical references were all very quickly returned, but our employer references are a bit behind schedule. This coming week we both will be contacting our employers to hopefully light a fire under them to return the paperwork.

This is a really exciting time because we’re almost there! Our flooring projects are in the home stretch and we’re almost ready to become foster/adoptive parents. We had the wood floors on our first floor refinished this week and this week we’re hopefully going to be putting down the last layer of polyurethane on the newly installed wood floors on the second floor of the house. If all goes as planned by next week we’ll be able to start moving some furniture into what will be the bedrooms of our foster child/children and we’ll be eligible to be placed with a child or children!

There’s no knowing how much longer we’ll have to wait for our family but boy are we excited!


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Lots to be Done, so Let’s do Something

Well unfortunately bureaucracy moves slowly, so we’re still waiting to make the move to the next step of the process towards becoming eligible foster/ pre-adoptive parents.   We reached out to our area DCF Office but they were still waiting to receive our MAPP Profiles from MSPCC (Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) – the organization we took our MAPP training through. Our social worker will not be able to begin the home study until after she has received and reviewed our MAPP Profiles.

So now we wait…. and do work around the house and anything else we can think of doing in preparation.

We’re making progress on our many projects at home. We’ve had a new light put in our small bedroom and a light in the hallway – with two light switches! Our hallway is so fancy (and well lit) now! Marcy also stepped back into the closet (literally) and painted the last bit of wall space with original paint.

And of course we’re trying to make ourselves completely finish projects we’ve already started since we’re terrible at that. Sometimes we when we go the “it looks so much better stage” we get distracted by the next project. Here are a couple of examples of almost finished projects we’ve done over the last year or so that we’re now working to finish:

Our dining room is so very close to being done! The ceiling still needs one more coat of paint, we need to finish the trim and refinish the floors. But it looks so much better.

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Our upstairs hallway is slowing making progress. While we did love the floor to almost ceiling paneling we were pretty happy to say “goodbye” to that and the drop ceiling. We still have a couple more small tasks in the hall, but the big step is putting down new floors and although we’ve started planning out how we’re going to go about doing it – it’s going to be awhile.

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In addition to being very handy women we took some time to work on our house rules. House rules are recommended for foster homes not only to help keep our home running (relatively) the way we’d like it to. But, more importantly they can be helpful for the child – to give structure and an understanding of where and how the child fits in to the home.

Our rules are very general and very simple. They’re also a work in progress and I imagine we’ll seek feedback from our social worker. They are as follows:

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While we may not have made much headway in starting our family, it was probably for the best that we weren’t visited by a social worker this week since we had two very rambunctious house guests – a pit bull/jack russell mix and a puggle. We were dog sitting for friends which made our house a little hectic for visitors; anyone who stepped into our home was instantly greeted by four very excited dogs – which could be overwhelming.

We’re hopeful that this week, after we clean up all the dog hair and little paw prints, we’ll hear from our social worker and schedule the first meeting for our home study. Until then we’ll continue crossing off items, and probably adding a few, to our to-do list.