My husband invited me to a safe families meeting at our church in the fall. It is similar to foster care in that you take care of children that don't belong to you. But it is volunteer and goes through a ministry. The care is for vulnerable families that have not entered the foster care system yet. They are hoping to keep them out of the foster care system, by utilizing the church to help vulnerable families. Our role would be to be a host home for children while a parent or both parents get back on their feet. Maybe they lost a job...have a health issue, etc. They likely have no family to help them take care of their children and they need help so they can get back on their feet but with never fear losing there children. Safe Families has a 90% return rate...meaning 90% of kids that enter into a host family, are returned to their biological parents. We have completed the program for safe families and are technically "waiting" for a potential call or need in our area. Because this is new to Bloomington, we have no idea what the need will be like. To learn more about safe families, go here
So during the time of this process, I still felt like we were suppose to do something more permanent...like foster to adopt. We started pursing foster care at the same time as doing the safe families process. We will begin taking our foster care classes this Saturday! So far we have completed:
First set of paper work and letter of intent
First and second home study
3 letter of recommendations
Second set of paper work
Physical for all 4 of us
Prepared a bed room and started gathering items we may need
Began completing third set of paperwork
Classes - 2/7 (session 1 and 2) 2/14 (session 3 and 4) 2/21 (session 5 and 6) 2/28 (session 7 and 8) and 3/7 (session 9).
After that we will have our 3rd home study and everything will be sent in to be approved by the state (which I hear takes the longest). And I think there is a 4th and final home study as well.
What we have decided what is best for our family is to take care of an infant. We have watched many children in our home and there has been much negative influence from older kids that have been in our care. And with homeschooling currently, we feel that would have the least amount of disruption and impact. When we first started the process, I was really open to anything. But with much prayer and experience, we have felt at peace with the decision to take a newborn. This may mean we wait longer for a phone call, and we are okay with that. We are open to either gender. In my mind and heart, I am hoping to adopt the child if that is an option for us. Brock is not totally there yet, but I have no doubt that God will lead us in these decisions. I feel good about resting in that.
So prayers over this situation would be very much appreciated. I will keep you updated!
Here are some pictures of our process so far:
10/20 - the day I sent our first set of paperwork in.
Brody and Reece sharing a room. Since then we have painted most of the house a neutral color. I figured we needed to do this anyway.