Week 11 Adoption Class: Done!

Tonight we finished our last class for foster care adoption from our county! Whoo hoo! I know that we talked about … something … the only things I remember are:

  • We’re done with classes.
  • We were assigned the social worker that we wanted.
  • The social worker that we wanted will be conducting our Home Study.

We also met another couple that’s adopting: Hala (Lebanese) and Tony (Greek). They are super fun! We agreed that we should all have lunch or dinner to get to know each other better. I’m glad that we met someone else that we kind of clicked with.

I’m sure I should write something profound, but “Whoo hoo!” is all that I can come up with!

=)

 

PEACE

 

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WIC, Shame and Adopting from Foster Care

Free cheese and juice, please!

At last week’s adoption class we found out that kids that are in foster care are eligible for the WIC program in California. I’m not sure whether I want to take advantage of it though.

I have worked hard as an adult to make sure that I don’t need to rely on public assistance. I grew up with folks being on public assistance in my neighborhoods and I decided that I did not want to live like that.

I’m not sure how to feel about the WIC program. I’m glad that the kids have access to it, but I’m not sure if I want to use it ….

Ugh ….

 

Adoption Class Week 10: Planning on Change

This week’s class was all about ALL of the paperwork we’ll be turning in once we become foster parents (until the adoption is final). I’m not even sure I can remember it all, but from what I understand:

  • When the social worker comes to drop off a kid we’ll have to get the Agency-Foster Parents Agreement before we allow the kid into our home or we will be cited from Community Care Licensing. The social workers (class facilitators) told us that the social worker that is trying to drop off the kid may tell us that they don’t have it and that we are NOT to take the kid into our home without that paperwork. My concern is that the social worker(s) will get upset with us. I don’t think it’s fair that a) a social worker would even try some unethical crap like that and that b) we’ll be fined if CCL arrives at our home and we don’t have the paperwork.
  • We’ll also have to get the Personal Care Community Care Facilities Form for CCL.
  • We also have to keep a Placement Information Sheet for each kid as a short-cut to their educational stuff, medical stuff, etc.
  • We also have to keep a Personal Item Inventory Sheet of all the things that the child brought into the home and all the things that the child received and/or bought while in our home. Just in case a parent or other social services worker tries to say that we are not taking care of the child.
  • We also have to perform a Visual Check on the child and keep a record of that visual check. There is a LOT of CYAing going on here.
  • We also have to keep a record of the child’s moods, behaviors, and phone calls with parents and other relationships in a journal.
  • We also have to take the child to see a doctor within 30 days of the child’s arrival in our home and before we can administer anything as small as an aspirin we have to have a letter from the doctor called a Standing Medication Order. This letter needs to cover things like: baby powder, hyrogen peroxide, chapstick, baby butt cream, neosporin, etc.
  • We need to keep an Education Passport and a Health Passport.

I feel overwhelmed with all of the adoption from foster care paperwork requirements right now. This journey is not for the feint of heart.

Don’t forget this all on top of the parent visitations, sibling visitations, therapist appointments and doctor appointments.

The social workers have said that they want us to be honest about what we can handle and I’m thinking … that we need a small child with no family. How can we do all of this and keep our business up and running?

*breathe*

Adoption Class Week 9 – Roles and Responsibilities

We’re on week 9 out of 11 weeks of classes! Whoo hoo!

This week we talked about the roles and responsibilities of resource families, but the real news is that one of the social workers that teaches our class told us that adopting a newborn was possible!

I know …. I know … this may not be news to some of you, but it was exhilarating for us! Our county is running two classes: one on Tuesdays (ours) and one on Thursdays. The one on Thursdays is two weeks ahead of us and FILLED with prospective adoptive parents. Our class is almost completely prospective foster parents. In fact, there are only four other families that are looking to adopt!

Since most of the people in our class are fostering, most of the information is on foster care situations. We have heard every negative thing you can think of about older kids, acting out after visits with biological parents, behavioral problems, mental problems, health problems and on and on …

I’m sure all of that is true … and that’s why we’d prefer a baby 0 – 1 year old so that we’ll have longer to attach and bond as a family. The problem is … they make it sound like getting a baby if you’re not fostering or doing concurrent planning is almost impossible. At the last class, I asked one of the social workers to be honest with us and tell us if adopting an infant was possible. She smiled at us and said that everything goes through cycles, but right now they are getting tons of babies!

It feels horrible to wish that a baby’s family can’t get it together so we can adopt their baby. I mean … really? … I kinda hope that someone is so screwed up that they leave their baby at a Safe Haven location so we can have it. See? Doesn’t that sound ugly? I have to remind myself that we’re not going around the city encouraging families to mistreat and/or leave their children. These are children that are going to be mistreated and/or left regardless of if we sign up as adoptive parents or not.
Anyhoo …  we have two more classes to go. We’re getting our health screenings on Monday and our CPR/First-Aid class is on Saturday. It’s all coming together.

=)

 

“No, You Don’t Have to Suck It Up” – Social Workers and Adoption Class

Soooo … last night was class #8 in a series of 11 adoption classes from our county (we’re doing foster-adopt). One of the social workers was explaining that if you have a child that has visits with one or both parents, the child may act out after the visit. She went on  to explain that regardless of how the visits affected the child, the child would have to see the parent. Regardless of how the visits effected the family, the child would have to see the parent. If the behaviors were severe enough, and after multiple visits, then the child could be referred to a therapist. The only person that is allowed to suspend or stop visits is the judge.

Okay.

I wanted to be sure that I was understanding what she said, because that sounded 1) stupid 2) cruel and 3) unreasonable to me. I very politely raised my hand, considered how to ask my question and started my sentence by saying, “What I understood from what you said is … ”

So far I thought I was on the right path … but I said something to the affect of, “So you’re tellling us that we just have to suck it up” and it was ON! The woman became visibly upset. She  responded, “No. You don’t have to suck it up. You … ..” and then said exactly what I said but without that phrase. She was pissed upset.

One of my biggest issues is that I speak my mind and I don’t pull punches. I call things as I see them. Not everyone appreciates my candor. Lol

Oh well …. we only have 3 more adoption classes. Hopefully, I can finish the series without getting into a fist-fight an argument with the instructors! Lol

Adoption Class – Week 7

This week we attended the week 7 PRIDE class on discipline.

At our county classes begin at 6pm and we are allowed to miss 30 minutes before we are required to re-take the class. Usually that’s fine but this week we had a gig that was 50 minutes away from where the classes are held and 1) wasn’t scheduled to be over until 5:30pm 2) that 5:30pm time didn’t include any wrap up. Ugh! We took the job not realizing how far away it was. Plus, since we started our adoption journey we’ve been taking all of the jobs we can get! It takes about $250,000 to raise a kid nowadays!

I hurried my bit along, let the students go at 5:12pm, touched base with our contact and rushed out of the building at 5:20pm. We tried a new road that we hadn’t taken before in hopes that it would shave off a few minutes of travel and wouldn’t you know it … it did! We arrived at the class at 5:26pm! Whew! *wipes brow*

The class was all about how punishment was bad and discipline was good. Our county has a strict no-spanking policy so we loads of time going over what qualified as “punishment” versus what qualified as “discipline” (see the chart above). I knew that I knew a lot of this stuff, but I didn’t realize how much I knew until we got started.

The class covered an important topic, but it was more lecture and less participation. Any of us can have the “right” answers sitting in a chair reading from a book. It would have been great to do some role plays and give us a chance to use our skills and get feedback in the moment.

Regardless …

… we’re almost done with classes! There are eleven weeks of classes and next week we’ll be on class 8 (4 weeks until it’s ovah!) so we’re pretty excited about that. We have to do our state license and home study but at least we’re (almost) one more thing down!

Whoo hoo!

 

Week 5 – Adoption Class

This week’s class is on Grief & Loss.

We talked about the seven stages of grief:

  • Loss
  • Shock/Denial
  • Bargaining
  • Anger
  • Understanding
  • Coping
  • Managing Loss

I wish we had a chance to read different passages from books and discuss them when we attend class. Instead, we basically sit through lectures. I’m not sure if others are taking the time to read other books, find other resources and talk with others about their experiences.

I don’t have too much to say about this week’s class. They talked. We listened. We’re almost half-way done.