Preparing to foster and adopt through DHR is not without it’s fair share of paperwork. At a glance it was overwhelming, however our social worker has spread it out over our 10 week course which has made it very manageable.
Speaking of our social worker-I’ve heard horror stories in the past about them, however ours is amazing. She is passionate about the kids in our county and she goes out of her way to offer support to current and prospective foster and adoptive parents. Her heart is huge and you can tell her commitment to our county’s children the moment you meet her.
We have finished the 10 week GPS course-wow, it flew by! The biggest challenge was/is not the paperwork (still have a few things to finish up), it’s preparing our hearts and minds for potential situations our child could come from. It’s heartbreaking and scary, however we believe we are equipped with the knowledge and knowledge of resources to deal with some situations.
The first home study was informative and laid back-not scary. Because we don’t have children at the moment, our house is tidy, but she made sure we knew before she wasn’t coming to make sure our house was perfect-just a safe place for a child.
At this point, we have a CPR certification class next week, have some paperwork left and some safety gates to install, then we have our second home study and be licensed. This process has been eye-opening but NONE of the myths I heard about foster care/DHR are true. Well, they admitted waiting can be a while-but none of the “Russell will have to cut his steak with a butter knife because you have have real knives;” the “all the kids have terrible problems;” the “you can never have babysitters or go anywhere…” are all false. It’s kids. It’s kids that need a safe and loving place.
Support. Our family has been so amazingly supportive throughout this process. Asking us for updates weekly, what they can do for us, how can they help us prepare, but most of all-by reminding us that they are ready to love any child that walks through our door. That’s what’s made this process easier-knowing that my parents are ready to be Pops and Gigi, my siblings and their spouses are ready to by aunts and uncles, that my own grandparents are ready to be great grandparents, and my aunts and uncles are ready to assume their roles-all knowing a foster placement could be temporary or could turn into an adoptive placement AND this is all regardless of the race, ethnicity, gender, or age of a child that enters our home. That’s what love is. It’s unconditional.
Our county and state need foster and/or adoptive parents. If you have ever considered becoming a parent to a child, either temporarily or permanently, don’t let the myths of DHR scare you away. Attend an orientation meeting, open your heart and mind.