Have you ever heard the expression, “it’s like drinking water from a fire hose?”
Basically, it means that there is information coming at you swiftly and strongly and you are attempting to take it all in, but that proves to be impossible…because it is just SO. MUCH. INFORMATION.
Kinda like this pup.
Well, that is where I am currently at in our foster care journey.
We started the homestudy process last fall, right around when we became pregnant. We have had 3 meetings with the caseworker in our home, and the fourth and final one is TOMORROW. Before the first homestudy, I cleaned the house from top to bottom. The woman walked in, went straight to our dining room table and proceeded with the meeting. She did not visit any other parts of the house. Hahaha! That meeting and the next two meetings were three hours of intense interviewing- questions like “describe yourself in 3 words”, “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “how does your spouse deal with stress?”, “What is your motivation to do foster care?”, “What do you expect foster care to be like?”, “how many family members do you have, where do they live, what are their ages and do they have a criminal record?”.
So draining, let me tell you. Our caseworker mentioned last time that she sees absolutely no problem with us getting approved, so that is encouraging.
Tomorrow is our final homestudy, where she will complete all the questions she has to ask us, and then will do a safety audit on our home…the part when she will look around the home, inspect it and (fingers crossed) approve it.
We have also had to collect a massive folder of paperwork. Copies of drivers license, social security, car insurance, pay stubs, proof of residence, references, birth certificate, marriage license….just to name a few. Then we have to CPR and First Aid certified (which we both are for our jobs), as well as pass a physical from a Dr., have FBI fingerprint clearance and get TB tests and take a urine drug test. Phew, what a process!
At the beginning of May, we started our classes to certify us for foster care. We go to a three hour session every Monday night, and on several Saturdays (9-4) in order to get our 36 required hours. This was when the fire hose really got turned on. The sessions are basically 3 hours of stories of foster child and families, interacting with other people who are preparing to be foster or adoptive parents. The first two sessions were just about the legalize of foster care, and the actual process that needs to happen. The last two sessions have been about dealing with the trauma that foster children face and de-escalating crisis.
Every time we leave, my heart feels so heavy…both for the stories that I have heard, and the potential for that to become our own story. My heart is also heavy because every session is taught from a secular perspective. For example, we are told that every time a child is angry, it is because they have an underlying fear. While this may be true, as believers we also understand that anger can be an underlying sin, not just a fear. And take, for example, the secular push towards counseling, therapy and medicating a child. As believers, we know that while these things can be necessary, the answer is actually the gospel.
So while we are trying to mesh the useful information we are hearing, we are also trying to infuse our biblical perspective into it…without assuming that we can “solve this children” or be the wonderful foster parents that are used as a GOOD example in future classes.
Will you pray for us? Pray for us tomorrow as we have our final home study. Pray for us in the next several weeks/months as we finish our training classes. Pray for us as we take in the information, but also try to filter it through the truth of the Word. Pray for us as we prepare to accept foster children into our home…sometimes it is exciting, sometimes it is absolutely terrifying, and we need your partnership and prayers all throughout the journey.