Getting started with the foster and adoption program feels like, to me, jumping off of a cliff and hoping you’ll land really soon, unhurt. This process has easily been the most unorganized, tedious, but wonderful thing I have ever done. There was not a real checklist of things we needed to do, people we needed to call, and emotions we were supposed to feel. Perhaps my blog will help those who want to do this to know what to expect. Every situation is different, but here is how it went for me:
In 2012, my neighbor introduced me to her son. She told me her story of how they adopted him through the system. The moment I heard her testimony a light went off! This was my calling! My husband and I went to the next Foster Care meeting our county was hosting only to find out we were ineligible. We had a body of water in our backyard that was not fenced, and that was against the rules. We figured it was the wrong time and continued on with our lives.
In December of 2016, my husband’s job relocated him to Texas. We immediately checked when CPS would be holding a meeting in our county on their website. We had to wait a few months, but we showed up excited and ready for this to finally happen. So many people showed up to become foster parents, and it was awesome to see such a large group of people who wanted to help children. The meeting lasted approximately an hour and mentioned the basic rules and requirements to become a foster parent. It was really nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing was shocking. I’ll get to the rules in a different post because I could go on and on. We filled out an application and turned it in.
My mother had some connections and introduced me to someone who knew someone else in the program. I truly wish getting started was easier. I do not think we would have made it this far if we didn’t know someone who knew someone. With my connections, I was given a phone number to someone who handles the applications. My husband called for weeks before we finally got word that someone had even received our packet. Hindsight, this set the tone for the rest of the experience. We always felt like we never knew what the next step was, and we felt like we had to constantly bug someone to give us answers. It was incredibly frustrating because we wanted this so badly, and we knew there was a heavy need for foster families. Our application was finally approved and we were given a date to start the next step: the 5 week training session, called PRIDE.