We had a last minute change to our holiday plans and it was a welcome change indeed.
Our middle son asked to come spend Christmas with us and this momma’s heart was more than happy to say yes. So two days before Christmas he arrived.
Since moving to Texas six years ago, we have made many trips back to Illinois to see him, but this was his first visit with us in Texas. I think he was ready to move down here within a day of being here, but that just isn’t in the cards. Plus, we don’t have plans to stay in Texas, so one of his reasons for moving down here would be leaving.
While the visit was short, it was much needed for all of us.
Now we’re in full swing working on paperwork, setting up inspections and scheduling training for all the foster care licensing requirements in the State of Texas.
If there is anyone reading this that is considering getting licensed as a foster care home, I’m not going to lie to you. You will spend hours and hours completing paperwork and chasing down the right people to complete home inspections and getting First Aid and CPR certified and completing all the required training. If we’re lucky, we’ll be done with everything by the end of January and have our license in February and this is going thru the process of re-licensing which means some of the paperwork on file is still good. Another things to keep in mind is that getting licensed is not necessarily free. Many agencies will reimburse for some if not all the expenses in getting licensed, but be prepared for the cost of fingerprinting, buying fire extinguishers or getting them checked, medical examinations or the fee physicians charge now for filling out a form that takes 2 minutes max. It can certainly add up.
But don’t let any of that discourage you. I can tell you that the experiences and memories have been well worth all the headache of licensing and keeping up with the required paperwork and training. In our case, adding our daughter to our family and hopefully her baby brother soon, is absolutely worth it. Being able to love and care for so many other children is absolutely worth it.
Arryn is so excited about her baby brother and regularly asks if we’re going to get him and bring him home. She’s cried a few times when I’ve explained that we can’t get him until we’re given permission, but this week she’ll have her second visit with baby brother. A time for them to continue bonding and getting to know each other. A time for him to get to know me a little bit and hopefully feel comfortable enough that when we do get permission to bring him home, I’m not a total stranger in his life.
The other thing happening this week is our home study. This is a requirement for getting licensed too. We had to have home studies completed for our first two adoptions and for the licensing process here in Texas. We were able to just do some updates for licensing in Illinois, but this will be the 5th time we’ve completed this process.
Once the home study interview is complete, it will be written up and submitted to CPS. There will also be a home inspection by the case worker and as long as everything is good and everyone still approves, the judge will sign off on having him moved to our care.
With the case being six months already and no cooperation from the biological family, this could move pretty quickly to adoption. However, this is foster care and the unknown and unexpected is always looming. Until parental rights are terminated, and the judge signs the adoption paperwork, there is always a chance this could be temporary. Still, it’s worth everything in trying to keep Arryn and her Baby Brother together.