Sunday, May 31, 2009

Preparing for the Foster Care Homestudy

I am actually shocked at how much we need to do to get ready for this homestudy. My house is safe enough for my own kids, isn't it? But, after reading through the checklist earlier this week, I decided a few projects were needed before next Wednesday. I was careful to pick the "necessary" ones, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good time to get Mr. Prince motivated to do more....

Here is what we've done this weekend:

-replaced a light fixture in Sid the Science Kid's room that crashed down a few months ago
-replaced 2 rooms of plug plates that had originally been taken off for painting (one room is now painted, the other room still isn't)
-moved the crib in the girls' room to our master bedroom and the crib in our master to the boys' room (one is white and one is wood...I am anal...don't ask)
-I made make-shift curtains for the boys' room out of a twist up rod, rod clips and two fleece blankets, one Cars Movie and one Wall-E to be there until I can hand-make their curtains (I have similar make-shift ones in the girls' room)
-we added a few more locks on cabinets that Boo Boo has been interested in
-worked a little bit on the yard

Here is what we will be finishing tonight:

-adding a smoke alarm to our basement and upstairs since we are required to have them on all floors
-fixing some trim on our porch
-bleaching the walls in our mudroom of the slight mildew in the corners of the ceiling (we didn't have a vent in that room when we first put in our washer and dryer and it is not painted yet)

I'd still like Mr. Prince to get the yard in nice shape before Wednesday, but I know that won't affect our assessment. I'm not too worried about the homestudy, but the overall evaluation I am a little nervous about. Although I know in my head that all will work out as God planned it, that doesn't mean my heart won't be crushed in some way if we weren't approved for foster care.

We actually had an interesting situation arise this week along the lines of foster care. I got a phone call from my mother about a friend of my brother, Aaron, who was "wanting to have someone take her baby off her hands." My mom seemed to think she was a young mom with an infant and not much help. It was a long, emotional day trying to get a hold of my brother to get more details. I looked up this gal's MySpace account and found out she was a 19-year-old and the baby was a little girl that was probably around 8 months old. I talked to Mr. Prince about the whole situation when he got home from work and there was no question: we would take her in any situation.

We would take her to give her mom a break to see if this is really the decision she wanted to make.

We would take her if they wanted to give us immediate gardianship, even if we would get no help through the system (they live in a different state).

We would take her if they wanted someone to adopt her, no questions asked.

I finally got a hold of my brother late that evening and he said that she took the weekend off, her mother watched the baby, and she did a lot of soul-searching about making that type of decision. At this point Aaron believed that she was too attached to her baby to give her up, and although the baby's daddy was leaving for the summer, she was going to try hard to care for her herself.

I had mixed feelings when I got off the phone. Although I truly was in the mindset that this baby would probably stay with her family, and it was best that she do so, I was excited for the opportunity to help her. I am also still a little nervous about the safety of the child. A child unwanted is probably not treated well. So, I am praying this young lady stays in good emotional health and gets some additional help with her baby girl. I asked my brother to keep his eye on the situation, and if anything changes or he feels the baby is in danger, to contact authorities or myself and I could help guide him. I told him our offer to help will continue to stay on the table.

So, after going through that emotional roller coaster for one day, I think I'm a little better prepared for foster care! Needless to say, I'm anxious to hear about the status of our license at the end of June.


Janna said...

Wow--you guys have been BUSY! ;o)Love the new playset too, I'm struggling with our rental status now that we are in summer mode and there is no yard to get out into . . . someday. I was going to get back to you about our curriculum, we use My Father's World, check and the one pictured is Exploring Countries and Cultures. I love it because 1)we have a theme 2)it does the planning for me 3)it's very affordable compared to other curriculums out there. As much as I want to be "that mom" who is coming up with all the wonderful curriculum ideas on her own, this stage of life doesn't leave time for that--and I'm sure you know what I mean. ;o) Take care!

J-momma said...

wow, that's crazy. well, i guess it's a little like what being a foster parent is like. it's certainly a roller coaster. but it shows you what a great help you can be to the community even if you're not approved for foster care. there are lots of people, especially in areas where there's poverty, who need free babysitters so they can go to job interviews, friends, and mentors. you can be a positive influence without being foster parents, especially if you're interest is with children. there are lots of struggling parents out there who need someone to take them under their wing.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to the teen mother issue...
I want to point out some things I thought of and see what your response would be to them.
You never actually spoke with this woman directly about her situation but received second hand information through not one but two people. Could any of this been isconstrued by the time it went through your Brother, Mother, you and then to blog world?
I would not have put quotes around the statement - wanting someone take her baby off her hands - puting quotes on this indicates she actually said it and since you never spoke with her I would not quote her as this inforation could be incorrect. I know there are horrible parents who say things like this everyday but I can't help but refer back to the fact you don't know her full story.
In the first paragraph you stated she did not have much help but later in the blog stated she took the weekend off while her Mother watched the baby. To me this would be the best form of help any new parent could have - their own Mother. You also mentioned that the Father is leaving, but only for the summer. To me it sounds like this young lady might just need some guidance and resources not someone to jump in and overwhelm her with signing over guardianship of her child. Again, that comment could be taken out of context. Even if not she is obviously in a time of need. Maybe because she is so young she just needs direction.
Neither you nor I truly know her situation to speak of her in this way. I too wish her the best and sincerely hope she makes good parenting decisions but it sounds like you might have judged her a little to quickly to actually post in writting informaiton so personal to her even though no name was mentioned.
Take a look at the flipside and take this opportunity to reach out to her and offer your parenting knowladge and skills not to assume and criticize.
The reason I say criticize is because of your statement "a child unwanted is probably not treated well". You don't know if either of those is true. I would not take such a strong stance or make such a statement with out the facts.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1).

Mommy K said...

I am sorry if my post was offensive to you, but I definitely think you've taken even what I've said out of context.

First of all, I was quoting my mother when I said that about taking the baby off her hands. I was just explaining how the situation was presented to me. Obviously, I did get a hold of my brother to get more information from him. I have no relationship with this girl who lives two states away, so this is the only way for me to retrieve such information.

I found out from my brother that all these "allegation" were true. She really was struggling and considering giving her baby up. I was told by my brother that she has little help besides her mother, and I'm still not sure how much help she is getting from her. Apparently it was an important weekend for her to get away and I'm glad her mother helped. When I first mentioned her getting little help, that was info from my mother.

I definitely talked to my brother at length about options for this girl. It wasn't necessary to blog every detail. I told him of our training in foster parenting and told him there are resources available probably in his town, but of course I have no knowledge of that area. I would love to do some sort of mentoring, but this is not an option two states away. So, I can only do so much. And, my top concern was for the baby. If that meant she needed a break, then we could help in that way.

I do stand by my statement that a child not wanted is a child probably not treated well. It's a known fact and it's why things like foster care are around. Notice what I said afterward...."So, I am praying this young lady stays in good emotional health and gets some additional help with her baby girl." She said she wanted her, but if that changes this baby could be in danger. I pray this doesn't happen. Also, an uneducated teen with no mentors can also harm a baby just out of ignorance. So, all legitimate concerns, considering I do not know this girl.

So, in the future you might want to read a little more closely before YOU judge another blog....