Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Foster Care Application Status Update

The foster care committee met yesterday to determine whether to accept, decline or pend our foster care application. I called as soon as I got home today from my morning errands to see if they had made a decision. I just received a call from one of the ladies in the meeting yesterday. Apparently, this isn't my "official" contact with them, but she basically told me what is happening anyway.

Apparently, the "rule" here for the county foster care agency is that a family cannot have more than four children ages 6 and under in their home at one time. This includes both your own children and foster children. Come October we will have five children 6 and under, which puts us well over the limit.

My question is, we found out we were pregnant with #4 in the midst of taking our 30 hours of classes....why did someone not tell us that they would never place a child with us at that point? I asked numerous people before we started classes about limits for child placements and maximum numbers of biological children. No one could come up with any "rule" that they knew of. How frustrating. It will be two years this fall that we started this foster care journey. And it is at an abrupt end.

The lady told me we could apply in a few years when we had only three children 6 and under. If we apply within four years, we won't have to take our 30 hours again. Princess Pea won't be 7 until October of 2011, so our 4 years will have expired by then. Not to mention we will probably have more kids.

Right now my emotions are taking over and it's hard to see past the facts. But, I do know that God has taken us through this journey for a reason. I just can't fathom what that might be right now. It was 2.5 years ago when we first even pondered the idea of caring for other children besides our own, and our desire to love and help underprivileged children has just grown from there. May God continue to guide and direct our steps and help us grow in our love and knowledge of Him as we grieve the ending to this particular journey of life.


J-momma said...

wow, that's disappointing. but i'm really not surprised. i know each family is unique in what they can handle but they have to have a general rule for everybody. and i can't say i disagree with it. foster kids are a lot of work. probably double the work of a typical kid. and it doesn't matter how great of a parent you are, it's still a lot of work, and you can't parent the same way you would your own. maybe this is God's way of keeping you sane ;) i only have 2 kids and i can't imagine fostering another for a long time. and i'm a pretty patient person AND they go to daycare. so...when i say it's hard, i really mean it.

remember, you can still get involved by being mentors to foster youth. maybe you should ask about that.

but i understand how you would be upset about the timing of it all. that's really unfair they didn't tell you sooner. you should tell them that. we screen people out during the classes all the time. pregnancy automatically means you are out until a year after the baby is born. but we are very strict. if you were here you wouldn't have even gotten to the classes until your kids were older.

Rachel said...

i asked danny and he says it is an unwritten rule but he didn't think it included your bio kids. he's going to check tomorrow.

Shanna said...

I'm so sorry for this news. Two and a half years is a long time of preparation for it all to suddenly end. I will be praying for you and I'm certain that, like you said, there is a reason that God has brought you down this road. His ways are so much bigger than our own and he still has a wonderful plan for your family!

BTW, I actually came to your blog today to tell you that I would really love to see pictures and the details of the products you make and sell. You can email me whenever you get a chance...I'm in no hurry!

leahmarieisme said...

I do not know you, I saw your comment on Shanna Clark's blog...
However, I must say that we are foster parents and have had a little one in our home for over 17 mths now and after a long long emotional road that we have traveled, we just got news that our little one will begin increased visits with birhmom and they are trying to get her back home. We are mommy and daddy to our little one and this is the hardest thing that we have gone through. You may find it a blessing to not mix this with your young children. I am brought to tears at the fact that my little children have to endure this loss and pain. No bridges were built with the birthmom, by her choice. At this time it seems as though our little one will have to start over with a mom who from 2-4 yrs of age barely seen her but an hour a week at times.
This is VERY hard to mix with a young family. I am not saying not to do it, I am only saying God may know you need to be put on hold just a bit.

Natalie said...

Have you prayed about adoption?

Mommy K said...

Natalie, throughout this entire process we have been open to taking children in on a short-term basis, obviously. Once we moved into applying for foster care specifically, we definitely talked about the opportunity of adoption that might arise from a particular situation during foster care. It was a part of foster care we were looking forward to, even knowing how difficult and heart-wrenching an adoption could be through that system. But, so far we have not felt like we were to pursue adoption outside of foster care. Neither of us have any desire at all to do an international adoption, but a domestic adoption outside of foster care would probably be out of our financial abilities. I guess not out of God's, but we still haven't felt led in that direction. It's part of the reason why this news of not being able to foster hits so hard. I feel like my opportunity to adopt is not there anymore. But, we still feel there is a reason for this path we've taken, so we will continue to pray and seek God's will.

Rachel said...

Danny looked into it and he said that the rule came into effect just as you were beginning the process so those you talked to may not have known about it. However, Danny was surprised that they would deny you a license at this time since you could quite easily have a placement before the next baby comes. Just interesting how it works. I don't understand but it's in God's hands.

Regarding your comment to Natalie, a domestic adoption even outside of foster care is incredibly affordable...especially if you adopt from the system and within Indiana. There are lots of grants that will cover all your costs. Just an fyi since you mentioned it. Check out the Indiana Heart Gallery if you want info on that.

We've only done respite at this point but my last respite experience made me leary of having kids in my home that are older than toddlers. I think you are wise in that. We had a 6 and an 8 year old for the weekend last week. They were sweet as punch until Monday when the 6 year old had a blow up - yelling, screaming, cussing, punching me, kicking me - all b/c I put him in time out. It was enough that I had to call the case worker to come out and handle it b/c I was afraid for my unborn baby. If I hadn't been prego it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. But I definitely didn't want Aiden witnessing that! Glad he slept through it! It just opened my eyes more to what I will see. It's still something we want to do but definitely easy to go into with rose-colored glasses. Knowing the issues kids have was one thing but having them acted out in my house was another. It hurt my heart just wanting to know how to help this kid but realizing that, if I were his actual foster parent, how challenging that would matter how much I fostered his relationship with mom he still would take that rage of separation out on me. Just interesting learning experience. Keep your heart open and see where the next step is. Who knows? :o)