That is how I felt after finding out we would have to wait a quarter of a year to take the classes we needed to move forward with adopting. I was under the impression that we had to take the classes before we could begin the process of becoming certified to foster and adopt. Never have I been so thankful to be wrong.
We were quickly assured that we would have plenty to do while we waited. We had mounds and mounds of paperwork to look forward to. Paperwork that exposed all of our “deep, dark secrets.” We had three packets to complete. Packet one (the application) was complete before we found out we would miss the classes. Then we had packet two – oh, packet two – the exposing packet! Packet two was fun. It asks tons of questions about marriage – the good, bad and ugly. I mean it dives right in, sex life and all. This packet also asks a billion questions about your parents, your upbringing, and your always fun and entertaining teen years. The best part of this lovely form was 90% of the questions were multiple choice. No need to explain your answers here.
Fost/adopt is not for the faint of heart or those looking to hide from their past. This is authenticville, the open book lifestyle. Thankfully I am open to a fault and maybe overshare on occasion. Packet two was long, and it was an individual packet so Luke and I had our own. SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. I may have been a little nervous to turn it in. I mean, do they read the answers to the questions about the teenage years? That can’t still be held against me right!? I wasn’t a rebellious teen by any means, but teenagers are crazyville. They aren’t fully baked.
When we turned in packet two and no one told us to take a hike, we moved on to packet three. Now I have to say, I am list person and Koinonia was very kind to supply me with the ultimate list. Packet three had the most things to check off, so naturally it was my favorite. It also had way fewer questions and a lot more things to do. We had to get fingerprinted twice for the foster care and adoption background checks (please do not believe that California shares fingerprints; you have to get different ones done for everything). The prints are the most expensive part of getting certified, I think Luke and I paid around $150 each. That is one of the very few things we had to pay for.
We also had to get our DMV records ($5 each), take a CPR class ($50 each) and pay co-pays for our physicals ($20 each + blood work cost). Yes, you have to get a physical to adopt. They gotta make sure you are healthy enough to chase after little ones. That is basically the total cost we accrued through the certification process. We did have to spend some money to get our house up to home study standards, but that cost will depend on what you already have in your house and usually isn’t much.
Packet three also required us to draw up floor plans for our house and yard, make an emergency contact list, write rules for our home, name someone guardian of our kids if we croak, get vaccine records for the pups, prove our income and employment, make a detailed financial statement, and I am sure there’s other stuff I am missing.
I was so anxious to check things off our list that I may have become a little bit of a stalker. I definitely called our doctor’s office a few hundred times and might have camped out in their office on a Friday afternoon to make sure they gave us the LAST piece of paperwork we needed before they closed. I’m pretty sure the receptionist thought I lost my mind. She might have contemplated calling security when the words, “I will wait as long as it takes” escaped my lips, since they were already closed at that point.
In my defense, that piece of paperwork was SUPER important. It meant we could start the home study process. So ya know, it had to be done because waiting until Monday sounded like eons of torture. Plus I was fairly confident the Lord would do what He needed to do to slow down this crazy train if He wanted to, even if I was camped out in my doctor’s office.
Did I mention waiting isn’t my strong suit?
Find out more of the story in Part 6, coming soon.
Previously published on bacallburns.com. Used with permission.