I’d love to have you pray for our family as we navigate the adoption waters. With each post I’ll share specific things that we are praying about and how you can support us through your prayers.
Adoption Information Meeting
Our first step was to attend a foster care/adoption information meeting. We’ve been trying to make this happen for about six months and we finally were able to attend this week. It was very informal and we were there with only one other couple. We learned about the organization we will be working with and about foster care and adoption in North Carolina. We learned a lot and had many of our questions answered.
A few things we learned:
- In our state, you can not have more than five children in your home at any time (including your biological children). Since we have three children, we could not request more than two foster children. There are exceptions but you have to appeal for a waiver.
- The average time from submitting your application to being certified as foster parents is 3-6 months. This depends on your social worker and how quickly you complete all your paperwork and classes.
- There are several things around the home that are required and that will be checked during your home study: a mounted fire extinguisher, working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, working windows and doors, deadbolts that do not require keys to unlock, a bed with a mattress for each child (futons and pull out couches are not acceptable), a working telephone.
- DSS will pay for childcare for your foster child up to the fair market rate. If DSS is paying then the caregiver has to be licensed.
- Trampolines are okay as long as they have a safety net. Bunk beds are okay as long as they are appropriate for the age of the child. (Those were two very important things for us to ask!)
- Homeschooling your foster child may be permissable but it all depends on the county that the child is from (and each county in North Carolina has different rules about it).
- As long as your child is under the care of DSS they will receive Medicaid and you will receive a payment each month to cover the child’s living expenses.
- Older children are the most difficult to place. Most of the children that our organization works with are older than 6. We’d prefer a child younger than this but we are leaving that in God’s hands.
At the end of the meeting we decided to go ahead and fill out and submit our application. It was about four pages long and just skimmed the surface. Name, address, aliases, job, income, health history. (I gathered that this is a way for the social worker to weed out potential parents.) After our application is reviewed we will be called in for an in-person interview and more paperwork. If that interview goes well then we will be invited to take the foster care classes which include 30 hours of classtime.
And so we wait. I hear this is the norm for adoption. Waiting, paperwork, waiting, paperwork.
Right now we are focused on getting our home ready for another child. We have some repairs that need to be made and some purchases that will need to be made (carbon monoxide detectors, a new deadbolt, bunk beds). Pray that we don’t run into any major issues as we complete these tasks.
Pray for the child that may one day be our child. She (or he) could be in a difficult situation right now–or maybe she hasn’t even been born yet. We just don’t know but God does. Pray for her protection and for her health.
Pray for the social workers of our organization and that they will be swift with our paperwork and when the time is right that they will work diligently to find a child just for us.
If you have adopted I’d love to hear your story! How long did you wait? Did you use the foster care system and adopt domestically or did you adopt from overseas? What is your best piece of advice for prospective adoptive parents?