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Archive for July, 2011

So, it is kind of like dating.   We’ve moved from hinting to sweet talking to the full-fledged ask.  Usually starts with a dinner out, then a friendship version of a love note and then, the proposal — just jump in, worst that can happen is that they say no.

Dear Friend or Friends-coupled,

Last time we had dinner (or went to the ballgame or that wild cocktail party)  I mentioned that the agency requires  that we establish a community of people that are willing to support us in our foster parent journey.  The whole ‘it takes a village’ approach made official.  Since we have some family in town but not a ton, we’re also looking to a few of our friends that we love and trust (that would be you) and we are asking if you would be willing to be a ‘back-up’ (that is official foster agency lingo there).

I am sure you are thinking – Ummm, what does back-up mean?  A back-up is someone that is willing to get to know our wee-one and is willing to be involved and engaged in our lives (as you already are and as your schedule allows – you are not required to attend every school play although you will probably want to, I am sure) and would be able to help out in an emergency or make yourself available for a routine babysitting gig.  Being a back-up means you can supervise and watch the foster-wee when we are not present.

Ummm, what do we need to do? is surely your next question. You would to fill out the attached form (it is a little scary how not technically savvy the agency is but you can fill this out with a pen directly on the form).  This form allows the agency to conduct a background check to ensure that you are not a registered sex offender or child abuser in our state.  The most difficult part is remembering your addresses for the last 28 years (yes, 28 YEARS).  You do not need to get fingerprinted but you will need to meet XXXX, our social worker, at some point so she can eyeball you and make sure that you don’t look like an ax murderer, at least.  She’ll also ask you some questions about our relationship with you, your discipline philosophy, whether you actually like kids, etc.

So, let us know if you are in.  If you decide that you just can’t do it, don’t worry – you’ll still be invited to all of the school plays.

Love – C and A

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“Foster parents have tremendous responsibility and virtually no authority”

 

I heard this today from a dedicated professional working with foster parents and children and immediately thought – ut-oh and then that is probably right.

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Carrie Ann here, finally posting her first post.  Hmmmm…..where to begin this blogging journey?  As Andrew noted, we are in the middle, moving rapidly toward the end, of the foster parent certification process.  We’ve been rocketing through it – most people do not move so quickly apparently.  And after having spent several months interviewing agencies and roughly 15 years talking about the possibility of being foster/adoptive parents some day, we are almost there.

And yeah, we’re the type of people that think we’re interviewing the agencies not the other way around.

So, we have been fingerprinted and background checked.  We submitted 4 personal references, a budget and proof of employment (employment isn’t needed, you just need to be able to feed yourself and provide for a roof over your and a wee-one’s head), attended MAPP classes (Model Approach to Parenting and Partnership).  We have  turned in the results of our physical and psychological exams and were interviewed for  3 hours about our personal histories (separately, of course, I think to make sure that we got our stories straight).  And we spent a full afternoon visiting with a social worker in our home.  Now we are getting close to having completed all of the requirements.

That list just makes you wanna run out and sign up, doesn’t it? It has been a fascinating process, I must say.  They are encouraging quite a bit of introspection — oh how I hate introspection — but it is good, it is good.

There has been lots of talk about why, why, why do you want to do this?  Are you infertile, trying to save the world, looking for extra cash? (There is no extra cash, by the way, unless you plan on not feeding the fosterwee.)  None of the aforementioned – I don’t think.  This is probably the time for a big philosophical statement but I don’t have one.  Just feels like the right thing for us right now.  Maybe I should work on that answer a bit.

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Hi.  This blog chronicles the adventures of Andrew and Carrie as we navigate the world of foster parenting in New York City.

We’ve been inspired to become foster parents by a supportive network of family and friends who will compose the village for Blitzen, our future foster wee.

We’ve been inspired to share our experiences in blog form by being loyal, lurking readers of several foster parent blogs, including No Thank You Bites and (especially) Fosterhood.  It’s generous of folks to turn their lives into learning experiences for others, and it would be cool if our blog was enjoyed by others down the road.  Realistically, though, as a guy in his 40’s with a spotty memory and attention issues, I just want to jot things down so I remember them a month from now.

Carrie and I sometimes lament not keeping journals.  What was the name of that great restaurant in Nova Scotia?  Who was the artist we saw in the Berkshires in 2003?  What was the name of that weird play with Ethan Hawke?  The stakes are pretty low when we forget the film we saw last Friday, but if we’re co-creating a life book for Blitzen we should get some of the details right.

Welcome to FosterWee.  Thanks in advance for reading, commenting, caring.  As Lou Reed says, It’s the beginning of a great adventure.

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