Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The End...for now!

This last year has been a very busy year foster care wise.  I began my classes in January and was so ready to be a foster parent.  I got licensed with my agency officially in March but in reality, it didn't actually happen till the end of April.  Then I found out my agency doesn't get babies, at all!!!  They only get teenagers and someone must have forgotten to mention that when I started my process (insert sarcasm here).

I was so frustrated and even angry when I found out that I had wasted over six months on this agency for nothing.  All of the time and money I spent to get licensed was for nothing.  When I asked the agency, they continued to tell me they get babies, sometimes...but then the placement coordinator told me that she hasn't had a single baby this year and she told me herself that they do not get babies.  It was then that I decided to switch over to the city foster agency.

I went through the process of getting licensed with them.  I had to take two of the PRIDE classes again because they thought it would be good for me to have more trauma experience.  I didn't mind and actually agreed that it would be better to get some extra training in regards to trauma.  I decided to change my age group and gender once I went with the city.  I decided I would take newborn to two year old children and if there was an older brother up to the age of seven, I was going to put that sibling in the room with my seven year old.

As you all know that have been reading and following my blog, I had bought everything needed for a foster child.  My home was ready and our hearts were ready.  I did need to buy a new bed for my sons room but for now I had a trundle bed under his that was good enough till I got a bed for a foster child in his room.

After going through the process with the city for almost four months, I got the call I was waiting for on Halloween at about 5:30 pm.  I had been approved as a respite and emergency provider only due to my student loans.  Because my income is not guaranteed, they couldn't approve me as a full time foster parent.  I was so disappointed but decided that I could be a respite and emergency provider until I was able to prove myself (according to the agency).

I was trying to get used to the idea that this was worth it and respite providers are needed and so important to the process, etc. etc. etc. Then, about a week after my first call letting me know I was not approved as a full time foster parent, I got the call that broke my heart.  The supervisor had gone to the state to talk to them about my case and they decided that I was too high of a risk and they were not willing to license me at all.  I was not even able to be a respite provider, my foster care journey while I was in school and receiving school loans was over.

I was so broken hearted!!!  One year (almost to the day) of starting my journey and I had been shot down and denied.  They told me there was nothing other than my school loans stopping me and when I finished school and started working to give them a call.  The only disappointing thing about that is, when I start working I can't take infants.  I can not have a child under the age of 18 months if I am not a stay at home mom.

I graduate from school on May 8, 2015 and I have decided not to pursue my Masters degree full time (I had planned on it if I would have become a foster parent because it would have allowed me at least two more years at home).  Now I am going to get a job and take a little break from school to be able to start our new life as a single working mom of three.  My oldest has moved out of the house and it is only the three of us left here with plenty of space for a little one but for now, that is on hold too.  I might try going through a different city to get licensed as a working parent and see if they allow me to have infants, but that wont be until I am stable in a new job and maybe even have a different home.

For now though, this journey has come to an end and all of the baby stuff has been removed from my home and put in storage or given away.  It breaks my heart but it just wasn't meant to be. This is The End....for now!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Call

I have been licensed now for over two months and have been waiting on my first call. Every time the phone rings and I don't recognize the number, my heart skips a beat thinking this is it....of course it hasn't been it any of those times. I have had this feeling for the last two days like there is a call coming and when my house phone just rang, my heart again skipped a beat. Then the caller id said it was my agency and I held my breath and had to calm myself down thinking....oh wow, this really is it!!!


I answered the phone all calm and collected and the lady on the other end was so pleasant and nice. Then she asked me if I was going to be attending the training next weekend? Ugh the disappointment that I just experienced. I know that my time will come when the time is right and I know that not getting a call is a good thing because it means that there are no babies needing to be taken from their parents. But I am really excited to get that first call and this was such a disappointment. Oh well....one day that phone will ring and there will be a child needing to be placed and I will be able to say yes to the right one.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Diaper deal

I have decided to cloth diaper my foster children not only to save me money in the long run but also because I am thinking of my carbon footprint on the world and I want to do my part.  Another reason to cloth diaper is because of how cute they are.....hello, have you seen the cloth diapers you can get??  I am going to write a post about cloth diapering another day but this post is about why I still have to buy regular diapers and the deal I got last night!!

I have been thinking about the use of cloth diapers and visits with bios.  Will the bios support the cloth diaper decision and will they be okay with changing cloth diapers during visits?  I don't want to the bios throwing away a cloth diaper (they are not cheap!!!) so I have decided that I am going to have disposable diapers to use during visits with bios.  I had not planned on buying any diapers till I have a baby in the house and know what size diapers I need....until yesterday!!

I was on facebook yesterday and saw that there were a few people posting about the great diaper deal they got with Pampers diapers.  I didn't really think much of it until a friend of mine posted the details.  Dollar General had a sale where they were offering any size package of Pampers diapers for $9.  In the ad it specifically states that it is any count and any size.  Well, a bunch of mama's went to Walmart and Target because they price match.  I had just been at Target yesterday and saw that they had a Pampers deal that if you buy two boxes of diapers for $24.95 each, they give you a $15 Target gift card.  Well I called my Target store and asked if they would price match and they said yes.  Then I get to the store and they agreed to let me buy 4 boxes of diapers so I could get two of the gift cards.  I spent $9 each on four boxes of diapers and paid $36.36.  Then I got $30 in Target gift cards!!  Total, I paid $1.59 each box of diapers!!!  That's a deal I couldn't pass up!!!  


I decided to buy the diapers in sizes 2 and 3 and figured if I need different sizes, I can just exchange them.  

Now I am all set on diapers for the baby for the whole time the baby is in diapers.....or the whole time a few babies are with me!!!  432 diapers and about 50 cloth diapers.....yeah, I'm all set :)

So you use cloth or disposables on your foster children?  Why or why not?  How did the bios react?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Patients

I have been MIA for awhile now and there is a reason for it.....I was sitting here waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for my background check to come back.  I was getting really frustrated waiting so long and everyone around me kept telling me to be patient.  The patients has finally paid off and yesterday when I called my agency, I found out my background check has finally come through and I am now on the list!!  Holy talidos people.....I could get a phone call at anytime for a placement!!

I got really frustrated and took all of the baby stuff that was sitting all over the house and put it in storage and in closets.  I still have the crib up of course but I just got tired of seeing the baby swing and bassinet sitting around waiting for a baby to use them.  Secretly I thought that if I would put the stuff away, I would get the call I have been waiting for but....nope...didn't work!!!

I am going to leave the stuff where it is until I actually get a phone call and when that call comes, I will bring out the baby stuff that is hidden in every closet and stuffed into my storage.  I have been making baby stuff and buying cloth diapers and my mamma made a beautiful blanket for me.  I need to take a picture of the blanket to show you all....it is gorgeous!!!  I also need to show you guys the bibs I made, I am so happy with how they turned out.

So now the wait for THE phone call begins.  I am finishing a semester in school and have a lot going on right now so I don't mind if I have to wait a little bit but hopefully we will get a little munchkin into our home soon.

Please send some good baby vibes my way :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Oh wait...

According to my agency, I was supposed to be licensed and ready to go last week on Wednesday.  On Sunday I got a call from the woman who did my home study and she had some additional questions for me.  I answered her questions which left her with a question she had to call the state for and she said she would call me late Monday afternoon and let me know what was going on.

Monday morning came and I got a call from my PRIDE instructor telling me there was a paper that I had not signed and she said there was a problem with my physical paperwork.  I went to the agency and signed the paper that I had signed during my first week and got my PRIDE certificate which includes foster and adoption training (yay).  My instructor showed me a part of my physical where the doctor had forgotten to write some information and she told me I would have to take the paperwork back to the doctors.

I asked her if there was any word on what the other lady had been asking about but was told that they hadn't gotten any information as of then.  I asked her about my last back ground check and she said she didn't know if it was back yet but she said that she would check and let me know when I talked to her about my physical paperwork.

I went on Tuesday to get my physical paperwork fixed and had to go to the DMV for some information on my license.  As soon as I was done, I went straight to the agency with all of my stuff and turned it into the instructor.  I asked her again if my background check was in and she said she had not been able to get in touch with the woman that handles that part.  She did tell me that I should be done now and as soon as the background check comes in, I am ready to go.

It is now Thursday night (Friday morning since it is after 1 am) and I have not heard anything from them since Tuesday when I was there.  I think I am going to either call them tomorrow or stop in and see if my background check has come back.  I want to get licensed or at least know if and when I am licensed.

How are you doing?  My bloggy friends have been slacking on the blogging lately and I miss you guys!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Foster Care timeline

I guess I am learning that when someone tells you something will take a week....expect it to take a lot longer than that.  I was supposed to be licensed as of yesterday but the weather Gods don't seem to like me very much and they keep sending snow our way (it hasn't ever snowed as much here as it has this year).  The snow closed down our city both Monday and Tuesday and therefor, I never got my phone call on Monday to finish my home study.

Tonight at a little after 8 pm, I got the call I have been waiting for all week.  I was told that one of my three background checks hasn't come back yet and I won't have my license until the background check comes in.  I did spend a little over an hour on the phone and finished answering all of the questions the woman from the agency had for me.  She said she is going to write up the last little bit of my home study and then I am done and ready to go as soon as my background check comes in.

I really hope this happens soon.  It's funny because I had to have a background check done in three different states and it is only my state that hasn't come back yet.  They are supposedly really backed up and this weather is not helping at all.

Until then, this home is ready and so are our hearts.  We are just enjoying our days and looking forward to bringing another little munchkin into our lives (one at a time at least because I am sure there will be plenty of little munchkins that will come into my home).

How long did it take you to get your background checks done?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Last home study visit

My third and final home study was scheduled for yesterday morning around 10:30 am.  I hadn't heard anything so I called the lady yesterday morning a little after nine to confirm the appointment.  She said that something had come up that week and she was trying to play catch up yesterday and wasn't sure she would be able to make it out.  I was disappointed but tried not to let her hear it.  She told me she would call me and let me know if she would come.

My friend was going to do my hair yesterday and she called me at noon and asked if she could come a little after one and I told her that was fine because it didn't sound like I was going to be finishing my home study that day.  My friend came over with her two children and started to put foil highlights in my hair.  My house was spotless but within a matter of minutes, the kids had all the toys pulled out in the living room and were having a blast.

At about three in the afternoon, when I had a head full of foil and my house was a mess, the lady called and said she was around the corner.  She asked if she could come stop by for a few minutes and I told her of course but warned her that I had friends there and my house was a mess.  She said she didn't mind at all and would only be there for a few minutes.

She showed up and we laughed at the fact that I was so much more comfortable with her and she said that is how she wants it to be.  She checked to make sure me freezer was locked, the meds were locked up, the cabinet doors were baby proofed, and she checked my fire extinguisher and first aid kit.  She asked me who my child care partner is and I told her it was my friend who was there and then she explained a few last things to me and said she would call me Monday afternoon to finish the last few things.

At that point, I asked her how long it would be until I am able to take a placement and she said that as of Wednesday March 5, I am able to take a placement.  I can't believe I am done!!!  It seems to unreal to me!  I could have a child in my home in three days!!  Now I really need to get as far ahead this week on homework as possible so I can devote as much time as possible to the baby when it gets here.  I figured I can have all my homework done by Wednesday for this week if I bust my tail in the next two days.  I have a tutoring appointment on Wednesday but that is only for an hour and then I will be all done.

Please send me some good pink foster vibes this week.  I would love to get a placement this week or the beginning of next since Spring Break starts for me next week and it would give me some down time from school to spend getting all of us used to each other.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dotting my i's and crossing my t's

I have my final home study scheduled for Saturday morning and then it is all just a waiting game after that.  I found out yesterday that my school is out for a week starting March 10th and it would be fabulous to get a placement during that time.  I figured even if I don't get a placement, it gives me a week to get ahead with my schoolwork as well as get this house in even better order.  

I was also thinking that maybe during that time I can cook some meals and throw them into my deep freezer for when I do get our first placement.  It would be so nice to not have to think of cooking dinner the first week or so.  I figured if I make some meals that can be thrown into the Crockpot, that would be even easier for me.  

I was also thinking about making some cinnamon rolls from The Pioneer Woman and freeze most of them so the boys have some sort of yummy snacks after school.  I was thinking I could also make some muffins or something to freeze.  

I ordered the car seat on Saturday, it is supposed to be here on Friday.  I decided to clean out my van this past weekend and rearranged the seating in the car to make space for the new car seat.  I am going to place the car seat behind my seat and I put my six year olds high back booster in the center in the very back of the car.  He loves it because now he is facing the TV directly and has the car blankets on the seat next to him and I am going to make a toy/activity box to place in the seat on the other side of him.  

I found an awesome organizer on Pinterest and am going to make one if not two for our van to help with getting it organized and fun.  If you click on the link above, it shows you how this can be made into a toy/activity box and placed in the seat next to the kids and it even has a buckle so it doesn't budge if you have to brake hard.



Such a great idea to have in the car so you don't have all kinds of things all over.  And this makes it all within reach of the driver as well as the front seat passenger.  I swear there are endless things to make if you have the time to search Pinterest and have the skills, time, and resources to make them.  I think I am now adding to my list of things to do during spring break!!!

I was trying to decide what to do in regards to a car seat.  I have been going back and forth endlessly on wether or not I should buy an infant car seat or just a convertible one.  I finally decided that I would save myself the money and just buy a convertible car seat.  I was only able to get about 4 months worth of use out of my infant car seat with my youngest one because he hit 22 lbs at 4 months old and it was such a waste to me to spend a hundred dollars on a car seat that I barely got any use out of.  I am not a fan of using car seats on strollers and I honestly think infant car seats are just really HEAVY when lugging in and out of the car.

Now that the decision has been made lol  I so badly want to show you guys the car seat that I ended up purchasing.  I had to go pink and wanted something that we can use for many babies of any size and age.  I chose to go with the Grace MyRide 65 LX Convertible Car Seat.  A child can use it rear facing until 40 lbs and can use it forward facing until 65 lbs.  



Isn't it cute!?!  I can't wait to put it in the car and of course we got a cute mirror to put on the head rest so I can see the baby from the drivers seat.  This mirror is so cool, it has lights and plays music....best part, it has a remote so I can control it from the front seat!!  Where was this stuff when my boys were little??  I love the things that are available for babies and children now a days!!  

                                       


Ok, enough of me going on and on and on and on....I can get so carried away when it comes to Foster Care!  

Do you have any recipes or ideas about make ahead meals?


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lamb mobile

I bet you wouldn't have ever guessed but I love lambs!!  Crazy huh ;)  They remind me of home and give me a warm and comfy feeling....can't beat that!  

I have been wanting to find a cute mobile for the crib and I wanted it to be lambs.  I looked ALL OVER and couldn't find any that I liked until I found this totally cute ETSY store.  It is amazing and she makes these mobiles herself.  I went back and forth trying to figure out which one I wanted and/or which one I liked the best.  After lots of back and forth and sending my mom and sister the choices, I finally narrowed it down to this one....


I love it and I think it is perfect for this room, this crib, this home, and hopefully to all the beautiful babies that sleep in that crib and look at those little lambs floating up above them.  

I hung the mobile from the ceiling and am able to move it up if I get an older baby or adjust it in any way if need be.  I think it looks so sweet and have caught myself looking at it many times as I am laying in my own bed.  I can't wait to look over and see a sweet baby laying in that bed.  


By the way...that pillow will not be in the bed when a baby comes.  The pillow is from my own bed but I throw it in there at night when I am turning the bed down.  I do babysit a little boy who sleeps in the crib when he is here and he likes to use a pillow but he hasn't slept in there in a couple of weeks.


The saying that is above the crib says Happiness Dwells in the Soul.  I love that saying...it makes my heart so happy!!  

What do you think of the lamb mobile?  Does it make your heart flutter the way it makes mine?  How can it not ;)


Light at the end of the tunnel

On Friday night, I got a phone call asking me to bring the boys in to the agency for Home Study number two.  I slept maybe a total of 2.5 hours Friday night, my nerves were all over the place.  I woke up at 5:30 that morning and couldn't go back to sleep.  The boys and I got to the agency right about 10 am and had to wait a little bit for the lady to get there.

When she did get there, she introduced herself to the boys and told them that she was going to talk to them one at a time.  My middle son went first and said afterwards that she had been really nice and asked him questions like, how is he doing at school, what does he do on a normal day, she asked what he likes to do for fun, etc.

My oldest son went second and he said that she just asked questions like, how he's doing in school, how does he get along with his brothers, she asked if my youngest son was a mamma's boy (he was sitting in my lap waiting for the interview) and my oldest told her yes.  Then she asked if he was a mamma's boy and he said that he laughed and told her that they are all mamma's boys :)

My youngest went last and he is SUPER shy.  He opened up real quick to her and told her that he is excited about getting a baby and she asked if he would be jealous and he told her no.  He also told her that I am his favorite person.  He then went on to tell her that his brothers hit him and are mean to him and when he tells his mamma, she yells at his brothers.  I overheard this part and wanted to crawl into a hole....he was eating up the attention she gave him and kept going!!!  She said to me after she finished interviewing the boys that she thought they were great boys and told me how great I was doing.

She never mentioned the comment my baby boy made and I didn't say anything to him about it either.  His brothers do hit him and they tease him but that is what big brothers do.  He taunts them and annoys them till they are ready to scream (and sometimes do).

She talked to me alone and I sent the boys to the car.  During this time she told me that my middle son told her about his sister whom we just met for the first time a year ago (it's a long story and I will tell you guys about it some other time).  My son told her how I reached out to the sister and how she has become a huge part of our life.  She told me that speaks volumes about the kind of person I am (blush) and she said that it looks like I am doing the right thing by becoming a foster parent.  She then told me that she is going to come by this week for a short visit, 15-20 min and then I am all done.  She is going to try to finish my home study by the end of next week and I should be licensed and ready to accept children in the next two to four weeks!!!

I can't believe this is coming to an end!!  There is actually a light at then end of the tunnel!  I made the decision to become a foster parent in the beginning of November but with Christmas there were no PRIDE classes coming up.  I started PRIDE classes on January 10th and it is now the end of February (most of the delay was due to bad weather in the area) and I am finishing up!!  I can't believe how fast this process is!

I ordered a convertible car seat yesterday and now all I have left to buy is a stroller.  My home is ready and so is my heart.  I am so excited right now!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Home Study number two is now scheduled

I got a call this evening about 7ish from the woman who came out to do my first home study.  She wanted to know if I was able to bring the boys and come to the agency in the morning so she could do her interview with the boys.  I told her that would be no problem and we would see her then.

Now it is 1:30 in the morning and I can't sleep....I am a nervous wreck!!!  What if my boys so something that is wrong or going to make her question if we can do this??  What if she doesn't like my boys?  What if?  What if?  What if?

I have all these thoughts going through my head and all I keep thinking is....it is what it is and if tomorrow doesn't go well, then that is what was meant to be.  I just feel like so much stuff has fallen into place perfectly as if me becoming a foster parent is meant to happen and I hope and pray that is the case.

I got a beautiful mobile in the mail today.  I found it on ETSY and had to have it.  It has lambs (swoon) and we put it up tonight and it looks adorable above the crib.  I will have to take pictures and share it on here,  Maybe I will do that tomorrow when I write to report on how the home study goes.

Wish me luck!!  Have you had to have your children interview for a home study?  If so, how did it go? What are they looking for when interviewing children...good and bad?  Say a little prayer for us in the morning, we need it!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All of my training is now finished

Last night I went to CPI training, otherwise known as Nonviolent crisis intervention.  The class was very informative and teaches us all kinds of awesome things that all parents need to know.  They talk about the way we talk to children, the tone of our voice and the choice of words we use.  I have to say that I learned a lot of usual information and will be using some of this on my own children.

I am so excited to be able to say that all of my training is finished and now all I have left to do before getting my license is finish the two home studies.  I have no idea when she is going to come out for the second and third home study though.  I asked one of the couples last night who had their first home study done on Thursday, if she had mentioned when she is going to come out again and they said that she had just told them that she would be in touch.

I have to say the one thing that annoys me is that I was the first one in the class to turn in all of my paper work and there are still people who are not finished turning in their paperwork and they are getting home studies done.  The couple on Thursday don't have some paper work in and they are still able to proceed.  I busted my tail getting everything done in the first week and I thought by doing that, I would be able to finish faster.....I was wrong :/  Sorry, I don't mean to whine on here....just frustrating to know that rushing and busting my tail the first week....it didn't get me anywhere.

Anyway...I am now free to take care of my own boys and get caught up on my school work and spend some time with these little monsters of mine :)  My six year old told me today how happy he is that I am done with my training because now I can be home with him at night and play games with him.  So on that note....I am going to play the board game LIFE.

Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Home Study one.....check

The first of three home studies is now completed.  The Home Study was supposed to start at 11 and of course that didn't happen.  I was so nervous and having to wait was making everything that much harder.  I got a phone call...on my house phone, which I never use at about 11:30.  I didn't even realize that I had given my house number because it is never used....the only person that uses it is my youngest son.  The woman said she was just leaving the current place and would be here between 12 and 12:30. I got the best advice ever after that from someone really close to me and he said to take this moment as if I was getting a chance to showcase my parenting and my home.  This woman can not come into my home and tell me my worth.  Being told this was what I needed to hear and I was so thankful.

I decided to get on Skype and talk to my sister to try to make the time go by faster and also so I wouldn't be freaking out here at home.  The lady came in at about 12:15 and she was soooo sweet!!  I have met her before but now I got some one on one time with her and she put me at ease.  She told me the first meeting was the shortest one and it would last about 30-40 min and then the second one would be with my boys and would last about an hour and the last one was going to be with me and would probably be about an hour too.

She looked at my home and told me what needed to be done which was to put child safety locks on the kitchen cabinet with my household cleaners and a lock on the bathroom cabinet so I can store my laundry detergent there.  She said I wasn't allowed to have candles in the house and she told me to use wax warmers instead.

The one thing I was sure she would mention was the crib being too close to my bed and guess what??  She didn't even mention it at all!!!  She didn't have anything negative to say about my home at all and she said she was here to help me become the best foster parent I could be.  She asked me if I had any questions and I told her that I didn't and asked her if that was a bad thing?  She said it wasn't and she also mentioned that she was there for my first night of PRIDE training and she knew I was the one asking all the questions lol  She left me her card and told me to call if I had any questions or concerns.  I have to go in for my CPI training tomorrow night and I am going to ask one thing then, I want to know when she is planning on coming out here next and how long she thinks it will take before she finishes her three home studies and I get licensed.  She told me it could be 4 days after licensing or 3 months before I get a child but I already knew this.

I feel so much better now that the first home study is done.  Now to keep my house in perfect, pristine condition till we can get this all done!!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

First home study

My first home study is in two hours and I am soooooo nervous!!!  I wish my PRIDE instructor was coming out here to do this home study.  I loved her so much and feel so comfortable around her!! The woman who is coming is really nice but I don't know her very well, I have only talked to her a few times.  My house is clean, closets are even clean in the entire house and I am ready for her to poke around and do her thing.  The thing that makes me most nervous is that she won't think my home is big enough or good enough for me to foster or I will say something to make her not like me!!  I talk a lot, especially when I am nervous and I have to try to stay quiet and only answer when asked a question....no extra talking in there!!!

During the last PRIDE training, we talked about the home studies and they mentioned that beds must be three feet apart.  Well, the crib is not three feet away from my bed and there is no way with the layout as it is, that I will be able to have three feet between the bed and the crib.  I wonder how some are able to have two babies in their room and keep three feet between all beds?  I am so nervous about this part that I even looked at moving to something bigger.  Then I realized that this is home and we are going to make it work and if they don't approve me because there is not three feet between our beds, then so be it :/

Ok, my nerves are getting the best of me.  I am gonna go scrub something to make the time pass faster.

Next time I post, I will have my first home study done!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

As soon as I made the decision to become a foster parent and start the training I started wandering down the baby aisles in the stores.  I didn't buy anything but I allowed myself to dream about the baby that would one day be sleeping in a crib in my room. The baby that I would be dressing in pink baby clothes and the baby I would be able to put cute headbands on and the baby that would be loved on and adored by myself as well as my boys.  The baby that would be ours for as long as the baby needs us. 

I started sewing baby stuff a few weeks before the PRIDE training classes began and let me tell you.....sewing for a baby is soooooo much fun!!!  I had no idea that I could sew until I started dreaming about this little baby that would be entering our home.  Now....I can't get enough of the sewing machine!!!

I saw online somewhere, where a woman made a tag turtle and I loved the idea.  I wasn't exactly sold on the exact turtle that she made so I decided to come up with my own design for the turtle and well....

TA DA

                                    

The tag turtles are actually quite big and they are kind of like stuffed animals.  If I were to make them again, I would make the tags smaller (the lady did hers big and I think it would have looked better to make them smaller).  I still need to add eyes to the turtles but other than that, they are ready.  I made the blue tag turtle for my nephew whose birthday was Monday and decided to keep the pink tag turtle for my future foster baby.

This is what the bottom looks like.  I used Minky material on the bottom to make the tag turtles nice and soft and lovey.  I sure hope kids like them :) 


Here is the blue tag turtle on the tag blankie that I am sending to my sisters little ones....my niece who was born on New Years Eve and her big brother who just turned 2.


I found an awesome blanket tutorial here and decided to make the blanket for my future baby and I LOVE how it turned out!!  This blanket took me many hours to sew and then cut the back and in the end, it was worth every minute of it.  


Here is the crib that I got on a facebook yardsale site for $60 with my blanket in it.  


I also decided that I wanted some beautiful crib sheets so, I made some!!!  This one is so pretty and it just melts my heart to see these colors in a crib.....in my home!!!  Never thought I would see pink baby things in my home :)


Is this not the sweetest baby crib sheet you have ever seen.....was that biased or what???  LOL  This crib is so beautiful and I feel like I hit the jackpot with it!


I also scored big time with these two bins full of clothes.  The clothes are from Newborn all the way to 18 months and they are all different seasons.  A friend of mine from years ago advertised them on a facebook yardsale site for $20.  I was quick to respond and so happy to know they came from her.  I knew these clothes were clean and she even organized them based on size....my kinda girl!!!  

 

There are so many more outfits and pacifiers and shoes and headbands and more that have been added to this pile since I got these bins.  I am trying to buy things for all sizes and preferably stay at 6 months and up.  I have been thinking about getting cloth diapers but I think that would probably be best to wait until the baby comes.  I really want to try cloth diapers and have been doing lots of research with my cloth diaper genius of a sister and I have to say....they have some amazingly cute cloth diapers out there!!!  I wondered if I should be stocking up on disposable diapers but I don't want to buy them and then they are the wrong size and I won't ever need to use them or they sit in the closet for a year while a baby has to grow into them.  I figured I can start stock piling wipes since I know they will get plenty of use.  I am also researching car seats online and am thinking I will get a convertible one so I don't have to have more than one car seat.  Then I wonder if maybe I should get an infant car seat for visits and the convenience of being able to carry baby in the car seat.....decisions, decisions!!!  

I found the cutest stroller on Craigslist for $20 and was going to meet the lady but never got a call from her.  She emailed me to tell me they had gotten really sick and I told her no worries just to let me know when they were feeling better and I would get the stroller then.  I never heard back from her and I sent her an email about a week later asking if she was still interested in selling the stroller but got no response.  Stinks because I had found a stroller/car seat combo for $50 that was pink and girly and cute but I didn't want to get that one if I could get the first one since I was undecided with the car seat.

Wow...that was a lot of writing!!!  Imagine how much I talk in real life!!!  My family and friends are so good to me for listening to these ramblings all the time ;)  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Reaction from those around me

The reaction that I have received from the people around me have been positive for the most part.  My family has always known that I want to do this and they were extra supportive....they even surprised me with how much they agreed that this was what I should be doing.  Don't get me wrong, they have named their biggest concerns, mostly about the fear of my heart being broken having to say good bye to a child I have bonded with, but for the most part they have been cheering me on and asking excitedly about how my PRIDE training is going and what goes on in each class.

One person I know, asked me if I was aware of how much work this was going to be and told me that I can't return a child just because things get hard.....hmmmmm.....never knew that!?!?!  This was probably the most negative I have heard from anyone.

My mamma and sisters are so excited and bless their hearts, they sit and listen to me babble on and on about the excitement I am feeling and they are always excited to see the new things I am making for the baby or buying for the baby (there is a WHOLE post on that lol).

This week I will be completing my PRIDE training as well as CPI training (I think that's what it's called...will find out Wednesday for sure).  We have had some snow in this area, which we are not used to or prepared for and that caused class to be cancelled last week and we are due to get more snow tomorrow which will most likely cause class to be cancelled tomorrow night as well.  I really like my instructor and have gotten really close to her and the other future foster parents.  Out of the people that started, there is only a few people that have dropped the classes and we actually added four more people after the first nights orientation.  We have three women who were foster parents in the past, two whom have adopted a few children in the past, all teenagers.  There are people from all walks of life in there but I have learned that they are all very sweet and really passionate about becoming foster parents.

The application and paperwork needed to become a foster parent was a little bit overwhelming at first.  I finished the application before starting the PRIDE classes and I was able to finish all the rest of my paperwork within the first week.  I had to get a copy of my driving record, copy of my inspection for my car, auto insurance ID card, rental insurance, registration for my car, physicals for myself and each of the boys, and fingerprinting for me.  When I saw that list, I became a little bit overwhelmed since I have school full time and I have classes at night, I didn't know how I was going to be able to get it all done.  I went on a Wednesday when I didn't have class and got everything done for my car since I had to re register the car anyway and then I got my fingerprints done the same day.  The following Friday I went to get a physical for the boys and I and was able to hand in my completed application when I got to class that night (first one in the class to finish and turn in my application).

Now I am just waiting for one of the ladies to call me to set up the home study...hopefully it will be this week but because of the snow tomorrow, it will probably be pushed back till next week.  I spoke to my instructor tonight and asked her if any of the people that went through the PRIDE training last month were licensed yet and she said that there were actually some that had already gotten their license!!!  That gives me some hope and I hope it goes smoothly for me as well and I can get the ball rolling and get this license soon.

How long did it take you to get your license?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First night of PRIDE Training

Last night was my first night of PRIDE training.  I wasn't really sure what to expect when it came to the training but then I realized that it is really slow paced.  I am a full time college student and am used to teachers talking fast and covering a lot of material in a three hour period but I kind of felt like the three -hours dragged a little bit.  Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I am excited to get this started and really get in the swing of things and that was only night one.

We learned what PRIDE means (I will spare you the details of all of that) and then they taught us what it means to be a foster parent and what it means to be an adoptive parent.  They showed us a video from the 1980's that was informative (if you are a foster parent in the 80's lol).  The video can definitely be updated but it proved its point and that was all that mattered.

The instructor did mention one thing that I want to shout from the roof tops to allow everyone to know this information....

Foster parents can get a voucher when buying a new home or when moving to cover expenses.

The instructor said that is something that is known by few and used by fewer people but it is something that she wanted all of us to know so we could utilize this in the future if we buy a house or move to make space for our foster children.  Pass this information on and use it if you need it!!!

I was really excited to learn yesterday that they are going to be doing my first home study next week.  The instructor said that they are starting the background checks right away and want to get the ball rolling as fast as possible....they sound as if they are speaking my language!!!

Night two tonight and then I have tomorrow night off.  I am so excited to go tonight and see what else we are going to learn!

One interesting fact, there was 2/3 of the class missing from the orientation.  The instructor said that they are going to be taking the PRIDE classes during the day and I hope so...that is a lot of people to lose!!!

Have a great Tuesday....it is rainy and dreary here but I am not letting that ruin my day :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Foster Parent Orientation

Friday night was my first night of classes for foster parenting. We met at 6 pm and I had no idea what to expect once I got there.  What I realized within moments of arriving is that this agency is the friendliest bunch of people I could have ever hoped to meet.  They were so warm and welcoming which made being there alone even easier.  I was the first person to arrive and I got to talk to three of the women individually and was able to ask some questions and get some great insight of what I was getting myself into.

There are two owners of the agency and they are both very involved and were both so perky and upbeat.  I am a people person and am very loud and outgoing, to meet similar people is always a good thing.  There were about five speakers and they introduced the company and told us about themselves and what brought them into this line of work.  The thing that impressed me was the amount of time they had spent with this agency, they had all been there for a long time and some for as long as the agency had been open.

The people in the class surprised me a little bit.  In that regard, I had no idea what to expect.  There were people there from all different places in life and of all ages.  I think I was one of the youngest ones there but I was surprised to learn that I was definitely not the only single one there.  There was a group of women in the back that were all single and had kids who were older and leaving the home soon and there was one who even had three boys and was a full time student, like I am.

There was one woman there who is a foster parent for the city and she is thinking about switching to the agency.  I hope she is there on Monday because I would really like to pick her brain a little bit and find out what she prefers and why she is thinking about going to the agency.  I wish I would have stuck around and talked to her yesterday but I was kind of nervous and didn't know how to act when they said we were done for the night and could go home....should I stay and mingle or should I just go?  So, I just went home (well not home, to Target to go dream about the baby stuff that I will soon have all over my home).

One of the things that was mentioned in the orientation that I would like to talk to someone more about is, they mentioned that the state gets more babies and the agency gets older children.  The woman mentioned that even though one may want a baby, we have to be open to the idea of getting a 12-13 year old.  I am not in the position to take in a child older than an infant because I have nowhere to put that child in my apartment.  I was under the impression that I can pick and choose the age and gender of the children I want to foster and I need to make sure that is accurate.

Also, if the agency does not get a lot of foster children who are young infants, then I think I would prefer to go with the state since that is the age range I am wanting to foster.  I wonder if the agency will allow me to complete my PRIDE classes there with them if I don't plan on staying with them?  Maybe I shouldn't mention that I am not sure if I will stay with them just in case they wouldn't allow me to continue then?  Maybe that is just being dishonest!!!

Either way, I guess all of this will become more clear in the next three weeks as I continue my classes and am on my way to becoming a foster parent.

By the way.....

I have been sewing like a maniac and am loving all the pink that is entering my home in anticipation of a little pink bundle of joy.  I have gotten a crib (great price off of a facebook site in my area), some clothes, I made three crib sheets and a blanket, as well as some baby shoes and then I have had some offers from people I know that they are willing to lend me baby stuff if needed (it will definitely be needed!!!).