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!!!).