On Saturday we finished up our P.R.I.D.E. Training! It was much better this go round than the last one. The side topics were kept to a minimum and the discussions were actually really informative. We watched a few videos, filled out some worksheets and reviewed a sample case file. All of which lead to more talking and delving deeper into our own desires to become Foster/Adoptive Parents. That is of course the purpose of the training...
Can you relinquish a child that back to their parents?
Can you handle the child's behavioral/emotional issues?
Can you handle the parent's behavioral/emotional issues?
Who can you rely on when things are hard to handle?
Not exactly easy questions to answer, are they. You may think you know the answers, but until you really start evaluating the questions and your emotional response to those questions you won't have your true answer. Now onto worksheets... because their purpose is to help you answer those questions.
Our first assignment was to review our support groups. Who are the groups/organizations and people we can get support from? Which groups/organizations and people we will get the most support from? Which groups/organizations and people will we need to support? For us this was a little hard to answer, because the "typical" support group is family... and ours don't live near us, so we had to think "outside the box". (If anyone lives nearby and wants to step up.. we'd gladly accept the support)
The second assignment was really telling... we had to create an EcoMap, basically a roadmap to our relationships and the connections therein. Which ones are strong relationship, which ones are tenuous, which ones are stressful and which ones have a flow of resources. Basically, when dealing with these relationship what type of emotional response do I get? Does dealing with this person/group cause stress in my life? Do I feel tense when having to deal with this group/person? Is the relationship healthy in that it is a give & take situation? Is there a strong bond with this person/group? I think that the EcoMap is a really good way of assessing your relationships even if you aren't going through Foster Care/Adoption. You need to know who you can count on. Sometimes, when you evaluate things you realize that certain relationships aren't as "healthy" as they should be.
Now that we have finished our training, we move onto the "licensing" phase, which should take 6-8 weeks. We'll have a homestudy, background check and medical exam. I am really not sure what the order is, but once we get our phone call from our CW we'll know more. So, the first week of April is 6 weeks... I am thinking it will be more like the first week of May, considering the fact that the licensing is through the state and not the agency (the agency just acts as a "middle man".. getting the paperwork organized and submitting it to the state).
So now its a little bit of a waiting game... but the excitingly scary part is that we could have a little one in the house by summer! Granted it is foster care, so the child will go back to their parents eventually, but the time that they will be in the house will be wonderful.. even if they are peeing on my floor, antagonizing the dogs, swearing at me, biting me, hitting me, screaming at me, drawing on my walls, and any other horrible behavior you can think of.