Turn, Turn, Turn

To everything / There is a season / And a time to every purpose under heaven

Most people think of the seasons in terms of the calendar year: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. But going to school for 24+ years of my life, followed by five years of working in higher education, I tend to think of the seasons like this: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer.

In fall, when most things are dying, instead of feeling sad that summer is over, I feel the way most people feel in springtime: renewed, inspired, motivated. Lit on fire like the burning oranges and reds that surround me on the trees and crunching under my feet. Ready to tuck away the ups and downs of the year so far, to build on something new.

But this year, I’ve lost track of seasons all together. Instead of the weather, my rhythms are shaped by waiting. If you asked me how I’m doing, I’d respond that all I know is I’m sweaty all the time and our social worker probably hasn’t emailed us back.

A few weeks back, I was on a trip to Target (where else?) and walked in to find all of the patio furniture replaced with…back to school. It took me completely by surprise. As I took in all the Crayola-yellow packaging and contemplated what eight grader needs a chandelier in their locker, I felt like I had woken up from a long, restless night of sleep.

This too-early changing of the seasons, this eschewing of the 90 degree heat and holding out hope for a fall breeze feels oddly right. It lines up with how I feel inside, that something new is coming. We are submitting our home study for multiple children a week now, and any day we could wake up to an email that we’re headed to a match meeting with a social worker we’ve never met. That child or children might be the new member of our family, or they might not. We are learning how to be prepared for anything while staying fully present in the current moment.

We don’t know who will be showing up on our doorstep or when they will arrive, but we know that soon, life as we know it will change irrevocably. Anticipation, excitement, nerves, and hitting “refresh” on our inbox one too many times. It is a delicate balance but a unique and special one.

We don’t need the weather report to tell us that our current season of life is characterized by this uncertainty, so there’s not much else to do but to embrace it.

Turn, turn, turn.

 

Advertisements

Licensed to Parent

It’s official!

Our home study is signed, sealed, delivered and we are a licensed foster home!

andy.gif

Cue the question: so, what’s next? 

Now that we’re licensed, we are allowed to view what’s called the “private narrative” of children we are interested in learning more about. These narratives could come to us one of a few ways: we request them based on a public profile we saw of a child, our social worker sends them to us based on a private database she shares with other social workers, or a child’s worker sees our profile on that same database and reaches out to our social worker about us.

If we feel comfortable moving forward with a child after reading their private narrative, we can submit our home study to their social worker for consideration. From there, it’s a matter of fit, meaning if that child’s social worker reads our full home study and feels confident we would be a good fit for that child, we would move forward with interviews, meetings with that child’s support team, and more. This can be a lengthy process as a lot of schedule coordination and research is vital to collect as much information as possible about that child so we can make an educated decision about whether we can commit to parenting them forever.

You might be wondering why we had to get our foster care license when we are exclusively pursuing adoption and not fostering. When adopting children from foster care who are considered “waiting children” (those with biological parents whose rights have been terminated voluntarily or involuntarily), the state of Minnesota has a law that the child must be in our home for at least six months before the adoption can be finalized. During that six month period, they are technically still in the guardianship of the state, and we are technically their foster parents, although we have committed to permanency with that child. You can read more answers to commonly asked questions like this one here.

There are still many steps to go before we are matched with a child or children, but we are taking this opportunity to celebrate the major milestone of being officially licensed! Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and for continued prayers as we move forward with open hearts, knowing the many challenging decisions that lay ahead.

-Laura & Nate