Suspended (in disbelief)
Teetering on the edge
Terrified to move forward
Unwilling to turn back
Tides churning far below
Or waves surging from behind
Bound to take me with them
We heard no.
Yesterday was hard, but yesterday’s tomorrow is harder, because now we cope with the aftermath of yesterday. It took me a long time to convince myself not to just stop writing after that sentence, We heard no. It took us a long time to convince ourselves not to just stop this whole thing altogether. Forget roller coasters, I feel like I was living in zero-gravity and someone turned the gravity back on and suddenly slammed me to the floor. My stomach is still somewhere up there and hasn’t caught up with me yet.
But there’s no time to be wasted in this process; before we even hung up the phone after our worker told us the news, we had already told her to reach out as soon as possible about all the children we had missed out on while we were waiting for this one. The time for processing your feelings needs to come AFTER business hours, there are emails to be sent.
Like every place we visit in adoptionland, we are tasked with making space for so many feelings at once. The sting of rejection, the anxiety of worthiness, the sadness and joy that comes with knowing a child found a family, but we weren’t it. The frustration of their justifications, and frustration at ourselves that there is nothing we can do about them. The fear and pain knowing there are many, many more nos to come before we will hear just one yes. How many more times will I have to say it? We heard no. We heard no. We heard no.
We’ll take the weekend to sulk, and try to retrieve the hope that yesterday’s today held. Next week’s children, next month’s children, deserve our whole selves. But those are our next week, next month selves, and our “this weekend” selves are just going to choose one feeling…sad.
Licensed to Parent
Our home study is signed, sealed, delivered and we are a licensed foster home!
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
Foster Care Adoption: Little Steps, Big Excitement
Today, it has been 84 days since we turned in the giant manila envelope with our application inside.
Also today, we learned that after 84 days, the right email makes us do this:
We have been assigned a social worker by our agency, and we will be starting the home study process very, very soon! There will be so many things to do and learn in this process as we get ready for our future child to arrive.
We know this is a small step, but it’s a step nonetheless, and we are unashamed of our over-the-top joy about forward movement and having things to work on and look forward to. WE’RE SO EXCITED AND WE JUST CAN’T HIDE IT.
Laura & Nate
As things get more real in this journey towards foster care adoption, we decided it was time to get around to naming this little blog of ours. So why “Gentle Wild?” It goes back to a training we had last week…