No Orphans of God

by christy

I saw this video this morning and just had to share.  It speaks to me in so many ways at this moment…

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Comments Off . January 6th, 2010

We’re Licensed Again, and Waiting

by steve

Well, the process in Virginia went quite a bit faster than the process we went through in North Carolina two years ago.  But it is official — we are licensed foster/adoptive parents again!

While going through our training, we were hearing stories about how many more children were coming into the system this year than last.  If I remember correctly, by the end of April, our agency had already taken in more children this year than all of last year.  So we wondered if we would have to wait very long for more children in our home.

Even before our licensing was complete, the agency talked to us about a couple of possible placements, but nothing developed there.  Then, we finally got offical notice that our license was complete.

Meanwhile, we had found out that instead of the anticipated one additional child, we were able to get licensed for up to three more children!  That possibility excited us, but also raised a couple of needs: beds and transportation.

We needed at least two more twin beds in order to have enough beds, including mattresses and box springs.  Unfortunately, due to my work schedule this year, we were entering the leanest part of the year financially for us.

Within a couple weeks, however, we had all the beds we needed. Thanks to Freecycle, some generous friends, and Christy’s frugal shopping, we now have all we need, including sheets, pillows, and comforters for each of the beds!  And I think we spent about $90 total. :)

Next was the question of transportation.  Even just one additional child would cause either a cramped car or the necessity of driving two vehicles anywhere.  Again, we knew that financially we were not in a position to do anything about that for a while.

Imagine our surprise, then, when just a couple of weeks ago, we were given a 7-passenger conversion van!  Yes, I said given.  Even though I have seen the provision of our heavenly Father over and over again in my life, I am still amazed every time.

So, we are pretty much set for that phone call informing us that our family is growing.  Just waiting…

But the wait may not be that long after all.  Just a couple of days ago, we received a call asking if we would be willing to consider adopting a sibling pair!  We, of course, said “yes” and are now waiting to find out if we will be chosen as the forever family for these two children.

As most of you know, we can’t put a lot of details on the blog, so I will pretty much leave it at that, although  we honestly don’t even know much more ourselves.  (We know genders, ages, and names, but that’s about it.) We do hope you’ll be praying with us for these two children and our desire to be their family.  If anything develops, we’ll let you all know.

Thanks for joining us on this journey!

steve :)

Comments Off . June 10th, 2009

Just a Little While Longer…

by christy

Just wanted to take the time to update you on the latest news regarding our status as foster parents in Virginia.

We have completed many of our requirements….trainings, background check, some paperwork and 1 home visit.  We will have another home visit this week to complete the paperwork (social history, child profile, copies of documents, etc.).  We have been told that we should be approved by late May.  We’ll keep everyone posted on that progress.

We are getting the rooms ready for another child to enter our home.  We have been told of an increase (sadly) in cases in the past few months.  So, we are expecting to be able to assist the agency fairly soon after being approved.

Please be praying for patience for us and that any transition will be an easy one for our children.  Also, be praying for the families that will be invloved with the agency and that we can be a help to them and their precious children.

We also have one more training to attend next week for adoption.  We do hope to adopt another child in the future.  So, we ask, in addition to the foster children, that you will pray for any children that we may be able to adopt through this system.

God’s timing is perfect….and we are being guided by Him.  We pray that we will recognize and follow the voice of the Spirit in regards to accepting and adopting any future children.

We will update again very soon—

Christy :)

2 Comments » . April 21st, 2009

Moving Along

by steve

Last week, we met in person with the social worker from the agency with which we hope to work.  (Boy that sentence sounds stuffy, doesn’t it?  I’m paranoid about ending sentences with prepositions, though.  Reminds me of the quote attributed to Winston Churchill: “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.”)

This first meeting was the first step necessary for licensure.  We met at the agency, turned in our initial application, and received a ton of paperwork in exchange.  Most of it is stuff we already did in North Carolina, but need to do again.  Fingerprints, social history, marriage certificate, divorce decrees from our former marriages, physical exams for all four of us, possibly TB tests, etc.

We took another step today by finally getting our Virginia drivers licenses.  It’s already been over two months since we moved (does anyone actually manage to get these things done in the 30 days you’re supposed to do them?), so we were eager to get that one task out of the way.

The agency requires training (again, something we already went through in NC), and they are scheduling it on 3 different Saturdays for about 6 hours each day.  Our first day is Feb 28, with the subsequent trainings every two weeks through the end of March.

Additionally, there will be two required home visits.  Our first home visit is scheduled for next Thursday.  The second one will likely be before the end of our training.

Provided we can get all the paperwork completed before too long, it shouldn’t be very long after our training is finished before our license is approved.

So, we’re marching forward.  Stay tuned!

steve :)

Comments Off . February 7th, 2009

Starting at the Beginning – Again

by steve

When we started this blog, we had no idea what the future held for us.  All we knew was that we wanted to invite children into our home who needed a safe place to live and be loved.  Our goal was, and still is, to “love each child.”

As you know from following this blog, Hope Giver came into our lives much earlier than we ever expected to receive a child, and she has brightened our home in so many ways.  She is growing, learning, and generally being a beautiful little girl!

Another major change for us, however, has been a change in geography.  Since we posted last, we moved to southwestern Virginia.  We could probably write a few posts about what that was like in terms of dealing with moving to another state, making changes with our old DSS office in NC and seeking to make the right connections with DSS here in VA.

Not necessarily an easy task!  Although I will say that, to date, NC DSS has been easier to work with in the transition than VA DSS.  But I digress…

We decided before we even moved that we would continue to pursue foster/adoptive opportunities.  We had been put on a one-year hold in NC once Hope Giver was placed with us — not an official policy, but the way our DSS there prefers to work things in order to allow the bonding process to fully solidify.  So, in the eyes of NC DSS, we were not really on the list for receiving any more children until March of this year.

Shortly after moving here, we sought to contact DSS here in order to find out what we needed to do in order to get licensed here in Virginia.  Would any of our training transfer? Would any of our records transfer? Or would we have to start all over again from the very beginning?

We saw lots of signs hanging here in this area and at DSS saying that they needed foster/adoptive families, so we figured they’d be delighted to talk to us.  But sadly, we didn’t even get a return call when we left a voicemail there!  They took the time to notify us that they didn’t approve the Medicaid application (even though Hope Giver was a recipient of Medicaid in NC), but didn’t respond to our requests for information about fostering.

However, shortly before Christmas, we were given the name of a private agency here that also handles foster and adoptive cases.  We decided to check into it to see if it would be a good option for us.  And so finally, today, we made the phone call.

Let me say, first of all, that I didn’t know it would ever be possible for us to work with a private agency.  My assumption from some previous research was that all private agencies would require us to meet very stringent criteria regarding income, net worth, etc.  And I also thought that going through a private agency would also mean that adopting a child would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

I was wrong.

The agency we are seeking to license us is a private agency that basically works as a placement agency for children in the DSS system.  But they seem much more personable, they have lighter caseloads, AND (most importantly!) they returned our phone call promptly!  And other than the fact that they are a private agency (and actually require a bit more training than DSS would require here), everything else should be very similar to our experience with NC DSS.

Christy and I just finished a delightful half-hour or so conversation with the woman who will do our home study and begin the application process with us.  We couldn’t feel better about our choice to work with this agency.  And we’re excited about getting back into foster/adoptive care again soon.

So, here we are, once again, at the beginning of a journey.  It turns out that absolutely nothing of our training or certification in NC will transfer over, so in a couple of weeks, we’ll begin our training.  Next Thursday morning, we have our first meeting with the agency to do some paperwork and set up the home visits.

We’re excited!  It feels weird to be starting this journey all over again, but this time, we have a bit of experience under our belt, a beautiful daughter as a reminder of the journey we already have taken, and once again the hope that our home will be a place where other children can come and be loved and cared for.

We hope you’ll come along and enjoy this new journey with us as well!

steve :)

2 Comments » . January 22nd, 2009