Today we completed our PRIDE training. This class was much more informative than the last. Today's topics included discipline and sexual abuse. Did you know that 1 in 5 kids are sexually abused in some way? I was absolutely shocked at that number! We talked a lot about how to deal with the effects of this type of abuse and some of the reactions. attitudes, and acting out that kids do as a result of such trauma. It was a difficult day! We pray that wherever our future children are that they are safe from this and loved.
In all likelihood, the child/ren we will get are already in foster care. The only children that will come into our home are children that are already available for adoption. Birth parents typically get an absolute minimum of 6 months before their case turns towards termination and ultimately it takes at least a year before parental right termination. That means that our kids will be in foster care for at least a year before they come to us. I hope and pray that the foster family they are with is loving, affectionate, and Godly. I pray that God is protecting them.
The next step is "Orientation." I told the PRIDE teacher that it seems like each step is just the beginning. We thought the informational meeting was getting started. Then we thought this class was REALLY getting started. But with the next class being called "Orientation" it seems that we aren't even started yet. We are though. Getting through this class was a big deal. This may have been the biggest hurdle. After talking to the ladies at Buckner, I'm not really worried about the rest of the training and licensing.
Orientation will be December 19th. I'm not sure yet if we can schedule our health and fire inspections before that or if we have to wait, but I should find out next week from the case worker. After that will be an adoption class and the home study. Before the home study though we will have to make our first payment to Buckner. Hopefully some of our fundraisers will be successful before that is due.
In the mean time, we are gathering more documents such as life insurance, health insurance, a floor plan for our house, and photos of the outside of our house. We are also discussing names. We would like to give our adopted children names that mark them as Shipps. Just as we have been marked with our Heavenly Father's name when we were adopted by Him, we would like to set our children apart. We want to be prepared for this change when they come home to us. We have had an extra boy name for a few years, but no girl names. And we may need more than one girl or boy name, so we've got some thinking to do.
I am thankful for how far we have come in this process. I am thankful that our friends and family have come alongside us in prayer and support. I am thankful for the Lord's provision for our family and the grace He has given us thus far. Please continue to pray for us, for our current children, and our future children. Please pray that God would protect us all through this process and bring us together into one BIG HAPPY family. Please also pray that the Lord would provide the means to this end.