For people like you, who wish to become foster parents and adoptive parents, Foster PRIDE/Adopt PRIDE is a resource, or a support. Its goal is to share essential information for your development into a successful new adoptive family or foster family.
This process includes education for all of us. We'll help you learn the knowledge and skills you need to make an informed decision about fostering or adopting, and to get off to a healthy start. You need to educate us about you and your ideas about adopting or fostering.
I must say I was a little disappointed with our first class. I thought we would walk away feeling much more informed than we did. Maybe it's because we've been preparing for this for a while and had many friends walk this road before us. There wasn't anything really *new* to us. Some of what they presented did make us think more about origins and beginnings for the children in foster care. We have homework to complete before the next class. We have to fill out information about our own families and history and tell how we were nurtured and by whom, how we nurture those in our lives, and how we would nurture a child placed with us. Then we have to make a family genogram, or basically a family tree. (I have a feeling ours is going to look a little boring compared to many.) This will include births, deaths, marriages, divorces, "cut off" relationships. There's even a symbol for listing someone who's gender you don't know...Like I said, ours may look pretty boring. Then we have to make an Ecomap. Again, this is similar to a family tree but it also shows people outside the family that you interact with. This one will be a bit more. In fact, I may need a poster board for this one.
One thing that the instructor/trainer said really stuck with me. She said that Buckner is in the business of finding families for children, not children for families. That really got the point of CPS Foster/Adopt across well. Of course we knew that already, but it still hit home.
We talked about emotions, connections, developmental delays, etc. We also talked about general child care, fetal alcohol syndrome, SIDS, and behavior issues. Next week will be the most challenging portion I think, when we talk about sexual abuse and discipline. From what she told us, these will be the most heated discussions as people generally have the strongest feelings about these topics.
After the class I asked her what we could be working on now in anticipation of the home study. She told us that while there are things that will need to be done, there really isn't any reason to start on them now. I wanted to schedule our inspections and such but they told me to wait. This is me though. I want to know what needs to be done so I can do it. I don't like waiting. I guess I'm going to learn to wait. We also will have to be ready to write the first check before we start the home study process, so hopefully our first fundraising efforts will go well. (If you would like to be a part of this, please let me know!)
I've also recently started reading the book The Well Connected Child. It's been sitting on my night stand for weeks and I've kind of been dreading reading it. Many friends have recommended it and one even sent me a copy. I've been afraid to read it because I'm afraid it's going to change my preconceived notions. And it already has. It's a good thing, and I suspected it would be. But I wasn't ready for it until now. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.