Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Working Toward Foster Care

  Oh hello! So I know I still need to update 5 days or so on our Europe adventure. Honestly, that feels so long ago at this point. When September came with classes and trainings and tests and random illnesses, I was forced to push fun things like blogging and reading out of the way. Ho Hum. 

I want to start documenting our newest adventure... Foster parenting. Many of you have asked for details and how to help. So, here you go. 

So as most of you know, Nick and I began the journey to be foster parents back in July. Some people, with good intentions, told us we didn't know what we were doing. But even if it looked like it, this was not an abrupt, random decision. I have always known that I would adopt domestically some day. I strongly believe that every Christian has a blatant command from God to care for the orphans and needy. For some, that may mean providing resources or awareness. For me specifically, it means providing a home and a family. Nick and I went into our marriage knowing that we would some day pursue adoption. But Foster care was not on the front of my mind. 

In late college, some people in my life started to foster and share about how it was changing their lives. Over the first couple years of our marriage, other friends and acquaintances began to foster young children. When we moved to Rhode Island, and into a home with multiple bedrooms, I started looking into the state regulations. At the time, though, it was not possible for us to foster, mainly due to the state of the house we were living in at the time. It would not have passed a lead inspection. 

So, after a couple of years, we moved, and I started looking into it again. There was no big reason or change for why I was looking into fostering over adoption or giving birth... It just seemed like a natural thing for us to do. So many people say they could never do it, which is why we wanted to do it. Every time I would talk to Nick about it, he agreed that he was up for it... Some day. 
One summer Sunday morning, I was teaching PreK Sunday school at our church, and a fellow team member started talking about how she was almost certified to be a foster parent. I was so excited to find someone in Rhode Island who was going to be a Foster parent! She told me about the agency she was getting certified through, and so I went home and looked them up. I sent the recruiting lady an email for more information, and told Nick that I thought it was time to at least look seriously at Foster care. We had the space, we had the home, and our schedules were finally somewhat stable. He agreed to at least start researching it. 

So, in July, we met with the recruiter at the agency, filled out an initial application, and got all the information we needed to get started. We made the decision to go forward... Which was crazy at first, since the process would probably take 3-5 months. I started to panic because all the things expecting parents have 8-9 months to plan for, we had 3. 
We filled out all our background checks and got fingerprinted before we left for France. I'm glad we had that 9 day break in the middle, because it slowed me down and kept me from completely losing it. Our training didn't start until September 6, so we had a month to just sort of sit and wait. 

Since then, we've sat through 26 hours of training, two home study visits, a fire inspection, and a lead safe inspection. We've had physicals and TB tests. We've filled out pages and pages and pages of paperwork about our parents, siblings, childhoods, and memories. We've discussed how we were disciplined and how we plan on disciplining and how often we fight and what we fight about. We've contacted at least 10 day cares and toured one. 

Up next, we have a couple more home study visits, and then will need to prepare our home for the baby. This will involve buying a lock box to lock up all medications and moving all cleaners and chemicals out of the bottom cabinets, as well as switching our bedrooms and getting the nursery ready. We have said that we would prefer an infant under the age of 1, but otherwise, we have no idea the age or gender! 

On Monday, we got to have some fun registering in Target. Well, I enjoyed it. :)
We have had so many people ask us what we need, so we figured we would register to help communicate our needs with anyone who wants to help. If you have kids, and see something on the list that you have and don't use anymore, we would be so grateful for any used items. If you don't have kids and just want to know what we need, the list is there for you, too! Since we do not know the specifics on age and gender, some items, like diapers and clothes, have been skipped. We are so grateful for the people who have given us baby girl clothes that their daughter has outgrown. If you or someone you know has baby boy clothes they are no longer using, we might need them!
Search for Haley Purdy or Nick Jensen. 

For some reason, it won't let me change my last name from when we registered for our wedding. 
So, take a look at the list, and if you have something around your house that you don't need anymore, we would love to take it off your hands. Or, if you'd like to help us out by purchasing something on the list, we would, of course, be so grateful for that, too. 
 We are so excited to start building up our collection of baby essentials!! 

There are also a few things you could pray for us: 
- that we find a day care that is safe, nurturing, has room, and takes the tuition from the state. That has definitely been the most frustrating part of this process. 

- that Nick and I grow closer to God and to each other as we prepare to add a munchkin to our family

- For the parents of this future foster baby, and whatever situation they are in. 

- that everything from here on out goes smoothly with the certification process

So that's the latest with the fostering process. We are preparing for December, but realize that we have to be flexible with time. :) 

Be sure to like our facebook page to get updates as things go along! 


1 comment:

  1. Hi Haley! This is a wonderfully brave and completely lovely thing that you two are doing. You both are going to bring this child so much love that he/she deserves. Please know that Mike and I will be keeping both you and your growing family in our thoughts and prayers. Also, I am not sure if there are rules or regulations on this or anything...but please know that if you ever need a babysitter Mike and I would gladly help!!I really feel like this adventure you are beginning will be full of nothing but goodness & love for both you, Nike and that sweet little baby. <3