1. 2 foster care training classes (2 more to go).
2. 3/4 of the foster care paperwork application (including a 12 page essay).
3. My physical, drug test, and TB test. (Will pick up paperwork on Monday).
I shared a FB status that said, "Proving myself a fit parent since 2006," and got so many comments/questions about it, I thought I'd use it for a blog post. It's something people ask us about frequently and are typically shocked to realize that we still have to go through the process for each child, nay, each year. In addition, most of our adoption hoops are not transferring over to the foster parent hoops, so we're kind of bopping back and forth between the 2 tracks.
It's easy to let myself feel bitter and jealous about what we have to prove and what bio parents can take for granted. It's easy to feel embarrassed or violated when I have to get my fingerprints taken like a criminal or submit to a house inspection. But at the same time, I feel like it's a blessing in disguise, because the essays we've had to write and all the reflection we've had to do to come up with a "parenting and discipline strategy", many months pre-Nugget, has really paid off; not that we are perfect parents by a long shot, but that we are mindful parents, trained to look not only at short-term good behavior but forced to consider the big picture. Sometimes I wonder why bio families aren't also required to get training for the transition to parenting.
I think adoptive parents have the burden/blessing of feeling constantly "watched" and we can let that irritate the heck out of us, or we can channel it into becoming the best versions of ourselves, the best parents we can be.
I know too, that trusting even an experienced babysitter to watch our dear Nugget for the first time was terrifying, and I can only imagine and hope that the background checks ease a few butterflies of birthfamilies when they entrust or consider entrusting their little ones to us.