So, it’s been six days since we were placed on the vacancy list with our foster-care agency and we are still waiting on that phone call. Seriously. When we found out Thursday that we were officially on the vacancy list I freaked out a little and cried. I think it was just my being completely overwhelmed with the whole situation and also overjoyed at finally reaching a huge milestone after everything we have been through. It was a ‘nervous–cited’ cry. lol.
The next couple of days were the worst because every time the phone rang or pinged or chimed we both jumped like two feet. I’ve been constantly glued to my phone because I’m the contact person and I’ve been so worried I will miss that very important phone call. It’s important because if we don’t answer they immediately hangup and call the next family on the list. These kids need home like yesterday and they don’t have the luxury of waiting for you to call them back. After those first couple of days we have kind of gotten into a rhythm of keeping busy and waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. We are getting good practice at patience.
While we are waiting I thought I would kind of introduce our placement and answer some questions about what we do know about them. I shared our story here but I haven’t shared what we do know about our future placement.
These are some of the most frequent questions we get asked when people find out we are fostering to adopt:
How many children will you be fostering?
One child at a time
What age will they be?
Newborn to Eighteen Months
Will you know the gender?
Do you know what ethnicity the child will be?*
*Sam and I honestly had no preferences about race or gender and that worked out great for us because specifying either of those in the state of Texas is not an option for infants.
Will the child have his clothes and toys from home?
No. Most children, if not all, come into foster care with nothing but the clothes they have on–and in our case that might be a diaper and nothing else. No clothes, toys, memorabilia, diapers, formula, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, blankets, car seats, bouncers, strollers, swaddles, nothing. none, zip, zero. They might have never had any of the things on this short list of items.
Will you know a lot about the child’s past, bio parents, family?
No. We will probably know very little about the child when they first come to us. A name, an estimated age, gender, race–that’s probably it since they will be so young and there’s nothing to add like what grade they are in, their favorite school subject, things like that. Bio parents information and the child’s past situation is not something by law we can know much about. And what we do know we cannot share with anyone because it’s against the law and violates the parent’s and child’s rights of privacy.
Will you be able to adopt your first placement?
There is no guarantee we will be able to adopt any placement we receive. It just depends on how everything plays out and that will take a while to figure out. It’s all in God’s hands.
How long will you have your first placement?
We don’t know. Maybe a couple of weeks? Maybe a few months or a year? Maybe forever! Each placement’s situation is unique and completely unpredictable. We will trust God and cherish each day we get to love and cuddle and spoil them.
Will they be adorable, perfect, squeezable, and basically the best baby ever?
YES! YES! YES! AND OF COURSE!!!!!! This we do know for sure!
I do want to touch on how the age and gender of placements is decided for each family because I think it’s pertinent. A lot of people think you get to choose the age/number/gender of children when you become licensed foster parents but this is an ignorant misconception–one that often sets people who desire to be foster parents up for disappointment. In almost every case you do not get to choose what age of child or gender of child you will be able to foster. There are actually several key factors and a complicated mathematical equation that determines those specifics. And those specifics are set in place by the State. Factors like available space in your home, number of licensed foster parents in the home, number of biological children in the home–their age and gender, foster parents working/not working or working from home, and what county a person lives in all play a role in what age and gender of children you will be eligible to foster.
For instance, because Sam and I live in a one bedroom town-home we can only legally foster children that can sleep in our bedroom. The state of Texas says that children who can sleep in our bedroom must be 3 and under. Because the foster and adoption process can take a year a to a year and half or longer to complete that means the child can be no more than eighteen months at the time of placement with us before they age out of our room. I stay at home full-time, we have no biological children, and we also happen to live in a county that has an urgent need for EVERY age group. Because of these factors we happened to be good candidates to foster infants.
That’s the latest update and a little about our expected first placement. Please pray for us to have patience as we wait for that special phone call. We appreciate prayers so much!!