But I kicked a big one open last week. Back in October, I finally decided to suck it up and head off to a meeting DCYF (Dept of Children, Youth and Family -- hey, you know guessed what state I'm in!) was having on their foster and adoption program. As expected, adoptions through DCYF do not start until the child is at least 6 years old. All hail the classic "we must do everything to reunite the family even if it is unhealthy" philosophy. I know, I can debate both sides of that argument backwards and forwards, but I'm a wee bit leery of the extent to which DCYF goes on this, especially after clerking in family court, and interviewing for a job as an attorney with DCYF. Which I turned down, because seriously, that scary understaffed and overworked office they like to show on television for that? THat would be sugar coated about 10 times over from the horrifying reality.
Anyway, as I was sitting in the meeting and hearing more on fostering, and trying to figure out if I could really adopt an older school age child who had already been in the system for eons, and didn't just come with issues, but rather publications, little bells started going off in my head on fostering for infants. Yes, and infant, and handing it back to family that has gotten it's sh!t back together. Part of me is going "WHat are you doing? You are insane! Stop this!" A much larger part of me was rolling around in all my developmental psych studies, shouting things like "secure attachment!"
I walked out of there going, I want to be a foster mom for infants. Maybe one will stay, maybe one won't. But I can make a difference. Just for the record, my cynical side is no longer talking to me.
I began to try and wade through the disorganized mess of forms (some of which were photocopies of handwritten mimeograph forms. Hello, the 1980s called....) they gave me to start the enrollment process that needed to be completed before I could start training classes. Luckily, I was smart enough to talk to a family member regarding a reference, and she happens to work with a private foster/adopt agency that works with DCYF. She steered me straight to their foster recruitment program, and they completely sold me on working with the private agency. Yes, foster children still from from DCYF, but now you don't have only an overworked state social worker as a contact. You have a social worked from the agency as well, as well as a dozen other people on staff working both on behalf of the child, the birth family, AND the foster parent. They know how to kid kids from languishing in the foster care system and kick things into overdrive -- either by above and beyond support and training for the birth family so their sh!t really is together, or making the state and the courts open their eyes and see that some chaotic situation are never going to be able to be fixed, so why are we punishing a child by keeping them in a tenuous and different kind of chaotic situation.
TRaining classes started last week, and if it hadn't been for a huge blizzard this week, I likely would of already had a case-worker assigned to me and home-study kicked off. But that is all on the horizon.
Bottom line is that in three months or so, once I'm approved, I could have a placement. I could be a full-time student, part-time birth doula, and full-time foster mom.
Me. <---- Insane.
But completely loving it. :)
Now, to start working on those other doors. Anyone want to help me right up a profile to make my womb look like the amazing location it is for a few frozen embryos? Oh great, I just got the idea for a profile headline... Instead of the typical "Family with so much love to give", I can see, "Spa-like retreat in this tropical beach-side womb -- just the place to thaw out and relax!"
I did mention the five different kinds of tired, right? Yeah. I get punchy when I'm this tired.
Over and out!