Saturday, October 25, 2008


We graduated!! We finally finished our three Saturdays of pre-adoption classes. We even got nice certificates to prove it! I have tons of notes and references for when baby finally comes home! We have our physicals next week and that should be it. Our social worker told us she normally takes three days after the last home visit to write the home-study report, so hopefully we should be good to go by end of next week. It seems surreal!

We had both prospective foster and adoptive parents in the class and the emphasis of the classes seemed to be on foster parenting. I guess this is to be expected—there are approximately 8,000 children in foster care in my county and last year, only 200 adoptions were completed from the foster care system. The downside to this is that they did not cover some important adoption topics like attachment issues.

The group dynamics continued to keep the classes interesting and lively. Our “class rep” was going on and on about a teen she knows who is currently homeless, but is doing very well and taking college classes. The “class rep” was trying to find out how the system could help her teenage friend, but one person finally put the responsibility on our class rep’s lap! She jokingly told her since she was there to get licensed to foster teenage children, and she was so concerned for her friend, maybe she could open up her home to the teenager! That took the wind out of our “class rep” and she was quiet for the rest of the afternoon! I never thought there was anything that could keep her quiet!

We had a visit from a mom and dad whose baby was taken from them when the baby was born prematurely and both child and mom tested positive for meth exposure. It put a face to the drug problem—most of the children in foster care have been exposed to alcohol and/or drugs in utero. The family looked like your bank employees or high school teachers. They took about a year before they cleaned up their act and went into residential drug treatment programs. For them, it is a story of redemption and hope which unfortunately is not the norm for most other parents whose children are in the foster care system. The family currently works with the Child Welfare Agency mentoring other parents whose children have been removed from their care. They help them navigate the system, get to the point of taking responsibility for their actions and encourage them to take advantage of all the resources provided so that they can clean up their act and get their children back. It was refreshing to hear the couple take full ownership of their actions that led to their child being placed in foster care. They shared their journey from anger and rage at the “system” and trying to blame everyone for their problems once their child was removed from their home to finally looking at themselves in the mirror and deciding the problem would not go away until they faced their demons and took advantage of all the resources they were being offered.


Tami said...

Congratulations! I remember taking these courses. I was glad when I finished them. Something about sitting in a room for hours just doesn't bode well with me...ADHD maybe? LOL

Laurel said...

Thank you for the very sweet comment on my blog. Boy did I get beat up over that last post. Did no one even hear/see my apologies?

Glad you saw my heart.