pre-placement needs

Furniture, Check!

My child has furniture!

We made the decision to use the nice sleigh bed frame in our storage unit for him/her so we just need to clean and set it up and buy a queen mattress.

Last night we went to RoomsToGo to a new couch and area rug for the family room and a dresser to match the bed frame for our child.

There are already 2, 3-shelf bookshelves in the room and we’re moving the couch from the living room into the bedroom for a reading area or whatever s/he wants it to be set up as.

This weekend we’re cleaning out the rest of the office including moving Steve’s desk into our bedroom to make it over as a bedroom. I will probably spend a lot of time in there just reveling in the fact that a little human will be living there soon.


Moving Right Along..

It Takes a Village to Adopt a Child

Why yes, I do plan on using this for all my progress posts

More updates from the list of requirements

  • Drivers license’s DONE
  • Social security cards DONE
  • Marriage license DONE
  • Current lease DONE
  • Paystubs to show we’re gainfully employed – Mine are DONE, we either need to print his or note it in his bank statement
  • Tax returns for the last few years – just need to make the copies
  • Bank statements for all our accounts – Have for mine and our joint account
  • Lola and Phoenix vaccine records – need to make appointment for his annual then get printouts for both
  • Steve’s divorce decree
  • Physical’s for us both – need to make appointments
  • Employment verification for us both – mine is DONE and faxed back already. I emailed our ACW to let her know.
  • A voided check DONE
  • and a few others, plus all the forms and signatures required in the inch thick packet.

Also, I emailed one of my closest friends about the reference and need to mail her the form. Also, Steve’s mom will fill one out so I need to mail it to her as well. My aunt will probably do one as well. Now to contact the others and mail those off as well!


First of Three ACW Visits

It Takes a Village to Adopt a Child | credit: Becca FletcherWe had our first home visit with our ACW on Saturday!

When I spoke to her last Friday, we set up our appointment for yesterday afternoon and getting our fingerprints done Friday.

One thing she mentioned which we both – actually a few classmates too – questioned was the need to get things done within 90 days and if not, we’ll have to have stuff run again (abuse reports, domestic violence reports and fingerprinting). The reason not being that we won’t have new fingerprints or anything like that, but rather so they can ensure that nothing has changed in our background – criminal or otherwise. OK, explained that way it makes a whole lot more sense!

We sat and answered her questions and she answered ours for about 90 minutes. After that we gave her the tour of our home and yard. I had to hold Phoenix so he wouldn’t bolt out of the middle bathroom so she could take a look at it. She was amazed at how large the child’s bedroom is and that it has a private bathroom and massive closet. We pointed out where the furniture was going and how we were moving the desk currently in there into our bedroom. We then selected the next date she’d come out to ask us more questions and show her the hopefully furnished bedroom.

From the list in my last post, we still need the following items before her next visit:

  • Drivers license’s DONE
  • Social security cards DONE
  • Marriage license DONE
  • Current lease DONE
  • Paystubs to show we’re gainfully employed
  • Tax returns for the last few years
  • Bank statements for all our accounts
  • Lola and Phoenix vaccine records
  • Steve’s divorce decree
  • Physical’s for us both
  • Employment verification for us both
  • A voided check DONE
  • and a few others

She left a huge packet of info for us to begin filling out and signing. There was some informational info in there as well about the process, etc. We also need 5 personal and professional references. We have 3 in mind and need to select the other 2. Oh and also ask everyone if they’d be willing to write a letter for us.

We learned that she won’t actually help us with the placement of our child. Once she completes the home study, it will be passed to her supervisor for final review and approval. If there is anything that needs further explanation, we will be referred to the Adoption Review Panel. If it gets approved, he will pass it along to Our Kids and I will make sure my contacts there have it as well. They will then work on matching us with the best possible child so we can begin the informal setting dates, day visits, and eventual sleepovers.

Aside from these visits with the ACW, there really isn’t much going on. We have to work with the process and let it work for us.

All we can do is cooperate and wait patiently and try not to look at the little munchkins on the photolisting sites.


Fingerprinting! And other good news..

This afternoon we are venturing to downtown Miami to get our fingerprinting done. For some odd reason – I’m sure it’s been explained but still – we have to go to our agency main office in order to have this done. So yay! We also get to finally meet our case worker as up to this point all our contact has been over the phone and via email.

I’m totally hoping we see our awesome teachers while we’re there! In fact, I emailed them last night to give them the heads up that we’re going to be there and to let them know that on Saturday…

We have our first Home Visit!! Um, with our Adoption Case Worker (ACW) as opposed to the one during our PRIDE training.

Yep, Saturday is our first home visit and she’ll be asking us eleventy billion questions from the Life Stories we turned in. When I mentioned them, she said she preferred to do it this way and then incorporate the written outlines later. Uh, OK. Glad we took the time to write them then.

We have to compile a bunch of documents, not limited to:

  • Our marriage license
  • Current lease
  • Paystubs to show we’re gainfully employed
  • Tax returns for the last few years
  • Bank statements for all our accounts- 3 months worth
  • Lola and Phoenix vaccine records
  • Steve’s divorce decree – the NC court website isn’t very user friendly 🙁
  • A voided check for the monthly stipend

This will be the first of 2-3 visits and will last about 2 hours. She said it is more of an informal meeting and to walk through our house. We don’t need to have everything child-proofed, have the office converted, or all the medication and chemicals locked up. It’s going to give us time to ask her all the questions we both have since up until now, we’ve not been able to ask an adoption person these questions. Well, not exactly. The awesome folks at Our Kids are crazy knowledgeable and we couldn’t have made it this far without their help.

By her next visit in a few weeks, we should have the bedroom furnished with “whatever [we] would buy as parents to furnish [my] child’s bedroom.”


Progress Report

I started writing this last week after our final class. It was amazing. We wrapped up the lessons, turned in all homework/ life stories/ online assignments, had 5 guest speakers – 2 of which I’d been put in touch with months ago via my MPC – and lots of food. So. Much. Food. During the breaks and after class we chatted with everyone, exchanged phone numbers and got even more information about the local associations. I can’t believe it was our last class!

Seriously, didn’t we just attend orientation like yesterday??

Now begins the long trek through the finger printing, references, physicals, final home visit and so much more. And then, finally, a Fletchling.

We were told we would be assigned a Case Worker within 2 weeks of class ending. Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call yesterday with our new CWs name!! Yes, it honestly was the greatest birthday gift ever. Eh. Ver.

Oh, you want actual dates? Let’s see what I can plug in…

Updated Timeline

  • Classes ended last Tuesday (dear self, do not drive to class tonight!)
  • We were assigned to our ACW yesterday and she will do our Home Study which includes a second and maybe third home visit and all the paperwork/ fingerprinting.
  • Once the Home Study is completed, we are officially in “the books”
  • We search, they search, I use all the amazing resources I have accumulated, we get matched – ummmm, November? December? I have no idea.
  • From there we have several informal meetings and sleepovers with the child and then he will move in with us after an unspecified amount of time.
  • We keep hearing different “child in home” answers so it could be anywhere from 1 month to 6 prior to the adoption being finalized.

And somewhere in there we have to furnish the Fletchling’s bedroom and piece together a computer for homework. And I have to knit the other 75% of the blanket.

This was taken last night. It’s currently 14″ long out of way more than that…



Furnishing the Little One’s Bedroom

A few days ago I thought maybe it was time to check prices for my baby’s bedroom. After all, our very last PRIDE class is in 2 days.

First I checked Rooms To Go, then I posted a question to my FB and got a crazy amount of responses, and finally hit up IKEA at the suggestion of my MPC.


I priced out both twin and full beds and settled on the full. A good point was made that this will work best for older kids and we could have any age from 5 to 11 years old. If only they sold the full on the bottom/ twin on top bunk beds, I would get that in a heartbeat. I saw some at RTG but they are ridiculously expensive. The bed alone was more than the entire room at IKEA. Blerg.

So right now, I have the basics – bed, mattress, desk, dresser and nightstand – picked out. I selected a nice generic (gender neutral) green set of sheets and figure he (or she) could go to town with decorating the rest as they see fit. S/He can pick out the rugs, curtains, lamps, artwork, anything else. Well, mommy might just have to put some fun artwork in there that I create. (*ahem* Thanks, Pinterest!) Plus the blanket I’m busy knitting.

Based on this list below, is there anything I’m missing or don’t need?


Now we just need to figure out a time to get up to IKEA and have a spare $550ish in our account. We might have to rent a truck or borrow from a friend bc I’m not sure this will all fit into my car even if it’s totally cleaned out.

This ish is getting real!


Gigantic Recap and Update

Dearest blog, I am not intentionally ignoring you. There is just so much going on that I feel overwhelmed. And by that, I mean I don’t know where to start writing. I’m going to just jump in and we’ll go from there and play catch up later. Deal? xoxo, Becca


We have now had 2 classes. 2! Only 7 more left before graduation. We’re learning a lot and meeting new people. Awesome people. Other people that want to open them hearts and home to foster children. Yeah, I like our classes. We have homework after every class that will all become a part of our adoption packet. The first week was easy short answer and circle the best answer type questions. For the 2nd week it was a lot more in depth. We have to create a family tree of sorts – a genogram. It is a charted representation of our immediate family through our grandparents. This is mine, not filled in. And as Steve pointed out, the 2 sides are not connected, but that was unintentional.. even though we aren’t blood related to that side.


Check out all the information we will be learning. That’s 2″ of learning to deal with/ understand the children in Foster Care that we will be adopting.
PRIDE Binder

The biggest thing I am learning in our classes is how desperately there is a need for foster parents in Miami. Like class derailed for 5+ minutes talking about it. So if you’ve ever even remotely considered being a Foster Parent, please do it. I can put you in contact with our licensing specialists who will be forever grateful.

Let’s see, quick recap of the other adoption-related things in the last couple weeks..

The House – We re-upped our lease for 6 more months so the Home Study will be done on this apartment. I also bought a sturdy wood over-the-toilet hutch thingie and sturdy wood tower. We currently have wibbly-wobbly metal shelving in there. The metal shelves were moved to the laundry room for chemicals and cleaning products. #SafetyFirst

Welcome Gift – I am crafty. Duh. While we are waiting on this process, I want to make something for my child. While we are leaning towards a son, we could very easily be better matched with a daughter first. So whatever I make needs to be gender-neutral. I took an informal poll on my FB page and in Ravelry group about yarn colors – oh yeah, it’s going to be a blanket – and narrowed it down to a teal/turquoise, pale grey and brown. It will either be blocks or a Fibonacci sequence, below.

Block Blankie

Life Story – Our overall homework assignment is writing a life story. We have to do it individually and turn it in before class ends. It too will be sent to the Adoption Case Worker assigned to us. I started mine and have been jumping around to “easy” and “not painful” subjects. I have about 6 more weeks to work on it.

Picnic – We went to our first Adoption event this weekend. SDFAPA had a picnic in Key Largo and, even though the weather sucked, we had a good time. We learned a lot as there were both Foster and Adoptive parents there, as well as the famous KB from my mystery phone call. We were invited to their next meeting in a few weeks.

Updated Timeline

  • Classes end September 10
  • We will be assigned to an Adoption Case Worker within 2-3 weeks after that to do our Home Study
  • Once the Home Study is completed and officially in “the books,” we could be matched at any time.
  • We keep hearing different “child in home” answers so it could be anywhere from 1 month to 6 prior to the adoption being finalized.

I promise to not let it go so long between posts next time!


Sending him to school out of our district

Seeing as I work 26 miles from home – and in Miami traffic it takes well over an hour to get there and back – and Steve works nights and sleeps days, we have to be creative with the school our child attends. In speaking to the case workers on Friday, they suggested that we look into the Hardship information on the M-DCPS website to see what can be done. That or send him to private school.

Honestly, I am in awe of the Cushman School and would give my left arm to send my children there. Literally, it’s a private school and costs far more then my entire undergrad degree each year. Cushman is a K-8 school and one of the best in the county.

Amongst other things, we have to research and interview schools, pediatrician’s, specialists and dentists and purchase booster seats for our cars,  furnish his bedroom, buy clothes, books, etc.

From the M-DCPS website regarding putting him in a school close to my job as opposed to our house:

a. Working Parent Hardship Transfer
The parent or guardian of a kindergarten through eighth grade student of a one-parent or one-guardian family unit who is employed, or a family where both parents or guardians are employed, requests a transfer on the basis that the normal school assignment presents a hardship involving before or after-school supervision. Such request shall be in the form of a signed statement from the employer(s) verifying the parent’s/guardian’s employment, work address, telephone number, working hours; a signed statement from the caregiver verifying the hours the student is cared for as well as the address and telephone number of the caregiver; and any other pertinent information setting forth the nature of the circumstances producing the hardship. This type of transfer must be reviewed annually through the Regional Center serving the assigned school. These transfers should not exceed the assigned percentage of FISH school capacity for the current school year.

We’ve also learned about the McKay Scholarship and Step Up for Students as an option for private school.