Chris and I had our orientation call with our Social Worker about the Oregon Foster Adoption program today. I have been making it a habit to take notes during each call, and this was no exception. As a matter of fact, I took THREE pages of notes.
She went through the entire process, soup to nuts, about the in's and out's, up's and down's of the program.
We're both excited to start our adoption classes through the state tomorrow. Well, we were, until she told us that they will most likely scare the living crap out of us. Of course, it's up to them to prepare us for worst case scenario, and she warned us that they will.
Many of you have asked me about the timeline. Here it is, in rough outline:
1. Home Study completion (we're looking at around the end of June), and approval.
2. Start receiving bulletins of available children in the foster care system.
3. Choose a child or sibling group that we would like to present ourselves to committee for. (Did you get that?)
4. If chosen to be presented to committee, our Social Worker will be notified. If not, return to 3.
5. If chosen as the primary family, present family picture book to Case Worker (child's case worker).
6. Seven DAY BLACKOUT PERIOD. This one caught me off guard. The seven day blackout period is a week of whirlwind paperwork, processes, and procedures. Oh, and no contact with the child.
7. Once the blackout period is over, we can begin visitation with the child(ren). YAY!
8. Plan Transition into our home. This can go fast or slow, depending on the comfort level of the child(ren) we have chosen, and how fast their bond and trust of us forms.
9. Transition the child into our home! (YAY!)
10. Continue monthly visits with the Social Worker. Every three months, she writes a report to send to the State to confirm that things are progressing with bonding, adjustment, etc.
11. As early as 6 months, the social worker will then recommend finalization of the adoption.
12. Finalize Adoption! We can do this one of two ways - we can either have it all done by mail, or have a court ceremony whereby we travel to the county where the child originally resided, have a small ceremony in family court. Which one do you think THIS photog mom will choose? OH! And we can invite family and friends! I see a big party in our future!
13. Go home and be parentals. <-- best part!
We asked her how we could ensure that our Home Study went quickly. She gave us some tips and pointers on what she likes to see when she comes out. Basically making the home safe for a child. We have to print out an evacuation plan and post it on the fridge. How many of YOU have one of those? I didn't think so. And smoke detectors in each bedroom. Locked or put away medicines and firearms. I'm going to buy a gate for the stairs. And a fire extinguisher. On each floor.
She asked me about our arrangement with the Boy. I told her and she seemed pleased. She's going to probably interview him when she comes out in June.
Busy busy busy, but plugging along!