We had our first meeting with our caseworker from Bethany Christian on April 25. The meeting went well. We discussed in detail what causes us stress and how we deal with stress. We discussed our support system - church, family, friends and counseling. We also agreed it is in our best interest to transfer our foster license from DSHS to Bethany Christian since the state is refusing to even place children for any reason with us; we cannot even do respite care through DSHS.
Our next meeting is mid-May and our caseworker has prepared us for what to expect. She will meet with Mike for an hour then with me for an hour then she will meet with us together for an hour. The questions are going to get really personal, but with this being our fourth home study, we are not worried about getting too personal.
Our third meeting will be our foster inspection. She will note anything we need to address and then we will address it and send her a photo. The caseworker believes our adoption home study will be complete before our foster license is transferred. The state may delay their end of the paperwork just because they are understaffed and overworked.
Our goal is to begin searching for a child this summer with hopes for placement this summer or this fall. This timeline gives us time to complete a few projects around the house before a child arrives. We have replaced the kitchen backdoor and child's bathroom remodel will occur in May. There are a few other items on the "to-do" list. We are making progress and are pleased with the relationship we have developed with Bethany Christian.
As we move forward I am encountering others who are experiencing roadblocks along their adoption journey. Just two months ago we were told we had to start our process over. I have spoken with a couple of families who are licensed foster parents, but the state is not placing children with them because they want to adopt. They are exploring the opportunities of working with a private agency in order to adopt from foster care. Other couples are waiting to be matched to a young child or birth mother and are learning this may be a long wait. Some of the families I have been able to provide with resources for private agencies in their area. Other families all I can offer are prayers for peace and patience. Stating "all will occur in God's timing" does not always provide comfort to those with empty arms. When your heart wants a child, reason does not always work so I have found it helps to offer prayers of peace and patience in their lives. These prayers have worked well for us.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV)
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Daniel 2:21b-23a (NIV)
21...He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you...