I like our agency, it's a small agency, they don't overextend themselves and when they feel overwhelmed they hire more case managers. We met Lori that more than likely will be our case manager, she seems sweet and experienced. We spent a lot of times discussing examples of cases and trying to think of ways of handling similar situations.
We watched a couple of videos that showed us the types of losses kids in foster care encounter. I could relate with a lot of the material losses. We did a couple of exercises where they assigned some of us to be Baby A and some Baby B. We were read a scenario where Baby A has a great experience being a baby since he is wanted and well taken care of vs Baby B who was also wanted but his mommy didn't have a partner, nor good income and was involved in drugs and bad company. During the story we would pause to express how we felt being Baby A or Baby B. I really didn't like being Baby B.
We had another exercise where we drew a picture of ourselves then we put Post It notes describing what we care about in life. Then we had to take off Post It notes for sickness, or someone dying, or someone leaving us... and ended up being just ourselves with nothing to our names. Not a happy feeling. I can't even start to imagine the stress and anxiety these children are feeling.
Another exercise was to help us see the point of view of and gain some empathy for the Birth Parents. We were asked how we would feel if we were unable to care for someone we love. Emotions ranged from anger to helplessness. Then we were asked what we would look in someone that would be caring for our loved ones and what we would expect from them. We all agreed we wanted a compassionate, honest, knowledgeable and caring person to be there for our loved one. That's exactly how parents feel who lose their kids to foster care because for some reason or another they are unable to care for their children.
On the paperwork front we are not that far off the finish line. We have everything done except for hubby and i need to get our FBI fingerprints taken and he still needs to do his TB test. we also need to get a reference letter from our bosses which should be a piece of cake.
We are also preparing a family profile photo book, a scrap book about our lives. We agreed to make one that is not full of talk. I'm working on a 20 page story book that is mostly pictures with captions. I sent a first draft to the agency to look at and get some feedback then we can tweak it accordingly.
One Final Note: "Family isn't always who's blood you carry but who you love and who loves you".