August 2, 2015

The Homecoming

Quick Disclaimer: What follows was unique to my family. Your situation may be totally different depending on where your child’s Foster home is, how old the child is and the general circumstances around your adoption.

We had a months worth of visits in a town that was about 150 miles from us.

It was a gradual build, consisting of a few hours visits the first week and eventually overnight visits starting the second week.

When it came to the ‘practical’ questions like: “What about work?” and “What about child care for your bio kid?”, the stark reality is that we just pulled it together. It all depended on the situation. For example, with work we have some Vacation time accrued and I used that. For our daughter we depended on the Support team around us (grandparents, friends from school and grown-up brothers and sisters).

Truth be told, we were blinded by the fact that this was becoming a reality before our eyes… and suddenly things like “what color bedspread should we have?” or “should we paint the room blue” were suddenly forgotten.

The visits mostly coordinated with the foster mom because our Son’s caseworker and our caseworker we’re taking most of the month of December off work, for the holidays and such.

Our son had been in the foster system for a little over a year and a half, so he was already being closely watched by the state and CASA (Court Appointed State Attorney) – plus he had a past case of medical issues that required several doctor visits and follow-up check-ups.

After two weeks we had our first overnight visit.

He wasn’t super comfortable at first and often spoke about his Foster home and the other kids in that house.

The next weekend we went back to his city and took him home for three days and two nights.

It was a slow and eventual build, but at the end of the month he was going to live with us permanently..

Eventually he came to live with us. By the time it came to have him full time he’d already been exposed to most of our family routine and felt comfortable in his bedroom..

It was around the time that he came to live with us that we learned that we going to be Foster Parents until we were able to adopt him. This was, at a minimum, going to be a 6 month period..

During the foster family period both caseworkers had to routinely come over and check out the house, hang out with our family and just do a general checkin of how things we’re going.

At first there were the typical bumps and bruises that you would expect. I need heck, if I was taken away from my house I would know what to expect either!.

Oregon is known for their stellar “disruption rates”, meaning that when an adoptive child is placed into a home for adoption they STAY there.

And now I know why.

I had faith in the system, and the system paid off.