Tuesday, November 26, 2013

120 Days

When I made the initial phone call to inquire about foster parenting, they said it usually takes 120 days to get licensed.  Well, the 120 days has come and gone.  It's actually now day 144, and the home study still hasn't been scheduled. 

I did get a voice mail from the foster care supervisor last week saying that she needed photos of me and of my house (I had already sent these in several weeks ago with my other paperwork, but I'll send them again), and the certificate that I finished the training (I was under the impression that the facilitator of the class was going to submit verification that we had finished the class); and that she would get the home study ordered.  I mailed all the stuff off last Thursday, and I'm still waiting on a call to get it scheduled. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Yesterday my sweet co-workers threw me a baby kid shower at lunchtime.  They got me gift cards, a photo frame, and a booster/harness convertible car seat (I have the infant car seat from my sister, and a rear/forward-facing seat for 5-40 pounds that I have been using with my nephew, but nothing larger than that… and I don’t want to have to go out and buy a car seat the day I get the call for a child).  We had yummy bourbon chili and so many other tasty goodies.  I am so thankful for the great group of people I work with, and for how supportive they have all been! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

One More Step to Go

Today I had my medical physical appointment.  This would have been a multi-step process because two things would require a return visit (TB test and cholesterol bloodwork).  But I've had both of these things done through work already, so I just brought the results with me to the appointment today.

Form filled out, and is in the mail!  Now I just have to wait on the call for DSS to schedule the home study.  Who knows when that will be, though, because I may or may not have a new licensing worker assigned yet. 

Patience is a virtue I possess with kids, but not with processes...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How I Got Here

I first felt called to foster parenting in 2003, shortly after graduating from PT school.
Side note: I feel like saying “called” is such an overused cliché religious catchphrase, and I am not a very religious person.  But I think there is no other way to describe how the idea first came to me – there was no event, no patient I saw that made me want to foster, no person that inspired me; it was just something that I felt.  Not logically, mind you.  I didn’t have a full-time stable job (but rather several part-time/PRN jobs combined to make a not-so-comfortable income level, given my level of credit card and student loan debt), I was living in my mom’s house (by myself, but I didn’t have the authority to bring into it kids that weren’t mine), I was 26 and too young to be choosing single motherhood.

Over the next nine years, I still felt the call to fostering, but there was always a reason excuse not to do it –
-           I was living in a city away from family and trying to save up money to move back to my hometown
-           I wasn’t ready for my life to change dramatically (since none of my close friends had kids, I didn’t want to choose parenthood – I liked still being able to go out and having fun)
-          Once my two good friends started talking about having kids in 2008-ish, I told myself that once they had a child, I would also make the leap into parenting… because my life would by association also change significantly since they were the ones I mostly went out with.  But once their daughter was born in 2010, I still didn’t do it.  No reason, I just couldn’t take the plunge. 
-          Then I was dating someone and wanted to see where it went. 

After we broke up in 2012, I began to revisit the idea of foster parenting.  I never imagined that I would end up so close to 40 years old without being married or without kids.  I had no control over when/if a long-term relationship and/or husband would come into my life, but I could take control over becoming a mom.  Which is something I had been dreaming about since I was less than ten years old.  I had signed up to take the Physical Therapy Pediatric Certification Specialist exam in March 2013, and decided that once I found out if I passed or not, I would make the decision about fostering (If I passed, I would do it at that point; if I didn’t pass, I would retake the exam in 2014 and would start fostering after that.)  I got the message in June that I had passed, and I made the phone call to SC DSS about two weeks after that.  That’s where my journey began….


Saturday, November 2, 2013

DHEC Inspection Complete and Packet Mailed

Yesterday, I had my DHEC inspection.  She checked for:
- poisons/cleaners locked up (I had childproof locks installed on all the cabinets)
- knives/sharp objects locked up (including the knife block, which I knew about ahead of time so I had moved to the cabinet above the sink)
- water temperature under 120 degrees (Thursday night I had turned the water heater down to where it indicated ~120 degrees, but the water was still 130 degrees when she tested it)
- current vaccination record of the cat
- childproofing of the child's bedroom and all bathrooms
- gun locked up (I don't have one)
- medicines in a locked box (I didn't know that - Meds were not addressed at all on the list of things they gave me for the DHEC inspection; and I also asked a couple at the class a couple of weeks ago who had already had their DHEC inspection - they said meds just had to be stored out of reach).
- Water and Sewer are sufficient (She didn't need to test since I have public water/sewer)
- Overall general cleanliness was sufficient

She said the two things that needed to be corrected won't keep me from getting my license; just that DSS is supposed to follow up on them. 

I also finished filling out the packet of information (except the medical report form) and got it into the mail yesterday. 
[I don't actually have a licensing worker right now... but I only know this by circumstance. I had called and emailed my licensing worker, M,  with a couple of questions about the paperwork a couple of weeks ago, but never got a response.  The facilitator of the class happened to mention that M got a new position.  I wasn't sure who to contact or how, since the only contact info I had was for M (she contacted me directly after she received my initial request info from the state Foster Care Association).  Then I remembered that there was a list of all the licensing workers on a letter that was sent to me to inform me when my fire inspection would be.  (Thank goodness I had saved it - situations like this confirm that it's smart to be a pack rat!)  I called the licensing supervisor, got my questions answered, and was told she hoped to have licensing workers assigned by the first of November]
All of that to say... who knows when the stuff I mailed in will get looked at/processed. 

Last Two Steps to Complete:
- Medical Exam/Report Sent In - Nov 8
- DSS Home Study - Not Scheduled Yet

I'm thinking end of November to be licensed... but really, what do I know?!