Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vent -- 1

I so badly need to vent. And, unfortunately, writing is my safest form of venting.

So, many people know that we are working on getting a little foster boy.  It has been a long and painful process. I don't expect anybody to read all of this, but I want to write it all out, mostly, I suppose, to justify my frustration.

We actually started this process back in July of last year.  After a lot of prayer and contemplation we finally came to the conclusion that it would be write to look into foster care.  So, we got information about it and I attended an orientation class in July.  We began filling out the application.

The next step was to take training classes. I had to wait until August to take those.  The wait was frustrating, but I kept reminding myself that these things take time. Finally, the classes started.  They were two or three times a week throughout August.  I spent every Monday and Tuesday of that month leaving Ridgecrest at about 3:30 pm and driving to Bakersfield (2 hours away).  I would go to the class and leave Bakersfield at 9:00 pm when the class ended, and get home at about 11 pm the next day.  I did that two nights in a row for the first three weeks.  The final week I did it Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  I was incredibly exhausted.  It was tough on my family because I wasn't home to make dinners or drive to dance classes or help with homework.  We all sacrificed.

Finally the classes were over.  We spent many hours finishing up the application.  We got it submitted.  They sent it back for a few minor fixes, we completed them that day and submitted it back the very next day.  We waited and waited to hear back. It took a few weeks. We finally heard from them and got a list of things that they will check for the home inspection.  It was an incredibly long list.  It included the things we expected like to lock up medicines and poisons, have enough beds for everybody, etc.  But, then there were some we didn't expect.  Like, for example, we found out that we have to have a permit for every structure on the property. We have a shop in our backyard, and I was worried that the previous owners didn't have a permit when they built it.

I went to the city planning department and looked into it.  Sure enough, I was right.  There was no permit.  So we had to file an "as standing" permit and pay the fees and get all of that paperwork done.  I admit that this was the point where I began to drag my feet just a little bit.  I was feeling overwhelmed.  The cost of the permit fees and permit paperwork seemed to be just too much on top of everything else we had been doing for this.  So, I stalled and didn't do anything for a couple of weeks.

Then, I got a phone call from the social worker.  She told me that I need to just clean up my house so she could come.  I tried to explain to her about the shop in our backyard and the necessary permit.  She didn't believe me and just said, "Whatever, just get off your couch and go clean your house so I can come for the inspection."

I was very offended, honestly.  Having a clean home is a sensitive issue for me.  It is something that I struggle with and am very self-conscious about.  I know that most people probably wouldn't be very offended by that, but I was.  My home was clean.  I was not being lazy. It really hurt me.  I decided that I didn't want to work with someone who treated me that way.

At about that same time there was a street fair in our town in conjunction with the city's 50th anniversary celebration.  At the fair I met a social worker from a Foster Family Agency (FFA).  The woman was positive and happy and fun.  With that stark contrast of workers, we decided to switch to the agency, Legacy.  We thought it would be easy to switch over since the paperwork was all done.  We had already complete everything including training, physicals, fingerprinting, a home study, drawing out our house and yard layouts, and so on.  It was anything but easy.  We had to start everything over.  Everything.  I was frustrated at that point, and it only got worse.

So, I did another 12 hours of training.  And another application.  And another home study.  And layout drawing.  Everything.  We thought we could get our fingerprints transferred.  We waited on that for a long time.  But, it ended up they couldn't.  So we paid more money and had another set of fingerprints done.  It still took over another month for them to be completed.  That waiting time was frustrating as well.

In the midst of all of this process we found out that one of the rooms in our house that we have been using as a bedroom, technically shouldn't be used as a bedroom.  It's kind of complicated. So, what had happened is that the owners before us had a large covered patio.  One of the bedrooms had opened right to the covered patio with a sliding glass door. Then, they changed that patio into a completely enclosed room, which made the bedroom connected to it no longer up to code to be used as a bedroom. We had not clue that it was that way when we bought the house.  In fact, the house was advertised as a three-bedroom house.  So, we just had no idea about this problem.

With this change of things, we had some big decisions to make.  Should we forget about the whole process or should we put in the time and money to remodel our home? And if we remodel, how should we do it? Convert the play room into a master bedroom? Divide it into two bedrooms? Add another room to the house? We talked many times to the city planning department and an inspector about the options and what would be best to do. We also talked to a realator about what would be the best option to improve our home value. 

We finally decided to divide the big play room into two bedrooms. We drew up the plans and with a few modifications by the inspector, we were able to get started.  three months and $4000 later we got the boys' room done. It was so frustrating in a lot of ways.  But, on the other hand, we had many many blessings also. So many people stepped in and helped us with the remodeling.  We could never have gotten it done as quickly without all of the help.

So, once we finished we finally thought we'd be able to get Connor.  It still took another while.  But, we were able to pick him up on a Tuesday night.  That was the toughest week of my life, but that is a story to be continued...

1 comment:

The HousewifeTravels said...

Just another amazing adventure. You're doing great!