We’ve home schooled Derrick since he was in second grade and during his late elementary years, we met a most wonderful home schooling family, the Coopers. Mandi was an energetic, happy and beautiful young mother with three children. She and I became friends and even though we didn’t see each other often once the kids got older and park days became less frequent, we stayed in touch through emails and the wonder of facebook. Her family decided to become foster parents and I eagerly read her posts about their journey and asked probably more questions of her than she cared to answer, but answer them she did.
As foster parents, they have had many children in their home over the past three years and have been twice blessed with the adoption of two of those children. Their youngest came to them when he was three days old and is now a happy, rambunctious, almost three year old cutie pie. Their oldest is a gorgeous young lady who came to them when she was 16 and is now getting ready to be a mother herself. Their family has truly been blessed by being foster and adoptive parents.
I approached the subject of fostering with Todd very carefully. It was something I was drawn to do and I wanted him to understand just how much it meant to me for him to give it a try. Derrick had always wanted siblings and was overjoyed when he heard us discussing the possibility of fostering. We talked about it endlessly, looking at it from every angle we could think of and making pro and con lists. My list definitely had more pros than cons! With the promise that if it didn’t feel right and it wasn’t the right fit for our family we could stop being foster parents, Todd and I signed up for the required PATH classes through our local DCS office. Derrick was beside himself with anticipation and Mandi was a constant source of encouragement for us.
We got through the then-required 12 weeks of classes on December 21, 2010. We were supposed to have our final approval no later than March 21, 2011, but as with all things government related, we didn’t actually receive it until July 26, 2011. Our family social worker was an amazingly awesome lady by the name of Kendra. If we’d met outside of the DCS setting, we would have been very social friends; we just loved each other to death!
Even though she was (and still is!) amazing and awesome, she couldn’t speed up the process and it was a long seven months to approval for us. The day we received our letter telling us we were finally approved foster parents was a great day for our family. That is, until I read the letter and saw that they had approved us for only white male babies up to age three; definitely not our requested “any child, any race, up to age 15 ½,” which was Derrick’s age at the time we filled out our paperwork.
Several phone calls and letters later, they finally got it right. Now, we just had to wait for the phone call telling us they had our first placement. A new waiting game began.