35 Days In
We are finished with all of our paperwork for licensing! Yesterday our Case Manager did the house walk-through & checklist, and we need to pick up just a few remaining items (first aid kit, fire extinguisher, additional smoke detector) for the licensing process. She hopes she'll be finished writing up our Home Study (another part of the licensing process, which is all about our individual backgrounds and our relationship as it relates to fostering children) in the next few weeks, and then we should be licensed shortly!
We knew that the licensing process was in-depth, but after squeezing a typically 3-6 month process into just 30-40 days, we're SO ready to be finished with all of the hoop-jumping! Okay, so at the risk of sounding incredibly unethical and somewhat like the One Child law in China, I do have some specific thoughts about it all: like why aren't parents who have children biologically put through such rigorous screening and scrutinizing? If ALL parents were required to be licensed in order to have children, it would probably cut down on the numbers of children going into foster care in the first place...but that's probably a subject for my OTHER blog....
So...other details...the bio-father's rights were terminated by the County about a week ago. As soon as we're licensed, the boys will be transitioning into our home full-time. Our ideal timing would be about the second or third week of May, but we'll see what happens. We both plan to take some time off from work at that point, as we ALL adjust to each other (and we figure out other logistics, like daycare).
We have done two full weekends so far (picking up the boys on Friday after work and returning them on Sunday evening). We're all learning a lot, such as...
- A 3-yr-old with too much lotion on his hands will find a quick, efficient way to get rid of it (rubbing his hands all over the lower half of the living room window, for example).
- Cups of coffee need to be placed on higher surfaces. (Nick & I both left cups unattended at different times on the same day, which were promptly "discovered" by the 13-mo old; thankfully both were tepid at best by that time!!) Also, carpet cleaner would be good to own.
- ALWAYS re-check to make sure the alarm in the kids' room has not been inadvertently turned on in the process of re-directing the 3-yr-old away from the alarm clock the afternoon before (he was startled awake a half-hour before his normal wake-up time, and we were also startled awake to a crying & panicked child).
- The smoke detector WILL go off (twice) during the 13-mo-old's morning nap while you're trying to get lunch made and are using the oven but neglected to notice that some of last night's supper spilled over and is now smoking and burning on the bottom of the oven. It is just the way things work.
- When placed in a sandbox for the first time in their lives, babies pick up a handful of sand and eat it. Also, those who have just recently started walking have no fear of anything, and launch themselves headlong toward the edges of the sandbox with blatant disregard for the fact that the sandbox is a rather tall (baby) step down to the actual ground.
- Who invented coffee tables, and what were they thinking??
- Kleenex is your friend. So is a lot of soap.
- If you leave a (bedroom, bathroom or office) door open for...say...30 seconds or so, the 13-mo-old WILL go into that room. And the 3-yr-old will be hot on his heels. I'm pretty sure this works with other kinds of doors too.
- Sometimes, all you need is a good book. And enough energy to read it four times in a row. (Brown Bear, Brown Bear is an excellent choice....)
- Our poor, terrorized cat still loves us, even though we have unleashed a small, drooling, tipsy Monster on her that pulls her hair, steps on her tail and frequently falls on her every weekend. She has quickly learned that the Monster cannot climb the piano or go over the child gate.