I took one kid to the airport Monday night to go to her mom's for 5 weeks and I got my next kid, in a box, on Tuesday afternoon!
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We started the adoption process - the very first informational meeting with the Department of Family and Protective Services (TX DFPS) back in February 2007. Then there was lots of paperwork, background testing, fingerprinting, parenting classes, CPR training, doctor visits, interviews, a home study and lots and lots of waiting. Finally, in December 2008, we were completely approved and ready to start the hunt for our new kiddo.
Our caseworker sent us information on a few kiddos whose caseworkers were interested in our family, but the amount of trauma and issues these kids had far outweighed what we thought we could handle - with our current work schedules, we are not equipped time-wise or financially, for a special needs child. A few of the kids were grossly misrepresented at first, ranking in emotional needs, medical needs, developmental needs and physical needs as "none" or "mild" all the way down the list, only to find out later that they have an IQ in the "borderline" area - 15 years old with the capacity of a 5 year old.
Then, in late May, came news of this kid we're looking at now, and last night, we received his whole "file" - a 9 x 12 x 6" box with at least a thousand pieces of paper in it. We were told upfront that some caseworkers keep great records and others, not so much. Some kids have "files" that fit in one folder and some fill up a whole box. Many of the papers were redundant - hand-written notes taken during a phone call or an interview with the child or parent that were later typed up in a report, etc., but he'll be happy to have all that information about his past when he's older, I think. God bless his caseworker for keeping such organized and thorough records.
He's 10 and he is a cutie. He's performing at grade level in school, with elevated reading comprehension and extremely elevated math skills. He's been separated from all of his siblings, so it will be good that he'll have an older sister here - we think he'll dig that. There are a few concerns (certainly some emotional issues) and his past is certainly tainted, but we found no flying red flags that tell us it would be anything less than a great placement.
So what now? After reading the kiddo's life story in a box, we send our caseworker a list of any questions or concerns we have today, and she lets his caseworker know we are still "in." Then we have to schedule some visitation - at least three visits with him - one in the foster home, the second at a third-party location (park or zoo, etc. - we have to think of something creative to do that day with him since he's already been to the zoo) and the third is a sleepover at our house. Then, from what I understand, that's it - he packs his bags and moves in! Placement could happen as early as the end of June! I'll keep you posted!