(I’m reaching back into my memory for these. Oh, to have written things down as they were happening!)

Picking up from where we left off, Todd and I were feeling pulled in the direction of pursuing foster-to-adoption. It sounded like a mix of heartbreaking, risky, and a whole lotta hard work. We went to a few orientations to learn more and/or get scared straight:

We visited a private agency that does domestic and international adoptions, as well as works with families to become licensed foster parents. Their fostering program has the same requirements as working directly with the state, but you pay a fee to them for acting as go-between you and the state.

We went to an informational meeting of a program in our county for people who want to foster-to-adopt. This program has since been discontinued due to budget cuts, and the process has been streamlined so that everyone (foster families, foster-to-adopt families, adopting relatives) has the same requirements.

And finally, I went the state-required three hour orientation. This orientation is an overview of the family home study process – the kinds and amount of paperwork in the application packet, what licensors will look for during home inspections, and other requirements (CPR/first aid/blood-borne pathogen class, a physical and TB test, etc).

After all this information gathering, and even though it seemed to confirm our impressions of being heartbreaking, risky and hard work, we still felt like this was what we were meant to do…