Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1st Step Towards Becoming Parents

I have blogged a little in the past about Andrew & I's challenges with starting a family. Our first step was to buy a home. Which we did in June!

If you haven't read the Guestblog I wrote for the CF Foundation, it will give you the background to our decision making & how we plan to become a family. Read it right here at the CF Website! It will help you understand all our reasoning..

I started by talking to the social worker at my CF Clinic. She directed me to compass. To be honest there wasn't much else to do. So we eagerly called compass and found out there are a few grants that help with adoption costs, but not much support for surrogacy and foster care.

The Compass (CF Foundation Help Site) did give us the name of place that does genetic testing that they said was fairly inexpensive. When we called the place they said they can't tell us the cost or about the tests, until we had a script from a doctor.  I called a few GPs to get Andrew an appointment. Most were booked solid for months. Plus, we would have to pay out of our pocket for the doctor visit for the script & pay for the screening (since he hasn't met his deductible at all) and insurance doesn't cover genetic testing (unless it is for Andrew's health & not for family planning). Which could be more than $1000 just for doctor visit & test, etc. If Andrew was a carrier then Surrogacy would not an option anymore for us. That is a decision we decided a long time ago. Again, this is my personal opinion & I do not judge other's decisions.

We don't really care if our children are genetically related to us, that is not important to us.

We are not quite giving up on adoption yet, but we aren't counting on it as our best option. We don't want to wait two or three years to become parents... Plus, it is very expensive even with the grants. My best estimation so far is $20,000 to 30,000 per kid. It's more about timeline for us. I have been ready to be a parent for at least 7 years. Andrew talked about our timeline with me before we were engaged. We both knew we didn't want to wait long to become a family. Kids that come from straight adoptions versus Foster care are no different in our eyes, why not be foster parents! we always knew we would be foster parents at some point, both of us think it is very important. I'm very excited about this new chapter!

I believe each child we have in our home will impact us & enrich our lives that much more. At the same time we can share our home, stability, and love with them & hopefully have a positive impact on their lives. The outcome & goal is to hopefully help them reunite with their family, but if they do become available for adoption, we will have no objection to adopting the children in our home.

Andrew surprised me, I knew he wanted kids. But a few weeks ago, Andrew called all the foster care /adoption agencies in Peoria and started making appointments with them. I was so excited when he told me that I ran around organizing. I moved my meds & all the household cleaners into a closet that can lock and bought outlet protectors, along with a second fire alarm (for the basement). Yes, I know it will be months til we finish our training and accept a child. It didn't matter, I needed something I could do NOW to feel like I'm not jut sitting around waiting. I needed to feel like I was actively trying to become a parent.

 I was so happy that I started crying!

Our first meeting with the social worker was Monday! We have a couple packets of paperwork to fill out, fingerprinting to get done, but that is easy enough! That hard part is waiting. Our foster classes are on Monday nights (April 3rd though June). After that we will be licensed and ready to accept kids! We are being licensed for up to 4 kids (2 per bedroom).  We had no preferences, except our house isn't handicap accessible, so that would be impossible for me. Also, I obviously can not foster any child that has a medical condition that lowers their immune system (as we both would be sick all the time). But otherwise, we are open to any kid! She actually said she had quite of few siblings groups up to 4 kids they want to keep together & that are hard to place, because most people only take 1 or 2 kids.

I'm not sure how it will be adjusting if we accept a full house right away, but I'm not sure I'd turn down a family of kids that need a home. So we will take everything a day at a time and see how it goes... for now we are trying to remodel the house a bit to prepare for when we are done with classes!

I'm hoping to purchase bunk beds, dressers, towels, toiletries, small wheeled-bags or duffel bags, bedding and more in the next couple months too! I think that will keep me busy enough :-)

Waiting seems forever....