So the pre-foster care process is so very long, and we have experienced so much already. Isn’t it amazing to be at a point in your life where you can look back at your experiences and say “So this is why God did that, He was preparing me for this exact moment in time.”
I have had a lot of those moments lately.
I want to brag really quickly on my church family. When Clint and I started the foster process we knew it would be hard, and from the very beginning the agency that we have chosen to work through has been amazing. They are constantly telling us that we are not alone, and this will be a group effort. We are so thankful, but the fact of the matter remains, we are a young, (fairly) newly-married couple living 6 hours away from any family. Family is the basis for support.
We are embarking on a journey that we know God has placed in front of us and has given us a huge heart for, but it would be so much easier if we lived close to family.
Funny how God provides just what you need, right when you need it. Just as Clint and I started stressing out (mostly me..) about getting our inspections done due to finances we got a text from our new missions pastor.
Clint has already told this story, so I won’t retell it, I will just let you read it here.
Our church family stepped up. It’s ok that we live 6 hours away from parents and siblings because we have a bond that goes beyond blood with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they have been so amazing to us.
On to today’s work. One of the guidelines that goes along with foster care is that you must have “family rules” posted in your home. Along with these rules you must have a list of rewards and consequences. The rules were not much of a problem, and consequences were a little tricky, but pretty do-able but rewards?! In my home growing up, your reward for following the rules was that you didn’t have to suffer the consequences!
After a lot of research, and help from sights like this, this, and this, here is what we came up with:
We treat others with respect.
We speak politely to others.
We do homework before playtime.
We clean up after ourselves.
We do chores without having to be told.
We leave our doors open unless changing clothes.
We knock on our parent’s door if closed.
We turn off the light when we leave a room.
We do not take things that are not ours.
We ask permission before we go outside.
Bedtime is at 9pm.
(can you tell that my money-saving husband wrote these ;). I love him)
Rewards for following the rules
1. Saturday trip to the park/splash-pad.
2. Cookies for after-school snack.
3. Stay up 15 minutes later than normal.
4. Allowance for cleaning up and doing chores without being asked
(emphasis on without being asked…)
5. 10 minutes of extra outside play-time/TV time (depending on the weather).
Consequences for not following the rules
1. Write an apology letter for broken rules.
(For example: If impolite words were spoken to a teacher, write an apology letter to your teacher and take it the next day.)
2. Go to bed 15 minutes early.
3. 10 minutes decreased outside play-time/TV time.
4. No computer/video games for the day.
5. Toys that are not put away by the end of the day will take a 2-day “toy time-out.”
I have found it slightly complicated coming up with rules for foster kids due to all the guidelines. For example, we cannot take away outside time because it is physical activity and it is good for them, so instead I have just decreased it, we cannot take food away, so instead I have changed the type of food they get as a snack. etc… It took a little creativity, praise Jesus for Google right?
In the next week or so I hope to have come up with a creative way to display these rules/rewards/consequences in my house. More on that to come, I am pretty excited about it.
So for an official update we are on track to be ready for a foster placement by August we think. We each have 2 more online trainings to complete, and we have 2 home inspections to complete (I’m still trying to make sure the house will pass, I still need to find a way to lock up ointments: like neosporin, and anti-itch cream. It’s kind of a pain in the neck).
I believe that’s all we have left, oh and to foster with Buckner you have to have been married for 2 years, that happens for us on July 9th. Feel free to send congratulatory presents ;).
More to come, and I promise it won’t take me a month this time!