After training, the next major piece of the puzzle is home visits. Our city agency requires three visits. The first is focused on our questions and a tour of our home. The worker will identify anything we need to acquire, fix or deal with before certification. The second visit is when the worker will ask us to expand on our responses to questions, our history, our everything. They will get all up in our business. And the third and final visit focuses on checking off the list of home requirements. A bed for each child, a place to keep their clothes, outlet covers, locked up alcohol, access to a phone, etc. With the conclusion of these visits, the workers approval of us (are we a good fit for this lifestyle?) and our clean background checks from the city, state, and FBI, we'll be certified!
During our first home visit, our worker only identified a few safety items we need to institute. My bio-kids were always really good (or I was really scary) and they didn't go into cabinets, drawers, doors they were supposed to and never put anything into an electrical socket. But…not everyone will fear the 'Mom look' so our Amazon order (Thank God for Amazon Prime!) should arrive today and we'll be able to start installing all of these things. It's for the kiddos….even if those door knob cover things are annoying and more adult proof than child proof. But alas, it's a requirement, so we will do it.
Our second visit is scheduled for this coming Monday. I'm emotionally preparing to rehash my family history, my divorce, single motherhood, etc. It will be interesting…and difficult. BUT…it's not meant to be easy, is it?! It's meant to provide the worker with a real picture of who we are. As individuals, as partners, as parents…we're taking care of the kiddos that they are legally responsible for. We have to be fit for parenting. Too bad this process wasn't required before bringing home our own bio-kids. That could potentially eliminate some of the need for foster families.
We've decided that we'll prepare our home for two kiddos. We've begun shopping for beds or bunk beds, mattresses, mattress covers (you're never too old to have an accident…and developmentally a lot of kids that come into care are a little behind in that area), sheets, lice and bed bug kits (because sometimes things suck), personal care items (toothbrushes, hair brushes, combs), books, luggage, and so much more. Often times when a kiddo comes into care, they have only minutes to gather whatever belongings they have. This scramble is often gathered in garbage bags. Very sad…but any kiddo coming into our home will leave (if they leave!) with luggage of their own. If nothing else, they'll leave our homes with some luggage and hope.