One Year

We are writing this post after tucking Trevor and Ariel into bed for the night, 365 days after the first time we ever tucked them in. Today is the 1-year anniversary of them entering our lives and it is bitter sweet. When we opened our home to these kiddos (Possible Placements), we agreed to care for them for the weekend. If we said no, they would have spent the weekend in a hotel with a staff member from DHS.  After one weekend, and with nowhere else for them to go, we decided we would continue to care for them as long as we could, or as long as they needed us.  So, that is how we got from one weekend, to one year.

This anniversary is strange. We have been fostering for about 18-months now (Our First Year in Review), and have cared for 6 very special kiddos, but Trevor and Ariel have been in our lives longer than the other 4 combined.  On one hand, this anniversary is quite an achievement and a milestone representing a lot of love and hard work, as well as growth and progress. It is something we can be proud of. It represents our family and the bond and love we have grown and worked so hard for. However, the anniversary also symbolizes failure, loss, struggle, and uncertainty. So much has happened in the last year, but not much has actually happened.

So here we are, one-year in to fostering these awesome kids, and although we have done so much for them, an experienced so much with them, on paper, we are in the exact same place as we were a year ago. 

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Dear Foster Curious

We didn’t come out as potential foster parents until we took in our first kiddo. We didn’t tell anyone we were taking classes to become certified as foster parents, because we wanted to give ourselves the ability to back out. Becoming a foster parent is a very big and very personal decision, that for better or worse, tends to define a part of you. For us, we went into the first foster parent orientation class as a curious couple, not sure if foster care was for us or not. We left, feeling like it was something we were interested in pursuing… but we didn’t tell anyone.  As we got farther into the process, and closer and closer to being certified, we told a few family members, a few coworkers so we could adjust our work schedules, and some of our closest friends. Most of our family and friends had no idea that becoming a foster parent was something we were interested in doing until we posted on Facebook the night Ava (4-hours) was sleeping soundly in her crib the first night she was placed in our home.

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Our First Year in Review

A recap and reflection of our first year as foster parents.

What a year! One year ago, we both left work early, drove out to SE 122nd during rush hour traffic, and began the The Certification Process to become non-relative foster parents. We went into the orientation session with an open mind.  Going into the orientation, we were not committed to being foster parents, we just genuinely wanted to learn more.  We wanted to see if this is something we felt we had the capacity to do at this point in our life. Looking back, what ensued after that first class one year ago is a whirlwind. Here is our recap… Continue reading “Our First Year in Review”

We Know You Mean Well But…

Comments that we hear often, but wish we didn’t

Foster CareJewell and I consider ourselves extroverted introverts.  We enjoy our privacy, the company of each other, and gatherings of our close friends. Both of us are easily intimidated by large social gatherings, “Parties” is what I think the cool kids call them, but we often force ourselves to go, so we can see our friends and acquaintances.  Being a Foster Parent has proven to be a great conversation piece at said social gatherings, one that many people have a lot of questions about, and that we are happy to answer. When it comes to being a Foster Parent, we do not evangelize. We understand that it is not for everyone, it is a personal or family decision, and the last thing we would want is for someone to be pressured into being a foster parent when it is not right for them, that is not fair to the kids or the person/family.  That being said, we try to be an open book and answer questions that people have for us, because prior to us becoming Foster Parents, we had a lot of questions too, and nobody to really answer them.

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The Certification Process – Pt. 2

The second half of our certification process: The SAFE Home Study or “The Newlywed Game”

Congratulations on completing your 24-hours of Foundations Training for Foster Care!

Here is your Certificate!

So now we are foster parents, right?!?!?!?! We can begin to help children in need? Right?

Nope. Continue reading “The Certification Process – Pt. 2”

The Certification Process – Pt. 1

Our experience navigating the System to become Foster Parents

As mentioned in the blog introduction, this blog is not going to serve as a “How-To” on becoming a Certified Non-Relative Foster Parent in Oregon.  For details on how to do this, Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) should be your go to, and they have information listed HERE.

This post will be more about our experience navigating the process to become certified.  We are Certified Non-Relative Foster Care Providers (foster parents) in Multnomah County, Oregon.  Our experience is limited to Oregon and Multnomah County, and we are aware that the process may be significantly different outside of Oregon. There are also Private, typically through faith based organization, certification methods as well, which also may be significantly different, but we do not have experience with those. Continue reading “The Certification Process – Pt. 1”

What Is This Blog?

Why does this blog exist?

This is a place for us to document our journey as foster parents in Oregon.  The idea for the blog came to us after we realized that as brand new parents, we were staying up far too late after our children went to bed.  We were constantly staying up talking about all of the thoughts we were having as we become more and more ingrained in the Foster Care System.  It felt like nearly every day, we encountered a new experience, oftentimes experiences that are unique to foster parents, but sometimes, experiences relevant to all parents, and experiences relevant to all humans who care about other humans.

As we stayed up too late talking, knowing that our kids would wake us up soon, far before our alarm clocks would go off to make it to work on time, we knew that the conversations we were having were much more important than sleep.  We thought that the conversations would slowly taper off over the coming weeks. Eventually, we assumed that fostering children would be our “new normal”, and we could get back to watching our shows on Netflix and going to bed at a decent hour.  Instead, the longer we were caring for children, the more we interacted with DHS, family, friends, bio-parents, lawyers, CASAs, judges, etc., the more we realized that these conversations were going to continue.
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Acronyms and Definitions

Selected Acronyms and Terms defined for your convenience.

In most government agencies and specialized fields, acronyms are widely used, and industry specific definitions apply to many words. We will do our best to keep this page updated with frequently used acronyms, terms, and strange definitions.

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