Filling out the Application
After attending foster orientation, I turned my attention to packing for our trip to Florida two days hence. I thought we’d get back to it when we returned. However, once on the airplane, I saw that Matt had brought all of the foster care papers with him. The application was only two pages long. He very carefully completed most of it, turned it over, read the directions, said, “oops,” then went back and fixed some things. For example, “when a heterosexual couple is applying to do foster care, the name of the man must be written first.” Who knew there would be a correct gender-order specified on the application? Sometimes I think that the government has too much free time.
It began by asking for basic things: name, address, birthdate, social security number. Then it moved on to asking for three people who we would list as references. These people are not to be relatives. Well, that stumped me for a minute. Between us we have 3 grandparents, 4 parents, 25 aunts and uncles, innumerable cousins, 22 siblings and siblings-in-law, 21 nieces and nephews, and 5 children. Now, here they all were - left out in the cold. So, we tried to think of people we know and trust, who know us both to some extent, and have seen us parent. After this, we had to select an emergency person who would potentially watch the kids if we needed a babysitter. This person would undergo a background check, but would not need to be finger printed. Thankfully this one could be related to us. We chose Matt’s mom, who will be living two doors down from us before too long. (The following week we asked all of these people if it was okay to put them on our application.)
The application got slightly more complicated. They wanted to know the dimensions of each of our bedrooms. Given that we were in a Boeing 757 somewhere over Georgia, this would have been a problem, if I hadn’t designed our house. So, Matt entered that information plus: how many beds were in each room, who sleeps were, where will the proposed foster children sleep, etc...
The last thing on the application was what kind of children we would be willing to foster. We needed to put age, number, race, that sort of thing. We had given this a lot of thought. Since, we homeschool our children we did not think it would be very nice to bring a child into our home who has to go off to school at a building everyday while the rest of the kids stay home with me. So, we said ages 0 to 4. We realize that raising a child of a different race out here in white people-ville where we live would be difficult, but we want to help where the need is. So, we said all races were welcome. Finally, wanting to ensure that we would still have time and energy for our own children we said we could take no more than two at a time and no serious disabilities. And that was that. Application completed.