We had our first IMPACT Training class last night. It was really an interesting class, but I have to admit it did not leave me feeling any calmer. In fact, I would probably have to say it increased my stress level tremendously. I don't like the unknown, so this will be a test for me.
To begin with, The Hubs and I had only ever planned to be an adoptive home. Fostering wasn't really something we felt we would be comfortable with. As a child, my parents kept foster children for 6 years. I've lived in a home with foster children coming and going and the separation is not something I enjoyed. I know it will be so difficult on my emotionally.
However, last night we were informed that our chances of being able to adopt a child through the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) without being an active foster home were slim to none. Therefore, it looks like we are going to be a foster/adoptive home. What this means is that when a child comes to our home, the parental rights of at least one of the parents involved will already be terminated and the caseplan for the other parents involved will not be going as it should and, thus, it is more likely the child will become available for adoption. While there is still a small chance the child will be returned to their biological family, there is a much higher probability the child will be made available for adoption and, as the foster parents, we would be given the first opportunity to adopt the child.
I'm still trying to decide how I feel about this scenario. While it breaks my heart that there are families that will lose their children, I'm also aware that these are families that will have been given ample opportunity to complete steps to get their children back home with them. The real upset will be with the children.
I think my real frustration is that I haven't yet had time to process the change to my plans. I'm sure I'll feel happier about it once I've had this time. At the end of the day, this is the process we need to take to find our child. We know there is a child that we are meant to parent and we'll follow whatever path we need to bring us to that child.
Back to the class, though, we had two instructors, each casewokers for the two areas (each inclusive of several counties) in our region. One of the caseworkers we felt a great connectin with immediately; the other not so much. Unfortunately, the one we connected with is not our caseworker. However, we will work through this as well. I'm sure as we get to know our caseworker better, we'll feel more connected with her.
Afterwards, we approached the caseworker we had the connection with and explained to her that we were interested in a child on the State listing. She was very interested and told us to bring her the information on the child next week. She stated they would definitely try to push our homestudy on through and get us prepared to proceed with the adoption as soon as possible.
All in all, it was a good class experience. I'm really looking forward to next week now. Hopefully some of my nervousness and worry will dissipate over the next few weeks.