We got another letter from DCF today that appears to be our license? It was certainly a contract of sorts – an agreement between the Department and foster parents outlining our respective responsibilities. I guess it isn’t abundantly clear that this constitutes our license, but it also feels like an official and concrete sign that this is happening (as if those first two calls were flukes …). So are we officially licensed? I’m not quite sure. But definitely maybe.
We’ve been trying to get “ready” for our first placement – whomever and whenever that may be. Here’s my comment: it is SUPER HARD to be prepared for something so vague. Given that E and I don’t have any children of our own yet, we are starting from scratch. If we were awaiting the birth of a child, we would not only have nine months to prepare, we would also be reasonably certain of just what we were preparing for – a newborn. In our case, although we’ve been mentally preparing for about 8 months (okay so that’s not so different), we weren’t sure enough about licensure, ages, timing, etc. to be able to physically prepare during that time. So now here we are, waiting for a call any day now for one or two children maybe (hopefully) under 4 but also maybe not. The age range alone makes me pull my hair out trying to think about what we will need! For any future foster parents out there, here’s the run down on what we’ve done so far (however misguided it may be):
E and I set a budget for any out-of-pocket preparations (furniture, bedding, decorations, necessities). Our 3-bedroom condo used to consist of a master, guest room, and an office. We’ve transitioned the guest room into a child’s room and made the office into a guest room (don’t worry – our comfy guest bed is in there). Here’s what we’ve acquired thus far (I hope this is helpful for any prospective foster parents out there):
- Crib/mattress/bedding – new
- Glider w/ ottoman – used
- Dresser (doubles as changing table) – used
- Twin bed frame – used
- Twin mattress – used (from next door neighbor)
- Mattress protectors (crib and twin), twin sheets, pillow – new
- Stroller (baby jogger w/ infant seat attachment) – used
- Fabric box/drawer things (for the bookcase) – new
- Changing pad and cover – new
I think that all adds up to about $700. We’ll use the rest of the budget to try to make this room of mismatched furniture cohesive! A rug should do the trick. And the actual set-up of the room is flexible based on the placement. For example, if there is just one child under 3, we’ll stick the twin bed in the attic and just use the crib (slash toddler bed). If we end up with two kiddos and need both the twin and the crib, we may have to nix the glider. You get the point. Here’s the result so far (seriously, no 2 pieces of furniture match. yikes). Please excuse the disarray – the fabric boxes and mattress have not yet arrived in our home.
So what do you think – are we ready? What else do we need?