Turns out a foster care license is like many other licenses, in that you need to accumulate continuing training hours to keep it active. A foster care license (in Illinois, at least) is active for four years before it comes up for renewal. During each four year period, each person needs to take an additional 16 hours of training. These hours can be earned by taking more DCFS training, reading books on pertinent issues, attending seminars, or other such things. One specific training class the state requires in the first four years is called Educational Advocacy. This class is six hours of training intended to educated foster parents on the public school system and laws that allow every student to receive special services if they need. We received a lot of information, which would be good for any parent to know. So, even though we don't actually have our licenses yet, we each have six of our 16 hours needed for the renewal of our license!
At home, we've been working to wrap up some small projects before our home visit. We started getting the kids' room ready in the summer - we bought bunk beds, comforters, a dresser, etc. There were some small things left that needed to be done, so we have wrapped those up in the last week. Andy added a closet system and painted the trim. We rearranged the furniture and I ordered some posters to hang on the wall (the room is going to be Dr. Seuss-themed). Here are some pictures of what we have so far:
The view from the doorway.
Dresser and closet (with some toys and Dr Seuss decorations).
Bunk beds - which have challenged my idea of the perfectly-made bed.
This is what I have decided is the Reading Corner (cue Andy saying "NERD").
Finally, my mom and sister-in-law threw me a shower while we were there for Thanksgiving. It was amazing to be so supported by friends and family! It is important to us for everyone in our life to understand that this is the way we've decided to become parents for the first time, and having our friends and family recognize that and celebrate with us in this way was so special. At the shower, close family friends shared their own adoption story (a mother and daughter) and emphasized God's heart for adoption, which was so encouraging!
Well, that's the update from us - we would really appreciate your prayers while we wait (not-so-patiently) for our clearances! It's easy to get frustrated and impatient while we wait because we're excited, but we know God's timing is perfect!
Thanks for your support and prayers!