Seriously what a process that was! I had to fill out the Application Registration form. My goal was to get it in within a week of receiving it from CAS after the meeting on January 15th. I had it completely done in the week deadline, but sent it in on the Thursday because as I haven't mentioned on here (or have I?) life has gotten even busier!
Let me start off with the application process then I will go on to tell you how life is even busier for me.
So those of you who have gone through this, or are thinking about it let me give you some insight. This application if you think it is going to be easy, you are in for a surprise let me tell you! It is 7 pages long and the beginning of it is simple. It is your stats. your information that you would fill in for any type of application. Your full name, address, birthday etc. Easy....they make you think oh hey this won't be a problem....WRONG.
Once you get past the simple stuff, you must be prepared for a huge heart to heart with your spouse. They ask you questions that really get you down to where your flaws lie, where you have to look deep down inside of yourself and your spouse to see what is there that you are willing to take on as parents. This might seem like an easy task when you just read it but when posed with the questions of if you are willing to take a child who has certain problems you have to set your emotions aside of "oh I really want a child I will take anything" and be completely honest with yourself. We turned off all forms of electronics and talked, really talked. We came to our decisions and challenged each others thought process to see if it was an out or if they were willing to take it on. We took each question and spoke freely to each other about our fears of that topic and what we were willing to overcome. That part took quite awhile to fill out, but by the end of it we were happy knowing that we could accept our flaws, and that knowing we could be honest with ourselves and each other on what we were willing to take on.
After that section of the application we decided to take a break. We were left vaunerable and our brains were hurting thinking so much about what it would take to bring a certain type of child into our house. So if you are reading this for insight, let me just warn you this process is raw, but at the end of it you don't have to feel ashamed for the choices you made. Only you yourself know what your limits are, and just like anything else in life we should never take on more than we can take. I felt the same way going in to the process. I want a child, I want a child so bad that I would be willing to overcome all adversities and tribulations just to be able to do it. Boy was I completely off track! I learned that deep down there were things I wasn't equipped to handle and even though I would love to be able to say I can, I just can't. Does that make me a worse person? No. Simply put it does not. As humans we tend to think the worst of ourselves, but really in this you have to know that by finding your strengths and your weakness' can only further provide for a child. You want to provide a happy loving home for this child, and by taking on more than you can handle because you think it is the only way is just going to make you miserable, in turn making your house miserable and your chances of it working out are going to be heart breaking. In the end that isn't fair to you or your future child.
So after all the deliberating thinking the hardest part was over...you guessed it WRONG again! You now have to give a short essay on your experience with children. Ok so that part isn't so bad, we all have experience of some sort babysitting, having other people in our lives who have children and need a break once in awhile. Growing up taking care of our cousins, nieces and nephews....There is always experience underlying somewhere when it comes to children. But then comes the biggie!!!
You then have to dig down deep inside of you and write a letter of why you want to adopt, what brought you to this decision and why you would be good for a child.......TOTALLY loaded question right there. Now I know for most people going through this process it wasn't just a snap decision to go through with adopting. At least (as you can tell by my blog) it wasn't for us. So being prepared in discussing it before you go through the meeting or even do that first intake call helped prepare me for this life altering letter. I had to think back to the discussions Peter and I had at the beginning, I had to drudge up the old feelings of infertility issues and try to convince them that I had over come them. This letter was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, and believe me when I say that it overcomes all those Shakespeare essays and translations I had to do in highschool. It gets down to the nitty gritty raw emotions you are feeling, and it has to be from the heart and so convincing. You have to stand out above the rest to make them even want to set up that Social worker interview. This letter collectively took me about 20 hours to write. Setting up points, having Peter send me his points on why he wants to do this, getting down to the brutal honest truth of it all. I sat down in one day and it took me 8 hours to write it. 8 hours of deleting, and adding and second guessing my responses. It was grueling, nerve wracking and emotionally draining. But I completed it. I felt proud of my letter. I shared it with Peter, he was moved. I shared it with my best friend in Florida - she cried. I think I did well.
Now the waiting begins.
Now the busier part comes in.....while adding the last minute touches to the letter and making sure that the application was complete down to every last signature, I went to check my mail. In my mail was an application from CCAS (Catholic) for Kin Care. I had yet another application form to fill out in order to help out my cousin, whos son is currently in Foster care. This application where it was longer, it was way more invasive. I thought getting down to the nitty gritty of realizing I wanted to be a parent was hard. HOLY HECK! This one asked me for my insurance information, my banking info, for me to break it down into monthly segments. I had to scour my bank statments and had to become for those few hours an accountant.
For those who don't know. Kin Care is basically a home where a child can go to that is related to the member of the parent who currently has their child in the care of CAS or CCAS. By going through this process we are applying so that my cousins' baby can come into our home, so that the parents know that while they are going through the steps of gaining custody back of their child, their baby is in the care of a family member. Hoping to reduce stress and allow them to concentrate on what they need to do Peter and I have stepped up to the challenge of taking care of him. So now I am going through their process and my process all at the same time. Life sure has taken a road I didn't expect to be on.
But just because it is a path I never imagined, doesn't mean I am not willing to take it on. Sure it is a little more stress added, another Social worker added, but I know I am doing right by my family and getting even more experience of taking care of a child under my belt.
If there is one thing I have learned in my many years on this earth, is life never goes the way we anticipate it to go. But we just hold on to the bars of that rollercoaster ride and even though it might get scary when we hit those drops, we know we can't get off the ride until it is over, so might as well try and enjoy as much of it as possible.
Once you are on the ride, you can't stress over the fact it is moving - you made the choice to get on, it is what it is until you reach the end. hang on tight it could get bumpy! But by the end of it you usually are smiling, laughing and have emotions pulled out of you that you didn't know you had in there....
And you usually end up with that huge grin that says "let's do it again!"
Until next time
XOX Kate XOX