I was telling Tabitha last night that if adoption were a video game, we have finally reached the first level. The tutorial and character creation process were the initial first steps:
- PRIDE Training (40 hours of state-mandated classes)
- FBI Database Fingerprinting
- Fire Inspection
- Health Inspection
- Home Study
With our home study approved, we are now certified by the State of Texas to adopt. We can now put in interest requests through the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE); we can also now go to meet up events (where you can interact with kids available for adoption) as well as have our caseworker alert us to children available for adoption who are not listed online.
The adoption process is weird. A mixture of buying a home and speed dating. Level One A, of the adoption game, looks like:
- Looking through pictures of children in an online database
- Going to a meet up event
- Our caseworker notifying us of a potential match
After initial inquiries are made, which includes our caseworker “selling” another caseworker on our family via telephone conference (home buying), we then enter the speed dating phase. Level One B includes:
- Our family driving to whichever region the potential child is located in and then going on a day outing with the child.
- The following weekend, a follow up over night visit (probably in a hotel room, especially if the child lives out of town) with the child.
- The following weekend after that, a day trip/overnight visit again?
- Eventually these visits shift from being on neutral ground to the child coming to our house.
The biggest hurdle of Level One A is going to be finding a match. We have to agree on the match; our caseworker has to agree on the match. Already, we are learning that:
- It’s good to have a caseworker who says no and is looking out for our family (versus just trying to place a child and move on).
- That descriptions of children, on TARE, do not include all the details. Sometimes even surprising our caseworker…
- That there are not a lot of younger kids (ages 7 and younger) up for adoption online.
Bottom Line: We know that God has a child in mind for us. We just have to wait, trust, and talk, as a family, through the adoption process.
I’ll keep y’all updated. Maybe not so much in this Level One A stage… but more IF we make it to Level One B. Prayers are appreciated.