On May 22nd, 2013 I happily packed the last of our application paperwork in a manilla envelope and placed extra postage on the outside to ensure that it would reach AASK quickly and safely. This was a HUGE step for my husband and I toward our dream of adopting through foster care.
When we first received the application packet, I must admit, I was a little overwhelmed with the thick stack of papers. Here are some of the things that are required to move past the “application” phase but I’m sure I’ve left things out:
- Informational form and two page application
- Background checks for each person in the household over 18
- Two sets of LiveScan fingerprints to be submitted to the Department of Justice for background checks
- Full physical with signature from doctor
- TB screening
- CPR and First Aid certification
- Financial worksheet
- Employment verification
- 4 letters of reference
- School report for any school-aged children
- Scale layout of home with gas and water shut-offs and emergency exits
- Emergency plan and contact sheet
- Official driver record for each adult from the DMV
- In-depth Homestudy questionnaire including personal, family, health and relationship history
- Water safety agreement
- Water safety training (only if you plan to participate in water-related activities or own a pool)
- A one-page photo sheet showing our family and lifestyle (this was harder to do than I though it would be)
- A family photo for our file
While we were still finishing up this paperwork, my husband and I attended AASK’s mandatory, two-day “Foster and Adoptive Family Training” at their office in Oakland at the end of April. We found very insightful and were glad to connect with other people who were in the application stage like us!
By May 28th we received word that AASK had received all of the paperwork required to move out of the “application” phase and that an AASK social worker would soon be assigned to us. This was a big relief and also was very exciting for me because it meant we were one step closer to becoming a family with non-teenaged children! Don’t get me wrong – having my teen-aged stepson is a blessing but he doesn’t exactly like spending much time with us anymore and I am ready to welcome home the children who will complete our family.
On June 14th an AASK representative called to inform us that a social worker had been assigned to us and would be calling us soon. Well, our social worker did just that and we have our first “homestudy” meeting on June 20th in our home. We had officially moved on to “Step 4″ (read about the steps here).
The months since January have flown by while completing paperwork and preparing our home. I’m very thankful to be on this fost-adoption journey and know that this is something I am meant to do, without question. I feel that this is the path God has planned for me and I’m very grateful for that he has blessed me with this opportunity.
Please check back soon for an update as I have much more to sharing about completing the homestudy and entering the “matching” phase.
If you have questions or anything you’d like to share about AASK or my foster-adoption journey, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I will be sure to respond. You can learn more about Adopt A Special Kid on their website at www.aask.org.