Tuesday night Grant & I completed session 8 of 10 with the PRIDE training in Woodstock and we attended a "Foster/Adopt" session last night with the Waterloo region - we love these training sessions so much, we thought we'd double them up for this week and next!! In all seriousness, Waterloo Region offers two processes that differ from that of any other jurisdiction and that's why we were invited to attended the Foster/Adopt and Infant Consent Adoption sessions, even though we are doing the official PRIDE training in Woodstock.
What is Foster/Adopt you ask??? Here's an excerpt from our readings:
In 2001, Family & Children's Services of the Waterloo Region introduced a Foster/Adopt program, with the goal of minimizing placement disruptions for children in care, and allowing for permanency planning at the earliest stage possible....The overall goal is to facilitate a permanent placement for children who are unlikely to be returned to their (birth) parents and for whom Crown Wardship is being sought by the agency...Numerous researchers have identified the need for children to be in stable placements. There is a recognition that a lack of permanence for children in care is potentially damaging to them. The potentially negative impact of long foster care placements, multiple placements, and ambivalent attachment have led to this alternative, one which is focused on children who may not be returned to their home.
Basically what happens with Foster/Adopt, a child lives with a family as a "foster-child" until the official adoption can occur. We met a couple last night who's daughter was placed with them at the age of 4-months and they signed the final papers for the adoption this spring when she was 2.5 years old !! Grant & I agree that our ideal adoption plan is for an Infant Consent Adoption (adoption at birth), but if we are matched for a Foster/Adopt opportunity with a baby we will not immediately turn it down. even if that means we have to wait months or even years before he/she is legally our child. Not only do I recognize the huge value in the child's sense of security and stability, Grant & I want to be there for all the milestones and firsts and experience holding, cuddling and kissing our baby.
On a completely different note, Grant & I celebrated Father's Day with our dad's last weekend. We went fishing with my dad on Saturday and had dinner with his dad on Sunday - We saw "dad-to-be" cards when we were shopping for cards for our fathers and I really wanted to pick one up for Grant (I saw the perfect one), but couldn't do that with him right there & of course we shopped for cards on Friday (the last possible night) so I didn't have a chance to go back and pick one up for him. I never really thought about us being dad & mom-to-be until one of my girlfriends called to wish me a "happy mother's day" and on father's day our god daughter came by to wish Grant a "happy father's day." This year we celebrated Grant's sister's first mother's day and my cousin's first father's day, I hope, pray and have faith that Grant & I will have our turn at celebrating these firsts next year!
Thanks for all of your support, prayers, love and friendship. Grant & I consider ourselves incredibly blessed to have you as our family & friends !!