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Our foster care paperwork – we’re approved but …

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from the social worker who is responsible for our foster care file.  She apologized for delay in processing our paperwork, and said that the supervisor was requesting more information about us after learning that Yirmi (age 4) is being homeschooled.

Homeschooling isn’t a common choice in Israel and hearing Yirmi isn’t in a school framework triggered the supervisor to look extra closely at our case.  She wanted to know: have we ever homeschooled another child, if so, who, why, and how long.  They made additional inquiries beyond the standard application – they wanted to know if he is being taken to the well baby clinic for checkups and to the child development center for therapies, and requested additional medical references to speak to (in addition to those references who are usually requested whom they had already spoken with).

After a long conversation in which I provided all the additional information that was requested as well as a conversation with our pediatrician (who when pressed for a response if there’s something suspicious since we don’t take Yirmi to the child development center for therapies said, ‘What don’t you understand?  She’s the best mother ever and I would want to be a child in her home!’) , our file has now been approved.

So what happens now?  Is it imminent in the near future that we’ll be welcoming a new child into our family?  It doesn’t seem like that, since we were told we’ll need to attend a two day foster care workshop before they will let us bring a child home – and the next workshop we can attend won’t be earlier than the end of April.  So unless the agency decides there’s a baby who needs a home and is willing to let us defer attendance of this workshop until after we foster a baby, we’ll be waiting for a while.

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(Not all foster care agencies have this requirement – a friend who does foster care in a different part of the country was surprised by this requirement, since neither she nor her friends who do foster care had to do this for their agency. )

I feel very at peace with this situation as it is.  We’ve done our part and if and when there’s a need for our help, it will happen at that time and only at that time.  I’m not trying to second guess G-d’s plans and timing!  When something changes, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

Avivah

13 thoughts on “Our foster care paperwork – we’re approved but …

    1. I don’t feel so special – this is my passion, having and raising children. I don’t feel selfish but I don’t feel selfless, if you know what I mean – it just feels like the right thing for us to do.

  1. Glad you have been approved – I had to laugh at what your pediatrician said – I agree totally – I definitely would love to be a child in your home!

    1. Well, I don’t know about that but I can say that my pediatrician is wonderful! And I’m really fortunate that she knew who I was and had read my blog before I ever moved here. So when I came into her office, she realized who I was pretty quickly and told me what I’m doing via my blog is making the world a better place and helping lots of people. It set a good tone for future interactions!

      She’s a really open, supportive and good person – I feel very grateful, especially since dealing with medical professionals in the north was so completely different.

  2. Doesn’t it amaze you to reflect on all the life turns and events that Hashem kept paving to bring you to who you are to do be able to give this! I am davening that you continue to use your wisdom to help other neshamas thrive to their fullest potentials for good! and may it be with much besiyata dishmaya!

    1. Yes, Miriam, it really is incredible to look back and see how everything that happened was meant to happen to bring me to where I am now. In so many ways.

      Sometimes it’s hard to know what you’re meant to do because you interpret events according to the glasses you’re wearing, and I constantly ask Hashem to help me align myself with His will so that I don’t get off track by going into my own ideas of what is the right thing.

  3. It amazes me that homeschooling a 4-year-old would call your family into question, but maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. I thought of fostering in the US but after terrible dealings with the system when a friend had her child go into care, I changed my mind. For now, I foster and mentor through my pro bono work as an educational advocate/consultant. I admire your ko’ach and wish you the best!

    1. Here in Israel it’s pretty much the norm for a child to be in an educational framework of some sort by age 3; most kids are out by 1.5 or 2. So this is considered very unusual.

      They specifically asked about Y. because there’s a much stronger expectation that a child with so called special needs should be in a framework. I was under a lot of pressure regarding putting Y. into a special needs day care from the time he was 9 months – they started putting pressure on me when he was in the PICU hooked up to lots of machines (really not the right time for that!) and that pressure didn’t stop until I moved to RBS.

      What kind of terrible experience did you have with your friend that caused you to change your mind?

      1. This was several years ago. I found the US social workers very young, overworked, jaded, and, frankly, ineffective. I saw how quickly the children were shuttled from one place to the next. I spent a lot of time in court and supervising visitations (horrible) in a dreary room. The level of bureaucracy was too much for me to deal with. I’m terrible with all those inane rules.

        1. That would be really hard for me to see as well. Actually, whatever I know of the system here is also hard for me and it’s much better than what you’re describing. One thing I appreciate about the special needs track for foster care is that it’s intended to be a long term placement for the child (until age 21). That’s the ideal; obviously that doesn’t always happen.

          Agencies and rules just can’t create the framework that kids need to grow up healthy, no matter how hard they try.

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