This crazy journey continues as our family becomes a licensed foster home for children in need. I’m here to update you and say a huge thank you!!!
About one month ago I asked for some help! We were told by the state fire marshall that we needed to do some huge renovations to our basement in order to become licensed. We needed to sheetrock 1,100 square feet of basement space (see here for that story) and that was going to be a cost that we did not expect. I offered up 5 discounted family sessions in order to pay for those materials and within HOURS, yes a few hours, the entire basement project was fully funded! I am beyond thankful for those of you who stepped up to book a session and told me the stories of how adoption or foster care changed your lives, or of someone you know. Honestly I was moved to tears to see those who wanted to help us out, and were also excited to do a family session with me this year!!
I am also extremely thankful for the crew of men that came out to our house two Saturdays ago to tackle this huge project. For an entire week my husband and I moved everything out of our basement and relocated everything to a safe place. Then from 8 am until 3 pm, 8 men (plus myself) worked continually to put up every sheet of drywall. It was all hung in one day and the following several evenings Tom and I spent it covered in mud and sheetrock dust finishing up. I can happily say that about 10 days after we began it’s done and ready! We are exhausted, and I’m still cleaning up sheetrock dust from my house, but it’s done!
Here are some boring photos of our process! (It was NOT a boring process but very eventful!)
When we had the materials delivered it got real that this was going to be a huge mess! Our garage no longer held our vehicles but piles of stuff and sheetrock!
Before and after! Top photos are the staircases with styrofoam walls and below are the finished product!
The left is the styrofoam material we covered- on the right is the new and improved wall! It’s not pretty but it’s safe and that’s all that mattered!
In the meantime we have finished our required licensing classes, completed bedroom prep for children to have their own beds & bureaus, and we also had our final home study. Yesterday we spent 3 hours being interviewed by our licensing worker. We answered questions about our discipline policies, talk about parenting scenarios, emergency procedures, our families and childhoods, and much more.
One very entertaining portion of our final home study was when our licensing worker talked with our children. He simply asked them some questions about our home, family and the potential kids that will be coming to stay with us. Here are some of their comical and odd answers…
Licensing Worker- “What if your favorite part of your home?” Jack (age 7) ‘The Hallway’ (What is that supposed to mean Jack!?) Haha!
Licensing Worker- “What is your least favorite part of being in your home?” Bailee (age 9) ‘The Mud’ (She hates getting dirty but I’m pretty sure that’s not what he meant?)
Licensing Worker- “Is there anything else I should know about your family?” Mia (age 8) ‘Yes, we are very nice and don’t even bite. I mean we only bite our food and won’t bite the kids that come here. We’ll be nice to them!’ (At this point I was trying not to die laughing at the licensing worker’s face!)
Kids don’t have a filter, and certainly answer the most honest way they know how. It was comical and also very sweet to listen to them!
So, as far as an update goes— we are at a place of waiting. We have done everything we possibly can and need to in order to complete our licensing requirements. We were told last night that now we just wait. It could be a week or a month or longer that our home study is written up and processed by the department. So- we wait. We pray for the children coming into our home and we wait. I’m not good at waiting but I’m working on that while we wait.
Thank you to everyone who has joined us in this journey. For those who have asked for an update, and who have stood by us with sheetrock dust on their hands! We love you all and can’t wait to keep you all informed as we continue on!