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We’re Not Giving Up Now! {Adoption Journey Update}

It has been a little over a month or so since we made this huge announcement! We have been blown away with the support from so many of you! We have received so much encouragement and interest in our adoption journey! I have received many phone calls, messages, texts, e-mails, etc.. asking questions about the process and how it all works, and to be very honest we are still learning and are discovering the ins-and-outs daily and along the way. Here is a quick update as to where we are now…

In the process of becoming a licensed foster family there are many things that you must do to prove yourself capable and also to show that you are a safe environment for these children. A few things that we have done are…

We went to the first informational meeting where we were able to ask questions, pick up an application and sign up for the licensing classes. After that we filled out our application packet- complete with references, background checks, emergency plans, financial records, and so much more. Here is what some of it looked like…

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Soon after we decided to go forward with the process we began talking about it with our kids. This last minute decision to eat out one night started our conversation with our kids about some children not having a family or a safe place to be a kid. Our girls started crying and immediately they wanted to know when we could “go get our kid!” I wish it was that easy but they have been just as excited as they were that first day!

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While waiting for things to get started and the paperwork to go through we announced our big decision to our immediate family members by giving them cards and this book… “In on it: What adoptive parents would like you to know about adoption” by Elizabeth O’Toole. It’s a great quick read and really spells out what we need for support from our friends and family around us! I highly recommend it! You can find it here…. In On It!

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We have also been reading a LOT! A few books I’ve read that I have found helpful are below but one not listed (and was my absolute favorite) because I forgot it on my nightstand was Forever Mom by Mary Ostyn. That one can also be found here and is SO worth the read for any woman who has adopted, is thinking about it or is already in the process!

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While waiting and praying we have joined up with a local adoption support group as well who have been extremely supportive and helpful when we have questions along the way. Most families have already been through the process, some still thinking about it and it’s been so nice to have others to talk to through it all.

We have also begun our licensing classes. We must each complete 18 hours of foster family “training” classes through the State of Maine and we are on week 2 of completing those. They are late nights, full of information and at times overwhelming but super important. Here was a photo from class #1!

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Starting this week we also begin the home study with our licensing worker. The in-depth interview, home inspection, and family history in take is a great system for finding out more about our family, what we will need to be prepared for and making sure our home is the safest place possible for any children who may stay here.

A few more important things that have had to happen are 1. being fingerprinted- done & passed 2. having our water tested- done & passed. 3. have the state fire marshal inspect the home- done & we have LOTS of work to do.

We bought a “new to us” home last year and it’s less than 10 years old. It has a poured concrete foundation in styrofoam forms (BuildBlock Insulating Concrete Forms) that allow for amazing insulation. (If you’re building a home I would highly recommend this process!) However we didn’t know that to be up to “fire code” you must have that entire surface covered with a 15 minute thermal barrier. Basically we need to put up drywall in our entire basement. It’s about 1,100 square feet of wall space that needs to be covered. This isn’t an empty space that will easily be worked in, but imagine all of your family’s belongings and storage space needing to be cleaned out and then worked on! Ugh! Photo below is what the walls look like up close…

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It’s a big job and it’s looking like a huge cost! A cost we were not expecting. We are slightly discouraged by the task but we are NOT giving up! Instead we are trying to come up with a creative way to raise the funds needed. Last month I hosted Black & White Mini Sessions as a fundraiser (thank you to ALL who came!) and that allowed us to pay for our fingerprinting, to purchase an extra bureau for the child’s bedroom, and cover the costs of the other fire marshal projects that are needed (new carbon monoxide detector, hand rails, and fire extinguisher).  The project “drywall the basement” is something we were not anticipating!

Here is where I invite you to help us out by offering a fantastic deal that you shouldn’t pass up!

A FULL family session with NicoleLee Photography is $400. That includes a 1.5 hour session, for up to 5 people, at a location of your choice, and the online gallery allowing you to download all of your family’s images. To help us with the project’s costs I have decided to offer ONLY 5 discounted spots for a FULL family session for only $300! That is a savings of $100!

If you want to grab one of these discounted sessions then this is what you need to do…

1- Contact me quickly, I’m only offering 5 of these spots! E-mail is best – nicole@nicoleleephotos.com

2- We will book your session for THIS Spring or Summer of 2017.

3- The full amount must be paid upfront. Normally I don’t collect payment until the date of the session but since we need the funds for the “drywall the basement” project the $300 must be paid at the time of booking.

4- Then we talk about exactly what you want from your session, who will be there, and where you want to go!

5- What are you waiting for!?! Lets plan your session today!!

 

Want to join in on the “drywall the basement” another way!?!? We are looking for some volunteers to help us out! We will be having some work days and if you are an experienced laborer that knows how to drywall contact me! We will happily use all the help we can get!

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Thank you for supporting us as we journey down this new and exciting road! We’ll try our best to keep you all updated!

Have any questions about becoming a foster family yourselves? Feel free to e-mail me! I’m not an expert and have a lot to learn myself but would be happy to point you in the right direction!

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