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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The dreaded home inspection

I'm sure you're not counting, so I'll remind you that this is home study #6 for us, and we're almost done with all our foster licensing paperwork. Ya, I'm sure those of you knee deep in international adoption are despising us right about now because it was fast. Mostly because we's already collected many of the documents from last time, 4 years ago, that still worked even though they were dated. And much of the other stuff was pretty easy to gather, like car registration, doctor appointments, rabies vaccinations for the dogs. And the classes are all done... again. 

One thing that is NOT easier for foster licensing compared to international adoption is the home inspection. I remember that first visit with our social worker for our Vietnam adoptions. I cleaned the house like nobody's business, closet floors, the inside of the refrigerator was scrubbed till it all sparkled and dusted the top of everything. I remember being so worried cause one of our dogs (the teenager dog) barks so much when company comes over, and I thought she might interpret that as being aggressive. To my surprise, when she did look around our home, she didn't even open the closet doors or the refrigerator. No need for a fire extinguisher or child proof locks either. I was surprised and relieved.  Many years later and a whole new process, that is NOT the case with fostering, since after all, we'll be looking after someone else's child this time and evidently that requires a higher standard of safety.

Here's a few crazy things we were required to do to prepare for our foster home inspection.

  • ---Buy a fireplace screen for a fireplace that we've never ever used (or have any plan of using) over the course of the 16 years we've lived in this house. 
  • ---Buy a 18+ foot rope attached to a ring buoy, and keep it in the fenced pool area that is only 16 feet across, in case we need to throw to  a drowning child. Trust me on this one... I'll just jump in and rescue the child. Really. Been there. Done that. 
  • ---Cover all outlets with those electrical outlet covers. You know the ones. The ones that toddlers love to play with, repetitively taking them out and putting in all by themselves? 
  • ---Pray that we don't need any medications that need to be refrigerated from here on out, because we would then be required to have a locked safe IN our refrigerator for said medication(s). 
  • ---Buy and install a carbon monoxide detector even though we don't have any gas appliances. 

I've heard that although the upcoming home inspection is not a white glove test, it is rather thorough. And we were provided with a 15 page guide to get our home ready. Just thinking about it makes me nauseous. The inspection will be in the next few weeks and will likely result in another list of weekend projects. Then we need to do our final interview with our latest caseworker, and hopefully we can get all this done before we escape to Little Cabin in the Woods for the next couple months.
Well, that's the plan at least. 
Then we're going to wait till we come home from the mountains to see what God (and the state of Arizona) has in store for us. Our county has a ginormous shortage of foster homes so it shouldn't be long.


So what did you do to prepare your home for adoption?

PS - If you are or were a foster mom, would you mind commenting here? I'd like to build up a little list for myself of BTDT moms to call upon when the biting, profanity using toddler, fed up with the system, how to deal with a crack addicted newborn, I'm not sure I'm up to this my questions come. 


  1. I'm excited to follow y'all along this journey! We have two adoptions down (one international and one domestic) and I'd love to do foster care!! Praying for y'all!!!


    PS- Our China adoption was the first one. When we started our donestic adoption, the social worker apologized for all the paperwork. We just died laughing! NOTHING compares to international adoption paperwork!!!

  2. When we did foster care we were instructed to take the classes and were given the looooong list of things to do before the home inspection.. We did everything.. To. The. Letter.
    Then the social worker came to inspect our house.. She came in, sat on the couch, asked me if we had a bed for a six-year old and her infant brother.. I told her we were listed for only taking kids two-years old and under so we had a toddler bed and a crib; she said "that'll work, they will be here in about an hour". That was the extent of our home inspection.. 30 minutes later we had a six-year old and an infant.. I'm sure your inspector will be more thorough :) We only did foster care for a year so I'm sure I won't be much help to you, but your heart for children is inspiring.. You're a Godsend!

  3. We had to draw up a fire escape diagram for our 1700 square foot house!?! Not sure how an 11 month old was going to read that escape route when the said fire did come to burn down our house?!?!

  4. We had to turn down our water heater. I think that was the only thing that needed to be re-checked on the final visit. I was a little worried when she pulled out the thermometer and stuck it in the running water. I like my showers hot.

  5. Former foster parent here... Oh how I wish things had been different. Nothing can prepare you for what you'll be facing. I adopted a toddler from China prior to fostering. I thought I knew what I was getting into because of this experience. Nope. Taking care of another person's child is very difficult. Pouring your heart and soul into a child that ends up returning to the disaster in which he/she was originally taken from is not easy. You will not see the results of your hard work in parenting a child from a hard place. Foster kids are with you for a day to years. It left a bad taste in my mouth for CPS. The social workers/case workers are underpaid and overworked. Kids fall thru the cracks. I wish I had positive things to say but I don't. The only way I'd every get involved with CPS is with adoption. Foster parenting just wasn't for me.

  6. We adopted all of our children through foster care, it was a crazy ride, you can go way back in my blog and see when my children were fosters, you can see our time lines, I have experience emergency placements, respite and strictly foster only kids, and even though 3/4 of our children came to us as newborns and the forth as a infant they still suffer from Rad, Odd and sensory integration dysfunction that we are still dealing with years later. good luck on your journey, and my advice would be know what kind of child will fit into your family and don't be scared to say no to a child that does not fit that description.


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