Today our social worker came over, mainly to do a final home inspection but also to tie up some loose ends. She asked if we're willing to take a sibling group, if we're willing to be on the "after-hours" call list, and if we'll provide respite care to kids of any age. I pretty much gave our stock answer: "it depends". (Respite care means watching other foster parents' kids for a few days so can have a break. Foster parents can request up to three days of respite per month, but it's not really guaranteed since there has to be someone willing to do it.)
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that today would be the first official day of our licensure. We're foster parents! Honestly, this process has been so drawn out that I expected it to be a few more weeks before we heard anything definitive. I don't know when we'll start receiving calls, but it could be very soon from what I understand.
She suggested we have some clothes ready, so I perused a little in Target this afternoon and found some cute comfy things. It's really hard to know what to buy at this point, since we could be placed with a kiddo who's anywhere from a newborn up to age five, and also it's likely that we'll have many precious little people pass through our home before we're able to adopt. I'm thinking I'll hit up the thrift stores this week and try to have just one outfit in each size for starters. Buying little clothes sure makes this whole thing seem a lot more real.
As far as other practical preparations go, we may need another carseat, crib, toddler bed, or twin bed. We have an infant carseat and a spare toddler booster seat, and a pack-n-play that could serve as a bed in an emergency. This is definitely motivation to stay on top of things cleaning-wise. From what we've learned, it's important to stick close to home for a while when a new kiddo comes to live with us, since they can be pretty traumatized, so I guess just being prepared for that is something to think about. One foster parent suggested having comfort food on hand.
I'm feeling grateful and also a little scared. This thing has always been a mix of exciting and scary though. I've really just been waiting--kind of wanting to "nest" but really having no idea what makes sense to do--so it feels good to have something I can actually do with my hands, even if the details are still uncertain. I'm certainly praying for wisdom, and trying to prepare my heart. This is such a bittersweet thing, but we feel strongly drawn to it.
So that's the latest :)