My husband and I gave talked about foster care on and off through the years. Last winter I went took the required 90hrs of training with my mom. It was fortunate that she was willing to go because the classes were only available at a time that my husband works. Being in public school education a lot of the information was not new to my mom, and for me having gone through school for Early Childhood Education and graduating with my Associates in Arts in Early Childhood Education in 2005, I wasn’t entirely outdated on information.
I’m not the only one to go through a process with my mother. That’s just what Anita Vantrease is up to right now. Since her mom lives with their family who is adopting Ian (Keegan) the same need for background checks are required as if she were the parent, being an adult over 18 living in the home. This has actually turned out to be quite a hassle in their particular story.
If you’re brought in to even a county jail on suspicion of committing a crime you are not charged a penny for digital fingerprinting. In fact, you’re forced to comply and dare not resist! Guess what?! Your prints are forever in the system. Stay out of trouble, dude, or your minor or major slip up will hold you down forever.
However! If you’re a perfectly law abiding citizen wanting to apply for International adoption, printing will cost you about $25-30 for homestudy each. Then can be $50-100 for background checks each. Then $700 something for USCIS approval and prints. Sometimes, depending on where you go for it, they will do this expensive for you procedure with ink how it was done many years ago when the technology was first discovered.
It doesn’t come out clearly? You pay have to fight the system a little to get the digital prints without additional charge depending on how grouchy the clerk is. If you knew it was going to be this expensive, why not just rob a bank on your way over to the court house.
With foster care printing I had to call ahead and go in on a Tuesday or Thursday between 9:30 and 11 and bring $12. I will have to renew my prints in three years when I reapply to be a foster parent. Obviously, that’s nothing compared to International adoption. But my prints expire? For those of you who know my personal life, you know that I am not a foster parent. My paperwork is neatly in the envelope, my prints and my husbands prints perfectly enclosed with the extensive questionnaires answered diplomatically. Each page is signed by both of us, the signatures are all dated “May 2013” As we were instructed, the paperwork is a copy and the prints are originals. Everything is there, the prepaid package is perfect but as unsent as ever it could be. The children enjoyed their babysitter (I probably should have paid her more) and I really believe my mom and I are closer having done this together.
We also took out a whole Saturday to do the First Aid/CPR that comes free for Foster Parents. I hadn’t been through one since my job at the YMCA ten years ago and she isn’t required to have it as a para-educator. I can’t really explain why God took it out of my husband and my hearts to do Foster Care. He wanted to do Respite care and I wanted to do Infant foster care which I knew would pacify my empty nest feeling for a baby although if you were to suggest that as a reason I would deny it.
A mom and daughter team who is driving forward is Anita and her beautiful mama who are stuck in the finger printing office.
On April 15 Keegan’s soon-to-be grandma was in for the offices third attempt at getting readable prints from her. While this has got to be quite frustrating for her, this wonderful woman whose husband was adopted as a child hasn’t given up and continues to come back with hopes that she will be accepted–that her prints will be found at the scene which is part of bringing the boy that she will know as Ian home where he belongs. A reschedule is made for Tuesday, the drive takes thirty minutes so they will leave at ten in the morning.
While these repeated activities that are so exhausting to live through trudge on, papers are being exchanged between Anita and the family’s social worker, each piece valuable as missing it would be like dropping a stitch in an intricate needlework. Following the directions and having no deviations from the plan given by those who are set in authority over the process is crucial as the Vantreases know with this not being a first adoption for them. They move forward with determination, coveting your prayers knowing first hand the indescribable joy of bringing home and redeeming an orphan.
In an April 24 update Anita writes, “Update on our progress!!! We are just waiting on Mike’s fingerprint results. I also had a reference letter that was still out and really hoping that our homestudy agency has received it. I left our sw an e-mail to find out those results and just waiting on her response. Oh goodness, we are sooooooooo close to sending in the I-800A.” it’s not just remembering the satisfaction of bring home a child from over seas that keeps them going and a heart of constant prayer, it’s also the gift of new photographs of their son who unknowingly waits for them. With their permission I am honored to share those on my blog as their official Family Warrior.
Oh hey, it’s not just foster parents who have to put in hours of training before having children in their home. International adopting parents do too. Ahead of this family are a general Hague adoption required 10 hours and 12 for adoption from Keegan’s country. It isn’t a surprise to hear that this is not free of charge. This $200 piece will come in the home study phase of adoption which means that if Keegan’s family is not already signed up for these classes they will be soon, the good news is that these hours can be filled through an online course and only required by the parents, Mike and Anita.
Thanks for reading today. I hope you take a moment to pray for the Vantrease family, and if you are on Facebook, go ahead and like their adoption page. It is called, “Indescribable, On Our Way to Ian” another place to visit is the family blog: Adopt, Miles of the Heart, One Less where you can learn how to make a direct donation and buy items for which proceeds will go in full to the adoption.
In each post I want to include information about another child from the same country. Today I have chosen a little girl named Gwynne who is two years and one month older than the boy who will be named Ian Michael. She has a beautiful smile and bright eyes and just such a need for a family. It’s not just her sweet face and aloneness in the world for which I want you to see her, it’s also that there is only $5.00 to her future adoption which would in full be approximately $25-30K.
I have had the objection to donating that, “The money just sits there and doesn’t do anything.” Yes, that $5 wont buy her a new tooth brush, and if you donate $30, you’re not getting her a fresh outfit. That money is, “Just sitting there” waiting for a family to use to bring this child home so that they can buy those things for her. There are such a bounty of programs that you can tap into to get donations of clothing and other life necessities sent to orphanages, this is not one of them.
This is a unique adoption advocacy and fundraising organization that has been utilized to save thousands of dollars and bring exposure to the faces and names of just a fraction of the orphans abroad who need you. It is not a waste!
When you donate to Gwynne, that money is for her future adoption, it only leaves her if she dies or is adopted outside of Reece’s Rainbow, in either or those cases, that money would go to another waiting child’s grant.
This blog is not for the purpose of begging for money, only educating and advocating. I want you to know what’s going on with children, have you see their faces and rejoice in God’s watching over their lives just as he does for the child that you have at home, or if you do not have a child, your neighbors child, or the child that you were once. Click here to visit the list of countries that Reece’s Rainbow works with. Keep scrolling till you reach Chin@ and there you can read what is required to adopt from these two specific children’s countries.
Standards that Keegan’s family meets and yours might too. There is a waiver available for everything except the age limit which is 30 years old for adopting parents. Click here for a current complete list of children from that country who are waiting for families. I’ll come back with the name of the coordinator for this countries program to whom you would direct any questions.
Linking last of all to Adopt, Miles of the Heart, One Less.
“You are the helpers of the fatherless.” (Psalm 10:14)
All of the photos and images on my blog entries are linkable to somewhere special. Feel free to click and connect somewhere relevant. I want your time here to be worth your while!