Well my day of incessant phone calls about not having a licensing rep paid off! By that evening I had a return call from the licensing supervisor of our agency. He just wanted to let me know that he had received my message, and although he did not have any information for me, he assured me that he would look into it. Faith in humanity restored! Less than 24 hours later, Mr. Something received a call from our new licensing rep. She would be coming to our house to start getting to know us the following week.
Last weekend we were once again, cleaning, organizing, preparing to meet the woman that could potentially be matching us with foster children (or maybe we will never see her again like our last rep!) Five months ago we were in the same boat, nervously preparing our home and ourselves for this next step in our foster care journey but this time it felt different. There were still butterflies that erupted in my stomach the moment the bell rang on Tuesday as my students filed out of the classroom. I needed to hit the road so we’d have time to grab some dinner before she arrived at our house.
There were still those moments of Mr. Something and I just sort of sitting and waiting for the doorbell to ring. We were watching Netflix on his tablet, easier to close up and put away when the doorbell did ring. Turning off the TV would, what, take too long? Who knows. I was relieved when she called and said that she might be a little early. We were ready and just sitting and waiting was driving me nuts.
When she arrived she came to the door with a warm smile. She was casual and relaxed. She had some paperwork with her and an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. This was significant because five months ago, Mr. Something and I were so caught up in the moment of meeting Rep #1 that we never offered her something to drink. The poor woman drove over an hour to meet us and we didn’t even get her a glass of ice water! We weren’t going to make the same inhospitable mistake twice but Rep #2 came prepared. Upon her arrival, we automatically apologized in advance for our two cats and dog who are harmless but don’t always understand the concept of personal space. I understand that not everyone enjoys animals in their business or can suffer from allergies. She just smiled and loved on them, she has three cats and a dog of her own at home. Call it petty but I knew that we’d get along. 🙂
When we sat down and started talking with her about where we are in the process and questions that we still have, I realized that this time was different. We are different people than we were five months ago. A lot of it came from our 27 hours of PRIDE classes, but our questions were thoughtful and we nodded along to much of what she shared with us. Talking with her was so easy and comfortable. Rep #1 wasn’t nearly as personable.
We gave her a tour of our house. Rep #1 was surprised and slightly disappointed when we said we didn’t have a basement, but Rep #2 smiled and commented on how nice our home is and how cozy it feels. We shared our ongoing plans with the second bedroom, which still needs beds, and our loft which will also become a kid space. She loved everything we shared and everything we had to say.
Pet loving aside, the moment that impressed me the most was when she shared why she got into the foster care system in the first place. (She is predominately a case worker and has never licensed anyone before. I worried about this at first but in the end was excited that she is an expert on everything that comes after the licensing. That’s where all of our questions stem from!) We didn’t have to ask her, like Rep #1, she simply offered it up in the conversation. “That’s why I love what I do… I get to see children transform. I see them grow and change as soon as they are in a happy, stable home. I get to see whole families grow and change through the process. It’s amazing.” My heart swelled. I hope we get to keep her.
With a new stack of paperwork (We have to sign off on the maximum water temperature in our home?) and a second meeting already on the calendar for mid-October we are picking up momentum once again. We are in no hurry to finish our licensing, we don’t have plans to open our home for placements until well after the first of the year but it’s nice to not feel stalled anymore. Let’s file this experience under the “feeling good” category. Looking forward to more!