Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What we are up to and the home study process

I'm sure you are all wondering what we have been up to and where we are at in the process so I thought I would do a little update and talk about what the actual home study process is like....so far at least.

But first I want to say thank you, THANK YOU, thank youuuuu from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love and support we have received so far. It's been amazing being able to share this journey with people and I've been getting emails and messages from so many people with encouragement and personal stories etc. It's been so heartwarming. We have already received several donations and we just can't thank people enough. I wish I could give each of you a hug and have you over for dinner. Wes would cook of course and bake fresh bread because lately that's been his favorite thing to do. But seriously, thank you all so much.

So the last 3 weeks have been filled with gathering paperwork and filling out forms. The hardest part so far has been getting our medical forms signed by our doctors. Since we both had already had physicals within the last year we had to get the forms to our doctors which turned out to be kind of a hassle. And then as soon as we thought we were ready to send everything in to the social worker we realized that I had missed one of the forms in our huge DCFS packet so I had to go BACK to both doctors offices to drop the new form of and I'll have to go back to pick it up later this week.

This is me dropping off the form for the second time today. 

Here is a breakdown of our TO DO list for our home study.
  • Submit application and fee. DONE
  • Fingerprinting and background check. DONE
  • CPR Certification class for Charlotte. DONE
  • Doctors appointments with forms needing to be filled out. Almost done:/
  • Fill out DCFS Application. DONE
  • Fill out foster family home info forms. DONE
  • Five references from non relatives. DONE
  • Two family references. DONE
  • 4 hours of adoption training. DONE 
  • Send final $2,700 to cover the home study. DONE
This is where we are right now. Here is what's coming up. (yikes)
  • Biographical questions about our family, history, future plans etc(basically a 4 page essay) about ourselves DONE
  •  First meeting with social worker DONE
  • Get cats vaccinated (I'm not a good vet goer) DONE
  • Mail lots of documents to agency social worker DONE
    • birth certificates
    • mariage license
    • pet inoculations
    • latest 1040
    • driver's license
    • health insurance
    • auto insurance
  • Second meeting with social worker.
  • Draw floor plan of house.
  • 5 or so more hours of video training DONE
  • Confirm background clearances have arrived
    • FBI
    • Illinois State Police
    • Child Abuse
    • Sex Offender
  • Third meeting with social worker which takes place at our house and includes a safety inspection or our house.
  • Lots of papers to sign in front of social worker.
  • Social worker writes our Home Study 
  • Agency reviews file and recommends that we get our foster family license
Apart from working on our home study, I have been BUSY with making our profile book and writing our "dear expectant parent" letter. The profile book is basically a photo book done in something like shutterfly and it's a book explaining us and our whole lives. This is one of the most important things for us to do since THIS is what expectant mothers will look through when deciding who they want their baby's family to be. It's weird to feel like we are marketing ourselves, but that's kind of what it is. We need to stand out among all the other family's books. It's REALLY hard to write about yourself too. I can easily talk about how awesome Wes is, but trying to portray how "great we are" is really awkward and difficult. But, making the profile book is one of the funnest parts for me because I love graphic design and photos so much. So I'm having fun with it. I'm getting close-ish to being done with it. Here is a ROUGH DRAFT peek at one of our pages.

The other things I have been so busy on is preparing some fundraisers. I just painted some cute nursery art and I'm having it printed on a puzzle for a puzzle fundraiser! It should be coming in the mail next week and I'll be sharing details and starting it right away. I'm excited about this one!

I've also been making jewelry like a mad lady. I'm planning to start up an Etsy shop and sell it through there, at neighborhood sales, and maybe I'll even do an auction. I'm not sure yet. But I need a few more weeks/months before I have enough jewelry to start a sale.

I also really want to do a big huge garage sale this summer but my brain is too fried to start planning that yet. But it's on my backburner for the future.

You all are so wonderful for being part of this with us!! I'm starting to really appreciate how special it is that we get to experience something that most people don't experience in their life, and it's starting to sink in more and more that this is really happening. God is good, and I'm seeing it more and more everyday as we go through this. Please keep praying for us!!


  1. VERY VERY Exciting! I miss talking to you and I am so glad you are sharing this journey. The puzzle fundraiser is incredible! I LOVE that idea.
    Gina (formerly Fabricut Sales)

    1. Aw thanks Gina! I miss talking to you too! I'm glad you are following our journey, it makes it more fun to have people doing this with us!

  2. Charlotte, this blog is amazing..... all of the time and info that you have provided....this will certainly be a journey for you and Wes that you will cherish. I wish you two the best of luck! (I wish I knew you were making jewelry....I might have some things to share with you) Teresa Knoll