We had the most incredible trip – as a complete family for the first time in forever! So in case you missed it, here’s our adoption news and Disney trip recap! Be on the look-out for more detailed posts outlining how we planned, what we recommend (and don’t), as well as an allergen-friendly dining guide coming soon!
The Road to Adoption
It’s official – we’ve started the process to adopt kiddo. Several weeks ago the case was transferred to an “adoption” casework vs. “foster” one. We then had our first official adoption meeting with our Agency, found out more about the process, and submitted our first official request for DSS to”review and approve” us. We had that first meeting with the DSS reps the day before we left for Disney – and now comes the extensive administrative process!
I’ve mentioned before that our family is approved through the home study and licensure process with our Agency to foster and adopt. Turns out, that’s not as simple as one might hope for or imagine – we’ll still need to have a panel approve our family, do another full home study, lots of legal paperwork, etc. Then, a judge has to review and do final approval – we expect the process to take 12-18 months.
We Were Clueless
Honestly we were kind of clueless because it wasn’t in our original plans. We knew we wanted to do what we could, but we weren’t sure what that would look like. I imagined dozens of kiddos being fostered over the years – but having one join us permanently instead is just as welcome. You just can’t predict the future!
We’ve known for almost a year now (since we found out Kiddo wouldn’t be returning to their biological family) that they are our family. Not that we could ever replace their bio-fam, but our hearts and minds have grown having them apart of our lives, and we’re grateful we get to move forward with them as a part of our lives, forever. There are some restrictions and lots of paperwork that delay the process of adoption, but we are all mutually excited to officially start!
It feels surreal being able to make it official. So how did we celebrate? By going to Disney World, duh! Check out the whole highlights here. Or, click the above video to see how we shared the news with kiddo.
Reality vs. Instagram
Kiddo had limited travel before they came to us. They’ve now officially been entirely up and down the east coast! It’s been amazing to be able to create new memories with them.
Now, let’s get one thing straight. We might have been all smiles, but the trip wasn’t always easy. It’s new for us, a new dynamic with a person whose experiences, wants, and needs we haven’t had their whole 15 years to learn. But we worked it out. Where years ago I would have barked out orders, I used all the tools I’ve gained in training for fostering with the entire family. And the results speak for themselves!
It took A LOT of work to build trust and healthy attachment for Kiddo to be comfortable enough to leave the safety of our home like this. To trust us to keep them safe. Seeing how different this trip is from one we took even a year ago is HUGE for their and all of our efforts over that time. Healthy relationships take work, but are so worth it.
Safety PSA: CPR Certification
I recently renewed my CPR certification. It’s a Foster Family requirement, but admittedly it felt like a burden and I complained about the effort it took. We even joked about it as family.
But while we were on the Disney Safari, a 1.5 year-old-girl passed out after choking on something. As it became clear that her family didn’t quite know exactly what to do, I climbed over 3 rows of people to administer CPR.
She’d been breathless for over a minute, but after only two cycles, she managed to expel the blockage and regain consciousness. It took five more minutes for the Safari truck to return to where the ambulance could meet us. Had it not been successful, her life very well could have ended there.
I managed to keep it together in front of her 20+ family members (many small children screaming in panic) but, as soon as the paramedics stabilized her, I walked away and completely lost my *ish.
Let me tell you: CPR is worth your time.
Even if you never use it, it’s infinitely better than standing there helpless and not knowing what to do in a situation like this. If you haven’t already, please – sign up for a CPR class right NOW.
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