The road to being a foster care parent is a long one....but I've done it in just six weeks!! (not counting the initial couple information meetings where they weed out people who have no chance...I signed a contract yesterday and it just has to receive final approval by two people in the foster care food chain and then I'm CERTIFIED!!!
Some of the things I had to do around the house:
I needed a place to lock up "stuff" - like cleaning supplies, scary-looking gardening tools, alcohol, etc. I already had shelves in the garage, so it seemed like it could be easiest to just seal off one of those. And while I wouldn't market my locking-shelf-making capabilities, I am pretty impressed that I pulled this one off myself. Ever try to attach something heavy via bracket to something on a wall by yourself? I tried letting it rest on my head, but my skull isn't as durable as I thought and I struggled with the pain level that comes from having a 6-foot long piece of wood resting on my head. But I'm pretty independent and I don't need help from others- I can do ANYTHING on my own!!! I pulled my ladder over and it was my partner in getting this task complete.
The next step was to have a locking cabinet inside for medication and things that I need easy access to. I didn't want some unsightly lock on any cabinets, so I chose to use Tot Locks. These things are effing miracles! How did these not get invented decades ago??? I would have loved to have had these when Andrew was a small child. They are a lock on the inside of the cabinet that you lock with a heavy-duty magnet that triggers the unlock feature. You can also disengage it, keep it unlocked with a little plastic piece, which is great for me doing just every other weekend respite care so I don't have to unlock it every time I need in there when I have no kids.
The rest of my house was pretty easy. I had to get another smoke alarm-we have one in the hallway outside of both bedroom doors, but requirements say you have to have one in the child's bedroom. Bleh, whatever, that was an easy fix. I had to buy a carbon monoxide detector, which I meant to buy long ago anyway. I needed a fireplace screen for the gas fireplace since the front of it gets hot. Just little things, they said my house was pretty easy. In other homes, they sometimes see major things that need done, like if you have any kind of water feature in your yard, that becomes a big issue. Or if you have weapons there are regulations, of course.
They expect my certification to be complete today or early next week - so NEXT WEEKEND I could have a foster child in the house!!!! Yikes, right?