This was originally posted in Lynnette's personal blog (www.lynnettegarces.com):
Meeting With Social Worker
It's been about couple of weeks now since our initial meeting with the social worker. We were able to get a better idea of the requirements for this initial fostering process. I feel great peace about this agency as it is one of the two that caters to "fostering to adopt" and the agency has a great track record of successful placement of the children with the government & embassay.
During our initial meeting the social worker shared with us that they currently have only 0-2months old babies for placements and there is a high rate for girls. Originally our heart was set on having a boy but now knowing that there is such a high rate for girls we are leaning more towards having a girl.
The social worker also shared that there are two divisions financially in fostering: first is subsidized which is where the agency pays you about $35 a month for the child's needs and monthly we will need to take the child in for checkups and evaluations plus home visits regularly for accountability. And the second division is the unsubsidized which is where the foster parents gives full financial care for the child and does not need regular home visits. We are not sure which route to take as we are living off of support."Practicing" Picture of Baby Zoe Galido
(Our friend Jay & Nolan's 2 month old daughter)
Also, we learned that in order to be eligible to adopt we would need to live in the Philippines for a total of 3 years which was saddening... But the social worker assured us that we are still able to foster until we meet the requirements of 3 years. (So, it'll be 1 year and 6 months more to go for the adoption!).
Another limitation is that a child is allowed to live with the foster parents for only 3 months at a time. Therefore, after 3 months we will be getting a different baby or child each time. (Hmmm, am I ready for this emotionally of letting go of the child every 3 months?) We are praying that the agency will allow us to have the same child placed at our home until the 1year and 6 months is up for adoption.
Our Next Steps
Our next steps is to send the organization recommendation letters from 3 references whom we asked our close friends here in the Philippines along with our parents. We are also required to get a medical clearance certification for their evaluation process. In the meantime, the social worker will be contacting us to do a "house visit". So, we are going to just continue to move forward in faith until God gives us the red light.
Emotional, Mental, & Spiritual Preparations
As shared in my first entry that DJ & I will be committing to do intentional devotions regarding this next journey of our life as possible parents. The devotional times has helped a lot with my anxieties, concerns, and worries as it is a lot to process and prepare for. However, I was blown away how God showed up in all this...
I normally follow a bible reading plan on "YouVersion" for my daily readings & devotional reflections. So, for my Day 1 of intentional devotions I opened up the reading plans and started to read the first two readings. The readings were a bit dry and I was feeling discouraged as I was eager for God to show us or speak to us through this time of reflection. Before I moved onto the third readings which was on Luke 1, I asked God to show up as I'm not receiving anything from the first two readings.
I started reading on Luke 1 and I couldn't stop crying. I was first overwhelmed with how God totally answered my prayer about showing up through this reading. And second I could feel him showering me with the promises, hope, encouragement, and love he has for us.
Luke Chapter 1, was on the story of Zachariah and Elizabeth and how God blessed them with baby John (later known as John the baptist) from Elizabeth's once barren womb.
Of all chapters, and of all scripture readings God orchestrated my readings to be on Luke 1. I was super blessed by the quality time He spent with me that morning. What a way to kick of Day 1! As each day went by I just felt God's grace, love, & peace that he has it all under control and that all I need to do is take one step and one day at a time trusting in him each way.
Here are some of my prayer request regarding the fostering to adopt:
- Whether to start fostering within the next month or to wait until after January when I return from a women's conference in Hawaii... Is it the right timing? Or should we wait to pursue on our 3 year mark?
- For financial provisions - Although as missionaries we live off the donations of our generous supporters, we are currently still about $200-$300 short of our monthly expenses. But some how for the past year God has always provided for us each month! I still don't know how we are surviving from month to month. It has really stretched our faith not knowing if we have enough for each upcoming month. With a child added on... my prayer would be: "Are we currently making a wise decision for this season in providing for this child?" Ultimately it is God who is the provider and I just need to trust in Him that he will continue to provide even if the "numbers" show differently.
- For emotional, mental, & spiritual protection, wisdom, and discernment through all of this.
I just want to thank all our loved ones who have been praying and encouraging us through this all. Stay tuned for the next entry on "Fostering to Adopt" journey.