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Home Study Completed – Moving Fast Now

Hillsborough KidsWell, we sure breathed a big sigh of relief today around 1:30 when our home study was done. We were told how long to expect the rest of the process to take from this point on! What? I’m not going to say just yet – you have to know what happened, don’t you?

Delightful news first: she said we were the most organized applicants in months. Would you expect nothing less from Beautiful? What we didn’t have filled out yet, we reviewed and signed on the spot. The documents and paperwork she didn’t have yet, such as our marriage license and our last 2 years of tax returns (I gave her this year’s PayPal 1099-K for good measure), we came upstairs to the office and ran off copies of everything she needed.

We took a field trip up the the bedrooms. I was shocked to hear someone who does home studies for the entire county – all applicants – give a big “awwwww” when she saw the nursery. Good job, again, Beautiful. We had to take the bumper out of the crib and take a photo, which I immediately e-mailed to her from my phone. Then we went to the “big boy room” since it’s a double bed and blue bedding for now. She liked it very much, also. Again, another photo and e-mail.

Back downstairs, we ran through more paperwork and got some questions asked about licensing for one at at time vs a sibling group. We want to start out with one infant, just to be sure we are fostering material, and then expand our age range up to something around 0-3 and possibly sibling groups. What she suggested was to license us for 0-5 and 2 kids at a time for now, but we can limit placements to 0-3 until we are ready for the additional challenges that school-age children bring. Everyone else gets 4-5 years to prepare for school… give us at least a year!

When placement calls, we can say “no” to filling the second room until we’re ready, or even better, have placement call our FDS (family development specialist) first to see if we are good candidates for the placement at hand. She said that placement will pull the heartstrings, so if we don’t want to turn away so many kids when we have our capacity, that option works well. She also mentioned that if they call with 2 non-infants, but with us only having one double bed, we can say, “Yes, we are willing to accept placement, but we only have one double bed. Are you willing to fund two twin beds?” and then that “magically” happens. Bam!

Then it came to the interview part of the study. We reviewed growing up, our parents, our traditions, our schooling, our work history, our marriage, our church, our friends, our social life, and then about 50 questions about what conditions of children we consider preferable/acceptable/would consider/unacceptable. It was hard to say “unacceptable” to some things, but some kids enter the system with problems that we aren’t equipped to handle, or at least not yet. We can change our answers at any time, but it’s a pre-screening matrix to help placement with the process. Some are marked as “therapeutic care” and others have been abused in ways that we can’t help them get better from.

We still have to have the health inspector come to check out where our chemicals and meds are kept, check the hot water temperature, and our refrigeration and freezer temperatures. We asked when to expect that visit, and she said that if she becomes a pain to them, by Friday. Once they come, she can submit the application to Hillsborough Kids, which is the county agency our fostering agency works with. Then it gets passed up to the DCF office.

How long will that all take?

3 to 30 days.

Excuse me? “Three days?” “What, did I scare you?” “No, no, that’d be cool. We’re ready.”


  1. Good stuff!  Way to go!  You two can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is a train coming full steam!  Martha and I will be praying you guys continue to know the Lord’s presence in this process and have that “peace that passes understanding.”  Looking forward to the new addition in the OCC nursery.

  2. Glad to hear all this good news!! Praying for both of you and the child He places in your home, that your love will overflow into his/her life!!
    Whoooo  Hooooo!!!