Yesterday was a milestone day in our process of becoming foster parents. Not only was it the day we completed our application and all the steps, but it was also the day we were handed off from our training worker to our licensing worker.
It really didn’t hit us till the end of the meeting that it would be our last meeting with Mary (not her real name). We met Mary on the first night of training, way back in September. That first night, she was scattered, rambling and not our favorite person. However, during the course of our training, our opinions of her changed.
Our first impression was typical county government slack. Disorganized, inarticulate and uncaring. We found that to be the furthest thing from the truth. She’s a competent professional with a workload I know I couldn’t handle who has seen too much, knows too much and still finds ways to have an optimism about people and society in general.
She’s been to our home twice, knows things about us that no one else does thanks to the lengthy vetting process and has been a reassuring presence, offering solid advice and encouragement each step of the way.
So, we have officially been handed off to a lady named Kira (again not a real name), who is our licensing worker. Mary was kind enough to have Kira at this meeting, as usually you don’t meet the licensing worker until after your placement. Kira is a soft-spoken, middle aged lady with a slight accent. Privately, Mary told us she’s the best in the county.
Over time, we’ll get to know Kira more. The meeting yesterday was way too formal — crossing t’s and dotting i’s and the like. Kira will visit our home once a quarter when we recieve a placement and more frequently if needed. She’ll become our advocate and our resource as we deal with a long cast of characters that will emerge once we have care of a child.
She doesn’t seem too outgoing, like my wife and I; however, that may be for the best. Our first impression was of a lady that cares about details and who is an observer. There may come a day when those skills may come in quite handy. In any case, it was a reminder that on this journey, there will always be people to meet, personalities to learn and relationships to be established.
Side note: It was our first weekday, daytime visit to County Social Services. So crowded, so many lines, so many people from all walks of life. A very interesting experience, indeed.