#BreastIsBest: This lactation counselors take on this campaign.

Breast is best. (It is)

Fed is best. (It, also, is) 

Sancti-mommy wars. (It's a thing, y'all) 

It all begins with whether or not you breastfeed. If you are, you want attention and you think you are better than formula feeding moms. If you didn't breastfeed, then you feel like your constantly being judged at how you feed your baby, whether it's by choice or forced. Either way, it's a lose lose situation by moms judging other moms..... and if your breastfeeding, the prudes judging us nudist. 

If you don't want to breastfeed, that's perfectly fine. Your choice. Own it. Say it. Formula is fine, we are glad it is here. It has saved many babies. It has its fair share of problems (Stomach issues, especially gas/constipation and spitting up which results in many formula changes which results in more stomach issues... I could go on) What I don't understand is the ones who don't want to admit they didn't want to breastfeed and name problems (latch/milk supply etc) which results in new mamas thinking and assuming they are going to have the same problems because that's all they see "Well I tried to breastfeed but....." 

Im tired of tip toeing around this infant feeding issue and the only way to overcome it is to hit it head on... so here we go. Now I know, at this point in my post, I may have some pretty red faced mamas. Hear me out here..... seriously, don't X me out just yet. 

My job is to help support and educate on breastfeeding. That's my JOB. My PASSION. I wasn't born to do this, the passion was created with the birth of each my boys. So let me remind you a little of my breastfeeding journey then we will get back to my rant.... Ayden, my first born, was breastfed for maybeeeeee a week? I'm honestly not sure. I did in the hospital and went home breastfeeding only (I think) Around week 1 post partum I remember thinking, "I need to pump but how do you pump and still feed the baby? Won't there be anything in there?" Because he cluster fed so I knew that once I pumped, he would be hungry again and then I'd feed him that bottle because obviously, my boobs would be empty and then there went that bottle for work. WTH?! Little did I know. (Pssst, lactating woman's breast are never empty. mind=blown.) So anyways, I switched to formula because of that and going back to work at 2 weeks post partum. (Don't get me started on maternity leave in this country) With the impending birth of Ramsey, I was determined to breastfeed. I knew the benefits and I wanted to give him the best. I went in knowing it would be hard at first but it just had to get easier. In my mind, there was no alternative. We succeeded to 21 months. Bear is still nursing at 18 months with no end in sight. It was hard in the beginning, I was exhausted. Guess what? It had nothing to do with breastfeeding. #WelcomeToMotherhood. You MAY get a full night of sleep when you're 50. 

So, back to it.... why do you care why people state they didn't breastfeed?! I'm glad you asked (or thought) it. Let me explain.... Again, my job is to educate and support a breastfeeding mother, starting during pregnancy. It's very difficult to have a young mother trust me over her friends that are telling her how much they hated (or loved!) breastfeeding, that their milk never came in, it was super painful or whatever the reason was. I can say all this because I know the facts. Our bodies make milk. It's science. Whether you plan to breastfeed or not, you will produce milk. A pregnant woman starts making colostrum (the first milk) around week 20 of pregnancy. Once the baby is born and the placenta is delivered, the transition to mature "white milk" starts to occur. It's science. Very rarely, with extreme medical cases, will a woman NOT produce milk. Usually, we know in advance what we are up against. It takes a good 3-5 days, sometimes even 6 days for your milk to "come in". Before then, the colostrum and transitioning milk is enough and PERFECT for a newborn. The more the baby come to the breast and breastfeeds the faster that transition will occur. It's science. A rule of thumb on milk production, the more it's demanded (actively breastfeeding/pumping/hand expression) the more your body supplies it. Supply and demand. It's literally that simple. Seriously. Again, unless you have a serious medical condition like PCOS, serious hormone deficiency etc. When you add a bottle of formula consistently or skip nursing sessions/pumping sessions you are telling your body that it can "lay low" and not produce as much at that time, hence supply depletion. Again, It's science. 

Painful breastfeeding? First off, I'm so sorry! I know that sucks and I commend you for pushing through it, whether you made it all the way through or endured it for as long as you could. Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, at all. It's uncomfortable at first, maybe a bit sore but PAIN? No. Bad latch (possible lip or tongue tie) and bad positioning are most likely the problem and simply looking up breastfeeding, on a accredited website, to watching a video OR contacting your local breastfeeding counselor/consultant will help you tremendously! 

Baby won't latch? There are some cases that we have seen that babies refuse to latch and I have seen some that latch after several day or latch right from the start. Every baby is different and every nursing journey is different. Baby's come out knowing how to suck (remember that ultrasound picture of your baby sucking its thumb?) but breastfeeding is an act that takes 2. Mom and baby. It sometimes takes time, patience, practice and a little bit of love ;) If at first you have a hard time getting baby to latch, take a deep breath and try again. Try a new position, try skin to skin and baby self attaching, try a quiet room after all the family and friends have had their hands on baby, try hand expression and tempting baby.....I can go on. Does it always work? No, but that's when you get down and back to the basics with your lactation lady. 

Let me add, that any breastfeeding is better than none. Obtaining your personal breastfeeding goal is amazing, no matter how long that goal is/was. If you didn't want to breastfeed, fine. It's all good and was your decision to make for you and babe. Own it. If you have a medical issue and your milk didn't come in, it's okay! Say it. If your baby refused to latch, I'm so sorry. It's okay. Say it. If you aren't sure if your milk ever came in or you had to go back to work early and it was easier to formula feed, that's okay! Say it. If you feel you never had the support or education needed, that's okay. Say it. We are still learning new things about breastfeeding every day. We know more now than even a few years ago. Science and research are amazing things. 

Why do we care whether or not one breastfeeds? It's a public health thing. The more research being done shows us more and more the long term effects of breastfeeding. Less stomach issues as we age. Less ADD/ADHD in children. Less diabetes and obesity as we age. Less childhood and maternal cancers. It's a public health issue now and breastfeeding shows to be all around healthier for mom and baby (long after baby is weaned) which lowers medical cost and much much more. Breastfeeding increases skin to skin time which releases the feel good hormone of love and bonding (oxytocin) which helps the brain function at its optimal level for both mom and baby. We know these things now. When we know better, we do better. It's just that simple. 

The reason woman get so touchy on this subject (and other motherly subject) is because mom guilt sucks. So yes, I believe that Breast is best because it is. Feeding organic food and lean meats, no sugars or sodas is best as well. Do we go that far and only have organic food in our kitchen? Lord no. Ive got macaroni and cheetos coming out of my ears in my pantry. Ill speak it. No shame and no apologies. When you feel like you have screwed up or chose a less than stellar parenting choice or path, in any aspect of parenting, the feeling is awful and we automatically hit pissed off/mamabear mode. I feel you and I understand. I breastfeed but I don't cloth diaper. We don't start solids until 6/7 months but drink cows milk vs almond milk. I don't feed my kids organic food nor home school or private school them. We don't listen to classical music or even brush teeth everyday. (I'm working on that last part!) We have plenty of screen time and I probably don't protect them with sunscreen as well as I should. Im a mother and I am human. We do what works for us and fits with our family dynamics. YOU do the same. You do you boo boo. You. do. you. 

So breastfeeding is my passion and to share it, support it and help educate on it is my thing. So thank you, so very much, for reading to the very end. I know it was long and I appreciate YOU and your support in everything my bunch does. If you don't agree with what I've said, please do so respectively as I would show the same to you. 

Disclaimer: I am not asking anyone to sugar coat their answer or themselves when talking about their feeding choices. If you are rolling your eyes reading this then fine. Post what you want :) However, for those of us that like to better ourselves and look at things from a different perspective then I hope this helped. 

Fostering the new parents

I was having a nice little discussion with a new internet friend from Kentucky. They are childless, not by choice, and are entering into this crazy thing called foster care. One of her concerns got me thinking.... "I'm just nervous because we have never been parents before. I just hope we get the hang of it in a timely manor." 

How hard it must be for a new mother through foster care. Love makes a family. We know this, but how hard it must be to go from 0 kids to a 5 year old trauma kid, a newborn having withdrawals or a toddler who throws mega fits because they are angry and don't know why. 

When you are pregnant, you have 9 months to prepare, to swoon, fall in love and read all the books. With fostercare, you have a few months of paperwork and some classes but really, you have about an hour to get prepared for that first placement. You have an hour to grab formula and diapers or a hello kitty blanket and pajamas for the new toddler coming in. You have no idea their favorite foods, if they brush their teeth at night or in the morning or even at all. You have no idea what may be a trigger for them, if they like to cuddle or what calms them.You have no idea what they've seen and how they feel. And you have nothing to compare it too. 

My kids are perfectly normal, happy and healthy kids. They have had zero trauma in their life. They are privileged Americans and get 100% of our attention. They still act out. The toddlers still throw tantrums like a pro and chunk things at the walls . They still refuse to eat foods that they deemed their favorite just the day before. They act ungrateful sometimes and that life is soooo boring. That's normal behavior. I know this because I live it. I have those experiences in my pocket to compare when a trauma child comes into our home and acts out. It's going to happen. But what about these new mamas, jumping into this thing and preparing their self and their family to go with the flow? The ones that trust in this journey that what happens is par for the course and they vow to be along for the ride for the greater good?

I bow to you, strong mama & dads. Can we be friends?

Advice to a new mother from a seasoned mother....

When you find out you're pregnant, everyone has advice for you. From the stranger on social media to the nosy lady in the grocery isle, everyone is an expert parent and knows it all, and I mean, it all. ::insert eye roll::

As a 3rd time mother, I do not know it all. I will not even pretend to know it all. I am practically winging it. Everyday. Go with the flow. My sad attempt to organize chaos is laughable, but it works for me. And with that being said, here is my advice for you. Take it or leave it. Well actually, just file it.

*Read it all. And I mean IT ALL. Read all the books, talk to all the people and research all the things. You will never know when that little piece of advice or passage in that book will save your sanity and just click. It will take you days to get used to motherhood and once you finally feel like you've got it under control, it will flip on you. I swear it. Ask any mother. That's where that advice that you stored in your brain filing cabinet comes in handy. Pull it out and give it a try.

*4th Trimester- Read this one. File it for later. Trust me. Ever wish you could get inside your newborns head to find out what the heck is going on in there? DING DING!

*Do not say, "I will never..."  insert something ridiculous, like you wont make different meals for supper time OR hand your toddler a tablet. Because you will. You will do whatever you say you wont do. Its like the universe hears you and makes notes. Seriously. File that shit.

*You will lose your shit. You will say "Oh my gosh, that's awful. Ill never do that again." You will. We are human. We have limits. You will hand the baby over to your significant other and go in the bathroom, lock the door, sit in the floor with your fingers in your ears and think "I am awful." Let me go ahead and tell you, you are not. Bad moms don't think they are bad. :) Crazy people don't think they are crazy. See how that works? Its okay to be overwhelmed and sleep deprived. Its okay to grieve your life before kids. Its okay to want to bang your head against the wall sometimes, just not all the time. (However, if you feel like this all of the time please talk to someone. Postpartum depression is real and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Talking through it and identifying it can help, as well as a low dose anxiety/depression medication. Take care of yourself so you can care for baby.)

You will hear things like:

"Don't spoil that baby by holding him all day!" -Impossible to spoil a newborn baby. They cry because they need you, whether that's to nurse, cuddle or diaper change. Read this!
"Formula is just as good as breast milk." Nope. Not so much. We are glad formula is there as an alternative but when available, breast milk is better for baby. Read this!
"Give that baby some cereal in his bottle and he will sleep all night, I did that for you and you turned out just fine." Nope. New research states that is no longer true with today's formula and not needed at all with breast milk. Read this!
"Just let him cry it out. No baby has ever been harmed by crying for a little while." Wrong again. Babys who Cry It Out (CIO) do eventually stop cry. Why? Because they know that no matter how much they cry, those needs will not be met. Scientific research. Read this!
"Turn that baby forward facing in the car and he will stop crying!" ACK! No! Extended rear facing is a thing y'all. Read this!

I don't know about y'all but I am sure glad that there are Scientist's that actually research things that are best for our babies. Every mother is different just as every baby is different. What works for one family may not work for another, and that's okay. Read and research your decisions. Even talk to other moms about what they do and don't do. Online mom groups are so popular right now. But whatever decisions you make for your family, make sure they are informed decisions. You are going to be tired and you are going to be overwhelmed. Don't make any decisions based off one bad day. Read and research. There is some good stuff out there y'all!

And last but not least... #YouDoYOUBooBoo

Organizer of Chaos: How I plan our life with my EC Lifeplanner.

I love colorful things. I always have since being introduced to Lisa Frank when I was around 8 years old. I have attempted to use planners in the past but life just wasn't that busy. I started thinking when I was near the end of my pregnancy with Bear that maybe, just maybe, life would be a tad crazy enough to attempt using a planner again. (If you are chuckling to yourself right now, you aren't the only one.)

I first though about all the stuff that I needed to remember... birth days, anniversaries, school functions, work and foster care meetings, baseball practices... just to name a few. Then I thought a little further... meal planning, grocery list, cleaning schedule, vacation spots, finances/budgets, goals for the coming year... Man, Ive got a lot to write down in my planner

 The price is totally justifiable. To use it to its full capability, I have crammed all these things into my trusty EC Lifeplanner. I have stickers and colorful pens to help decorate it so that even my cleaning schedule looks fun!

With the EC Lifeplanner, the front and back covers are interchangeable. If your like me, you will want to change them with your mood, which is several times a day. Not really. But kind of. They come with functioning stickers, a few note and grid pages, coloring pages, folders, dry erase area on the front and back cover. You can choose between an hourly, horizontal or vertical layout. As you can see, I choose the vertical layout. It took me a while to decide what would go in each box... I went from PC Job, LuLaRoe, Family.... to PC Job, to dos, Family and then finally settled in on Morning, Afternoon and Evening (As you can see). It works for me :) I tend to write everything down in pencil or on a post it note and then pen it in closer to time along with slapping a few stickers on there :)
Tiny snap in insert of post its :)

Purple pocket for notes.

Coloring pages!

Functional stickers and inspirational quotes throughout the planner. 

Functional stickers

Cleaning schedule: If I give my self daily to dos (besides the norm) when it comes to cleaning, I won't do them. Some days I just feel lazy and others I want to clean the entire house. So I made a pretty and colorful cleaning schedule that is straight to the point. Easy peasy.

Camping/Hiking list: As you know, we love to go exploring but there is nothing worse than getting there and realizing you forgot the baby carrier. #ParentFail so this is where this camping/hiking packing list spread comes from. Its fun to look at too :)

Not shown: I have our monthly bills + income on another note page and my personal and work passwords on another.

Goals: We have decided that every year we are going to take a vacation. I know to some that's like, DUH, but to us its a huge deal. We have our vacation spots planned out (in our head) and soon on paper along with when we need to book rentals and start saving.

As you can see, I love my planner. It helps me stay organized, its fun to look at and planning is therapeutic. It so easy to make it your own by customizing it on their website and then making it work for you and your family. Ive seen some note pages with drawings of a book shelf and all the titles of the books they intend to read are written on there. The idea are endless. Check Pinterest!

**I also have this notebook that I purchased from Erin Condren for my breastfeeding counselor notes (research, class info etc) and for our foster care notes (caseworker names and phone numbers etc). To help keep it separate they have these dividers that you can customize! How cool is that!?

The Breastfeeding divider is a snap in add on.

Sticky pop in folder (Follow your bliss)

The Be Brave is a snap in divider!

Yes, that is a tiny insert of post its :) attached to the back cover that also is dry erase. 

In a nutshell, the reasons I plan is....

...to clear my head of all the mom things

...to have an overview of all my task, events, appointments and goals

...to be more productive and actually get stuff done

and because I love stationary and colorful pretties.

Click HERE to go to the website, make your own account and get $10 off your first purchase. You will NOT regret it! 
(This is NOT a sponsored post by EC. I just love my planner that much.)

Ramblings & Foster care

If you can't tell by now, I am a very inconsistent blogger. I feel as though I need to have something really good to say before I can write, but then the mood strikes and the kids don't get that same memo. I am unable to sit down without kids crawling on my head and then the mood is gone. Obviously. :Insert eye rolling emoji: However, I have lots of random stuff to say and a lot of thoughts to process so that's what this is going to be now. A true blog about our adventures as a family and our journey into foster care with kids in tow. I hope you enjoy, can laugh along with us and even shed a tear or two... because I am sure its coming.

Random #1:
Why I love social media. I am an introvert. I enjoy being at home with my front door open so I can see the sun. But don't take that as an invitation to stop by because unannounced visitors make my skin crawl. Well, not that dramatic but I don't have a good surprise face so you can read my feelings on any subject matter if you watch me closely. Maybe I shouldn't have just said that. Whoops. Oh well. Anyways, I enjoy being at home with my family in every sense. That is when I feel the most comfortable and can breath easy, when we are ALL together. I don't fancy going out to dinners, shopping or clubbing... I don't fancy the grocery store or group vacations with a bunch of people. Just me and the boys. Social media allows me to be open, honest and friends with a ton of people right from the comfort of my own phone. :) If I don't feel friendly, I don't have to even open my phone. If I need some encouragement, I know where to go. I am pretty sure I am much cooler online anyways so thank you, for being my online friend!

Random #2:
I LOVE my Erin Condren life planner. Please go check them out if you are a busy mom bee and like to write shit down. Seriously. Don't let the price scare you. I carry it everywhere with me, I write down everything and it keeps all my thoughts, to dos, appts, cleaning schedule, meal planning, practices, work schedule, passwords etc in one place. Its seriously a life saver. Here is my referral code for $10 off your first purchase HERE! (Pictures and blog post coming soon)

Random #3:
I finally made a command center in our kitchen. I bought a HUGE dry erase board to convert into a calendar but then I realized that I really do not trust myself to do that with permanent marker and we had one on the fridge anyways so we just dusted that one off! The dry erase board is for a quick jot down of our family to dos, grocery list, notes and reminders. We also have our meal planning dry erase board to the right so Ayden always knows what's for supper. (He is his papas grandson!) We have a cork board on the other wall in the kitchen for all school reminder for Ayden too. (Blog post and pictures coming soon)

Random #4:
We finally finished the boys play room. We have been talking about making them a playroom for years but we finally executed that plan after we closed the LuLaRoe chapter.. It's so fun and the boys love it! Detailed blog post and pictures coming soon!

Foster Care: Our journey so far.

I intended to update on this subject several times by now but the words seem to fail me and I cant figure out exactly what I want to write. So here it is, in its jumbled up glory.... Privacy is a huge thing in foster care, for obvious reasons. I have gone back and forth on being so open about our foster care journey because of that reason. You know our names, most know where we live and here I am posting all pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Is this really for the best? Is this going to cause issues to arise in the future? I have come to the conclusion that... we will take it one day at a time. We can not disclose children's identities, why they are in foster care, any information about the parents or their issues. We will not include any of that information at anytime, so please do not ask. What we can and will tell you is how we feel about he entire process. We will give you the ups and downs of foster care and how it is effecting us as parents, adults and as a family. We will tell you how it is effecting our kids. We will be open and honest. That's the whole point of this whole blog and my presence on social media... is to spread awareness about breastfeeding, baby wearing and foster care. To build a village of moms who just get it, who feel lost sometimes and need a break and to know that we aren't alone. We are never alone. This blog may not be for everyone, I'm not even a good writer but I am honest and I have things to say. The point of this blog is to document this journey for us and for you. Maybe we can reach a few hearts that feel like maybe they should be on this journey as well. Maybe we can give you some insight on how to help local foster families, if you can not become one.

So, our journey so far into foster care has been quite uneventful. The steps you have to take (which we have completed) are...
  • Contacted DFACS/Caseworker and filled out our application of intent (to become foster parents)
  • Initial online orientation to explain the basics
  • CPR certified.
  • General physical with drug screen and TB test
  • Copies of all important documents (birth certificates, car insurance, marriage certificate, pay stubs to prove you can pay for your life basically, immunization records..)
  • Proof that Darla the English bulldog has her rabies vaccine
  • Filled out the mountain of paper work from DFACS about our family, character references, childhood, parenting style etc
  • Completed the foster care classes (IMPACT) which was 5 classes over the course of 2.5 weeks.
  • Home study (Which is scheduled for 7/6/17) That is where the caseworker will come into our home and talk with us. She will ask us our parenting styles, interview the kids, make sure we actually have open beds and dresser draws for the approved number of kids we intend to take etc. She will take all of our completed paperwork along with her notes of our home study and submit them to the county director for approval. We could be approved by end of July yall.
How do I feel about all of that? Excited and terrified. Im excited that we are listening to our calling and heading into this journey. I am excited that we are almost there and we finished in a timely fashion. I am excited for the change this is going to mean for our family. I am terrified because it is happening. I am terrified because what if I cant do this? What if we get in over our heads? What if we learn something our hearts can not handle? What if What if What if What if......

I don't know why I keep saying this... "I am not a religious person" but I believe that He brought us to do this and He will provide. I didn't even realize that you were supposed to capitalize the H in He until recently. Bless my heart. But it has been shown to us already that things are falling into place seamlessly for this journey. I do believe I can handle this and because I believe that I know that the kids can too. I know our family can. I know that selfishly, we are doing this for our kids too. To help us grow as people, citizens, humans... to learn compassion and life lessons. We can do this as a family. Its going to be hard, really hard. We are going to have our hearts broken, we are going to cry and we are going to have meltdowns. All of us. But we can handle this, as a family. We will learn to grow, as a family. We will take each child, each YES!, and know we are embarking on a brand new adventure each time and making memories and learning lessons that will last a lifetime. We will welcome each child into our home and our hearts and not hold back. We will treat them and love them like our own until its time for them to return to their family and we will hope and pray that we made a positive impact on that child and their family that will last forever. #Thatisfostercare

We are doing this. We are becoming a foster family. Together, as a family. I hope you will follow along side us in this journey and throw words of encouragement our way any chance you get, consider it you doing your part in helping this broken system.

FAQ What is foster care?

I am going to start by saying that we do not know everything about foster care. Not even a little bit. However, we have come to the realization that foster care is a subject that many don't even know a little about, so we wanted to enlighten y'all that are interested. 

Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a "foster parent". The placement of the child is normally arranged through the government or a social service agency. (Wikipedia)

Children and youth enter foster care through no fault of their own, because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned and are unable to continue living safely with their families

The ultimate goal with foster care is always reunification with their birth family. Always. 

We know that the system is broken, I have read and heard it many times though we don't know first hand. Yet. We know that children and families slip through the cracks. We know that reunification is not always feasible or in the best interest of the child. When this is the case, that is when the child is placed up for adoption. Many people foster to adopt. Adoption is not our family's agenda. 

Adoption from the foster care system can happen in two ways. Foster adoption or fost-adopt, is a form of adoption in which a child is placed into a home as a foster child, with the expectation that the child will become legally free and be adopted by the foster, parents. Some children are not adopted by their foster parents. Their birthparents rights have been terminated, and they are legally free for adoption. (adopt.org)

Now that you have a little information about Foster Care, let us answer a few questions that we have received....

Frequently Asked Questions

Are y'all crazy?! Don't you all have enough children? Define "enough?" We have plenty of happy, healthy and stable children. We have plenty of love and patience left, so why not extend a piece of our heart for a child in need of a warm bed, a mothers love, a fathers shoulders to ride on and a few brothers to play with?

Where are you going to put it? Well, we will put "it" aka, a child, in a their own bed in the boys room. (Bear and Ramsey's room) They will have their own dresser with 4 whole drawers that will be filled with their own clothes. Our house may seem small to some, but we feel its actually perfect for us. It forces us to live simple, not hoard and to utilize every space we have. We are a close knit family and choose to hang together, not in separate rooms in different wings of the house. We also have cleaned out the old LuLaRoe room (aka dining room) and making it into a play room. The dining room, with 6 full chairs occupies our kitchen. See? We do have somewhere to sit and eat. 

Do we get to pick age/race/sex of the child? During our Home Study, the case manager will discuss with us our preference, how many we can care for at a time (taking our biological children in consideration) and the sex of the child. In the state of Georgia, different sex can not reside in the same bedroom once one of them turns 5. So, we are thinking all boys may be best because once Ramsey turns 5 he can not room with a female and most of y'all know, we do not have room for everyone to have their own rooms. Sorry for all those "The beggs need a girl" advocates. At this time in our life, we think fostering 1 child at a time, between the age of 0-4 would be best. We will re-evaluate our situation as needed. 

Do you have to accept every placement call you get? No, we do not. Now of course, we are not at this part yet so I can only go by what I've been told... but they will call us once a placement that fits our need/description is in need of a home. We are free to accept or decline. 

Who can become foster parents? www.fostergeorgia.com
  • Must be at least ten (10) years older than the child to be placed and if single, be at least 25 years of age
  • Must complete a 2 hour orientation in the local county office or via the internet
  • Must successfully complete pre-service IMPACT Family Centered Practice training
  • Must complete a medical exam, finger print checks, as well as undergo both child welfare and criminal records checks/screenings. If you or any other adult household members (over age 18) have not been a resident of Georgia for a minimum of 5 years, you must be screened in the Child Abuse and Neglect registry of each state of prior residence
  • Must provide proof of current residence and financial stability

How do you become foster parents? (State of Georgia)

  • You call your local DFACS office and let them know you are interested. They will get you in touch with the right person with the right information. Now remember, you are dealing with the state so expect some delay and having to call back and check in. 
  • You will then attend an orientation at a DFACS office OR you can complete it online. Its pretty much general information about foster care and the different types of foster care, Respite care (Emergency short term placement) Foster care (regular/long term placement) Foster to Adopt (fostering with the intention of adopting). 
  • You will then do an array of things from meet a caseworker, get your mountain of paperwork to fill out about you (and your spouse) about you, your general information, your childhood (seriously) discipline preferences, your family. You will need to be certified in CPR, have a general medical exam to prove your physical and mental health, TB test, drug test etc. Make copies of your birth certificate, marriage license (if applicable), divorce papers (if applicable) vaccine records for you and everyone in your house, shot records for any animals, insurance cards and somewhere in there they will ask for financial papers. (To prove we can afford to take care of ourselves)
  • Complete IMPACT training. IMPACT stands for Initial Interest, Mutual Selection, Pre-Service Training, Assessment, Continuing Development and Teamwork. The curriculum focuses on the IV-B Core Competencies for Pre-Service Training; helps potential resource families to make an informed decision about their desire to resource parent, develops; enhances skills for parenting and nurturing children; and clarifies the resource parent’s role in the social service continuum.IMPACT consists of twenty (20) one-hour modules covering the following broad topic areas: The Fostering/Adopting Process; Emotional/Cognitive and Behavioral Implications in Fostering/Adopting; Sexuality and Sexual Orientation; Communication and Partnership; and Identity and Cultural Issues.  
  • Home study. This is where a DFACS worker (Caseworker or regional manager) will come into your home and stay for hourrrsssss. Seriously. They inspect your house to make sure it is deemed safe (Medications, cleaning supplies and fire arms locked up.) They make sure you have adequate space for the child(ren) and discuss with you your desired age group and disabilities/behavioral issues you are and are not willing to deal with. They sit down with the entire family and discuss your entire life and why you want to become a foster parent. They will even chat with all family members separately. They want to make sure they match you with children that will fit us best and make sure everyone is on the same page about foster care, what to expect and what is expected. 
Our family has called, met with the new district supervisor, scheduled our IMAPCT training (JUNE!) and have our HUGE binder of paperwork to fill out. We are thinking we will be approved September-ish. Depending on how long it takes you to complete your task and your caseworker to type up your info/home study, licensing usually takes around 6 months. After all that is completed, the caseworker turns it into her boss' boss and they look over it and hand it to the judge. Once its all approved, we will then become licensed foster parents. WOOHOO. Let the adventure begin. 

In all seriousness, and many of you can vouch for this because I have told you specifically... the calling to become foster parents is so overwhelming and reassuring. Overwhelming, because of the obvious reasons. Reassuring, because we know this is what we are supposed to do. This is the next adventure for our family. The only way I can explain this feeling is that I assume this is the feeling one gets when they pray about something and feel that call from God. That is my best explanation. 

I have sucked at motherhood....

by hustlin the wrong passion. 

I have steered too far off the beaten path of home cooked meals, checked homework and brushed teeth. I have, instead, picked up my phone too much, said "yeah, okay. Uh huh." and missed too many smiles. I haven't read a book for pure enjoyment in months nor have I actually watched, I mean really watched a Netflix series that BJ and I have picked out together. Maybe I have sucked at more than just motherhood. shit.

But today, TODAY, is a day of self realization of my suckiness and a day of change. The produce isle at Walmart better watch out, because this mama is coming back. My Pinterest boards are about to get some love and my recipe book will have some dust blown off of it. Errr, well. First on the grocery list... a recipe book. 

Ill go steal some paper from Aydens homework book and maybe even check it while I'm in there. #Score. #Winning