What Did It Take? | The Nitty Gritty

As soon as we signed up to start the pre-service training, I was a little overwhelmed.

Thirty-two hours of classes. Each? So sixty-four hours of classes required to get our license! Questions flew through my head.

What do we do with our kids while we are at eight different four hour class sessions?

Did we have to take the classes chronologically?

How can we make these classes work with our already busy church commitments?

Since not all the classes on our region’s schedule fit in our schedule, would we be able to go to another region’s pre-service training?

All that worrying, and the sixty-four hours really weren’t that bad.

A couple very dear friends and some family members stepped up to help with the boys. We could take the classes in any order we wanted. And when the church schedule conflicted with our region’s training, we were able to jump into those sessions in a southern region.

Going into it, I wasn’t sure how much I would learn or agree with during the training. But can I say, the classes were great.

Some of my favorite classes covered child development, how trauma affects all our kids, and understanding biological families.

Disclaimer. All states work differently. And even since we did our Utah training, the powers that be have realized that sixty-four hours for a couple is a monumental endeavor, and the class hours have been shortened quite a bit.


After we celebrated completing our 640 hours...just kidding...sixty-four hours of classes, we were ready to finish up the license requirements.

We completed our CPR / First Aid training, had our references send in letters, and then waited. And waited. And waited. Somewhere along the line there was a little miscommunication with what came next.

Looking back, I know that miscommunication was God’s timing. God needed us to get our lives in better order to be most effective in this calling. Stay tuned for more on that next time.


Fast forward five or six months.

We finally tracked down the stack of paperwork we needed to fill out and sent it all in. Fingerprinting and background checks are required. (We passed, in case you were wondering.) We turned in all of our medical records and tracked down immunization records. I was nervous about this part because I had no idea what shots Joe and I had as kids. My mom found my yellow card, and Joe was able to have a blood test taken. He was only short one immunization.

Big brother was also short one.

When I took him to the pediatrician, I made the mistake of telling him that he was going to have to get a shot so that we would be able to care for a baby. Wrong thing to say. As soon as that tiny little needle went in (and back out lightening fast), he started screaming at the top of his lungs,


And he continued in dramatic fashion for a good ten minutes. I admit it. I laughed. Under my breath, of course. Not about the pain. I hate shots.

And in case you are wondering.

Immunizations are not required to be foster parents.

We chose to be immunized (although sometimes delayed) long before we knew would be involved with foster care. We were going to be licensed for kids two and under, and to take kids with no immunizations or no immunization records, families must be immunized. Our first little guy was completely immunized when he came into our home, so even if we had opted against immunizations, we could still have taken him.

The last big step for us was the home study.

I was a little terrified at the prospect. But we again, we passed. And I’ll tell you more about that in two weeks.

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