With Christmas right around the corner the stress of making sure everything is done can be quite overwhelming. I feel like I’ve just been running like a mad woman and not even really accomplishing anything. Every time I walk into a store I manage to end up looking for nursery things and not crossing one thing off my Christmas list. It has become a bad habit, especially over the past few days. Though I feel like I have a pretty good excuse considering the entire nursery needs to be complete by next Tuesday and we won’t even be arriving back home from vacation until Saturday. This was of course not the original plan, but as our holiday travel schedule has recently changed we were able to expedite our Home Study to before the New Year.
Due to our Home Study being pushed up our license should be finalized sooner as well. This means we have little over a month left to really finish all the last minute preparations. This is wonderful and terrifying all at the same time. Luckily the nursery is complete enough for a Home Study, which is good because I would probably be freaking out a lot more if it wasn’t, but it hasn’t met my “Bailey Standards”. In other words it doesn’t yet look like a nursery straight from Pinterest, which in my world means there’s tons of work left to do.
Aside from the nursery there were still many things we had to do to our house in order to pass the health inspection. Thank goodness I insisted on being anal about getting this part done because I’m almost positive I would be freaking out if I knew I had to go home and accomplish all of these things as well! In case you were wondering here are all the requirements for your home to be licensed as a Foster Home:
- Water temperature 120 degrees or lower
- All medications locked in a tackle box or cabinet
- All chemicals locked in a cabinet (as seen below)
- A thermometer in your refrigerator (as seen below)
- A fire extinguisher for each level of your house
- A fire ladder if your home is more then 1 level
- Screens on all windows
- Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in all rooms
- A minimum of 40 sq ft per child for the bedroom
- Appropriate beds for age and amount of children you want to be licensed for
Getting the house ready wasn’t too much of a hassle. Rearranging the chemicals and medications to fit in only 2 cabinets was really the biggest feat. I was also worried about finding locks that weren’t huge and bulky and didn’t require a key, but luckily I found some awesome ones. You can find them Here. They have great customer service as well if you get one that doesn’t work. They sent us a brand new one free of charge when our first one was defective.
The part that definitely took the longest of this whole process was organizing all the baby clothes we’ve collected the past few months. My mom is a massive bargain shopper and she collected about 3 suitcases worth of stuff for us to bring back after Thanksgiving. She went to a Goodwill Outlet in Des Moines, Iowa and found an insane amount of stuff from clothes, to toys, to other baby gear items. The cool thing about the outlet is that you pay by the pound. She got 2 shopping carts full of stuff for around $60.
She also managed to score brand new clothes as well by searching for sales at local places. We’ve both learned that when buying clothes to look for the outfits that have both a top and a bottom. It not only helps by not having to find the other piece to match but it cuts cost as well.
Between all the clothes I had bought, the ones my mom had scored, and ones we bought together on Black Friday from Salvation Army (everything was 50% off making most things 45 cents or less), I had my work cut out for me to wash, organize, and put away. The picture below is what the nursery looked like for awhile, and this was just the beginning.
Eventually I was able to sort everything into 3 large tubs and 2 vertical organizers, which ended up looking like this:
Of course this made it a lot easier to find which clothes were for what gender, but when “E” came over a few weeks ago and we were searching for his size of clothing I realized I needed to tweak the system a little more, which I’m still in the process of doing. Also, it became apparent to me the drastic difference there was of girl clothes to boy clothes. I’m pretty sure there is about half a tub of boy clothes, and 2 overflowing tubs of girl clothes.
So….if anyone has any boy clothes they don’t need anymore we would love to take them off your hands! Especially since it’s looking like “E” will more than likely be our first placement. Also, if anyone has any baby gear they no longer need and are wanting to get rid of (stroller, convertible car seat, bath toys, high chair, changing table, etc.) we could definitely put it to good use.
It’s crazy to think we are so close to ending this process and starting our life as Foster Parents. I would never have guessed we would have so many people supporting us from the sidelines, already have a potential placement, and be spending our last Christmas as just husband and wife. I am elated to think where the Lord will take us and the journey we are about to embark on. To say it is exciting is quite the understatement.