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Whether you had pizza delivered for you and the dog, or turkey dinner with your bubble (2020 has had a way of creating the most ridiculous phrases we never expected to use)... we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

This year has often made it difficult to find times to pause to be grateful... especially with the pandemic, Jedd's furlough, wedding plans being chopped to bits, and a derecho land hurricane. I made it a goal for the month of November to remind myself weekly that this year hasn't been as terrible as I often make it out to be.

2020 brought...

💜 a Packers playoff win at the frozen tundra

❤️ incredible Caribbean cruise ship waves and drinks just before everything shut down

💜 an opportunity for Jedd to try to win his own private island in a Mr. Beast video

❤️ the best girls' weekend I've ever had, laying by the pool, soaking up the sun to celebrate my last splash

💜 a small, but perfect, and beautiful wedding that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world

❤️ a surprise honeymoon roadtrip to Kentucky that we will never forget

💜 and now an overwhelming amount of love pouring in about our adoption news. In just a week, we've had 378 views on our adoption website.

+ friends from Alaska and Australia!

We spent a wonderful, long weekend in Milwaukee playing games, watching terrible Christmas movies, drinking wine, overeating, and sharing about our foster care orientation. If we didn't have the pleasure of seeing you this weekend... here's our official update:

Last week we submitted our initial inquiry to Four Oaks Family Connection and attended a virtual Foster Care Orientation. We reviewed the training and certification requirements and basic foster care information for the state of Iowa, and had an opportunity for Q&A. Our next steps will be an official application, background check,10-week training course (30 hours total), home study evaluation, CPR/First Aid certification, and Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Training. THEN we will become eligible to foster.

One very important thing we learned during orientation is:

There is no “foster to adopt” program in Iowa. There is only "foster to reunify." In Iowa, the reunification rate is 70%.*

(when children are successfully reunified with the families they were removed from.)

The preferred option for an adoptive placement is typically a family member, even when they weren’t the child’s foster care providers. When family members aren’t available or permanent placement with them is not considered to be in the child’s best interests, DHS may consider the foster family caring for the child as the adoptive placement.*

There is not a large number of infant or very young children seeking adoptive families. Most children/youth waiting for a forever family are 8+ years old. We learned, if your primary goal is adoption, you are most likely to be considered as an adoptive placement if you are willing to adopt children ages 8 and older.*

We have not decided for certain if we will foster, but our hearts are open to it. We want some kiddos to love so badly, even if it means they are only temporarily under our roof.

Nervous to start training... but excited! Let's make the last 30 days of 2020 the best ones yet.

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