Is this normal?
I feel like I've asked this a million times in different ways but the last few days have been SO hard. Now that we're about to have our last home visit and our PRIDE class we're trying to get the house sort of ready to show progress for our last visit. As far as I know there were no specific requirements for this visit but we think we need to do as much as possible to show that we're ready and to make a good impression. So we've been running around trying to get things done, but we're still recovering from my summer off of work after the miscarriage and I'm only getting monthly paychecks right now so we're low on money to need so many things.
We did get a crib for free from DH's cousin and I got a few things at a sale like crib sheets, blankets, etc. We're getting a few more things from DH's aunt who has a little one who just turned two, and is getting rid of a few things. We still need a car seat, stroller, some sippy cups, and some bottles. Do different kinds of bottles really matter? There are some brand new just basic 8 oz. bottles at a local consignment store that are only $2. And there are three of them. I figure that'd be all we need to start out. I'm going with my mom this weekend to get a few items of clothing to get us started out.
I just feel like I'm putting all of my nervous energy into getting things ready. We're in a rural area and our closest target and walmart are 20 miles away so we can't make a quick run if we need to really. So I want to at least have enough to get us through the first few days. My MIL acts like she has no clue why we're so stressed. I had to remind her that unlike most people we don't get a baby shower to help us get things. My SIL had two baby showers and they bought nothing and they make like 100k more than we do a year so...yeah. Lol. I hate being so stressed. Maybe I need to go to some yoga or something. I just want everything to be perfect and to be as "finished" as it can be right now in case it happens quickly. I feel like if we can finish things quickly we can relax a little throughout the holidays too while we wait. I'm sure I'll feel better after our class and our last home visit next week.
:hugs: Take a deep breath my dear. Ok so consignment bottles are ok but look at the nipples to ensure they are in good shape and if you want to be sure I would replace them. Also you never know what type of bottle they will take so the best thing is get a coupled different types and see which one the baby would like. Does your county have a garage sale group on FB? If so look on there you can find tons of stuff. One thing I will say don't get a carseat used. I would just go buy a good brand new convertible carseat that goes 5-some large number because then you won't have to keep replacing it as the baby gets bigger. If I was close to you I would throw you an adoption shower because that is what we did for my cousin because in one shape or form you are bringing home a baby and you need stuff and honestly most of the time adoption costs more then birth so you need all the help you can get. I hope that things go smoother. Also I would ask your caseworker what all they expect you to have before the baby gets there so you know what bare minimums you need and anything else is icing. lol I am thinking about you hun. :hugs:
Don't worry so much. They don't expect you to be totally ready for a baby. Just be prepared to be ready. I wouldn't worry so much about bottles either. Even if it is a drive, if you have 1-2, you could make do until you get to town to get stuff. Plus with foster care, you will get checks from the state to help buy things for the child that they need.
I don't really recall my aunt having much of anything before they were placed with their daughter at 2 months old. Maybe just the pack n play and car seat and that was about it.
We were only required to have the bed - not even sheets or anything and that is only because our state grants licenses based on the number of beds in a home. And our first home visit was so emotionally draining to prepare for and she was hardly there an hour and barely even looked at the house. We spent most of the time just getting paperwork signed and catching up.
Take a deep breath, it's going to be ok!
(((HUGS)))!!! Thinking of you! I know I'd be stressed too...wanting to be prepared but not sure how to be since there's no way to know what to expect. I think you're doing a great job of getting ready :). So far you haven't shared anything that doesn't seem perfectly normal :D!
I LOVE the idea of having a shower!! Our church gave us an adoption shower when DS was placed with us...it was SO helpful!
Sitting here thinking it out...I would probably get the following items to have on hand (not for your visit but between now and approval so you're ready since you have no idea if you'll get a placement right away or not):
- White long-sleeved onesies in each size (newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-18)
- Gender neutral pants in each size (Walmart has inexpensive pants in the separates)
- White socks in 0-6month and 6-12
- Gender neutral bunting (0-6months)
- Gender neutral jacket/coat (12month size which should fit 6-12months)
- Gender neutral winter hat (one-size)/mittens
- Dipes small package in sz1 and sz3 should cover all sizes...may be big on smaller babies but shouldn't be too small for 12months and under)
- Baby shampoo/soap (just have the travel-size on hand)
- unscented wipes (one package of any kind)
- Sippy cup (anything will be fine)
- Bottle (don't worry about the type for now)
- Formula (I would go to the pedi you plan on using, explain your situation, and ask for samples of different types of formula or go to a local baby pantry/health dept to ask for samples or reduced cost)...I recommend you buy powdered if you buy it.
- Rice cereal (don't worry about much else by way of food...that and whatever foods you have on hand should get you through until you can get to the store)
- Baby spoon
- Pacis (a basic orthotic paci should work for most babies)
- Blankets- one or two warm and one or two light in gender-neutral colors
- Car seat- like pp said, buy one new
- Infant carrier (like a sling...babies who are going through drug withdrawal are shown to settle better when carried in a sling/wrap/carrier)...just a thought :)
- Stroller that reclines (doesn't have to be fancy)
- Cloth diapers to use as spit-up cloths
- Infant tylenol/ibuprofen (in case they arrive sick)
- A lice kit approved for children 12months and under
- Crib with crib sheets
Then as I came upon sales or something cute at consigment/second-hand I'd buy more gender specific things.
I'm not sure how fcare works but do you register with WIC/medicaid or does it depend on if the child receives wic/medicaid?? Just wondering if there are programs out there for foster parents. I know the town we used to live in had a baby pantry...once registered you could get a can of formula and an outfit free every month.
Oh, and I would wash everything and put it in the drawers according to size or put things in gallon ziplocs with the size written on them so they're quickly accessible. I'm sure you'll be frazzled enough without having to dig through clothes before the LO arrives (I sure would be!) :).
Anyway, I hope this helps and doesn't seem overwhelming...it was just a list of ideas based on what I would consider bare-necessities with DS who is 8months :). I am a bit of a control-freak so I do tend to "over prepare" :D.
Kelly that is a great list! Sounds reasonable and could get Leah through until able to get to the store.
As a foster child, they should all be on wic/medicaid. Definitely ask the caseworker about that. And ask what they think would be useful to have beforehand.
You ladies are amazing. I love you all for the support and help! That list is SO helpful! I've calmed down a little today. I thought I was having panic attacks but I think it was my GERD acting up again cause I finally broke down and used my inhaler and I feel so much better today being able to get a deep breath. Lol.
I went to this huge consignment place a few towns over today when I went to the doctor and they have discounts for foster parents. The owner is a foster parent. :) So that helps A LOT! I got a Graco stroller...it's a Metro Lite and looks brand new. $32. I was so proud of that. Lol. I called my mom in my excitement and she bought it for us. She said she'd love to help more as she can. DH INSISTED on glass bottles. He has this theory that plastic gives everyone cancer and thinks it's just healthier (BPA free or not) to use glass bottles, especially for infants who have already been through a lot. Oddly, they're way cheaper than regular bottles so I found some at Babies R Us for like $6. We now have a few different kinds and some smaller ones too so I think we're good there. We also have a few different kinds of nipples. For some reason my mom had some bottles and a new package of nipples never used...no clue how she got those. Lol. I don't think she knew either.
We're going to get a few items of clothing this weekend. There's a sale at the local consignment place and some of their gender neutral clothes are only $1.50 so I feel like I should jump on that. And THANK YOU for mentioning soap and things like that. Hadn't even thought of that yet. Lol.
Today we did good though...MIL is about to bring over a crib and mattress from DH's cousin, a bouncer, a bumbo I think, play pen, carrier, and a few other things. And we got the stroller and we have a pack n play and assorted toys already. I also got a few gender neutral bibs from my mom. They're super tiny but will work if we get a little one. I think we're coming along pretty good. Oh and we also got the magnetic cabinet locks and a fire ladder. Now we mostly need a dresser and a car seat. Both are requirements.
Oh and Kelly I'm a control freak also if you can't tell. HAHA! I'm just nervous and it makes more sense to put my energy into this and figure this out than to just sit here and freak out and not be ready. I'm feeling much better today and all the support helps. I'll be looking back at your list as we go along! :)
I'm not going through adoption but I pop in and follow you girls. I would be worried about buying a carseat to soon. They do expire so if it's bought and sits for a while you may not get the full use out of it.
Normally I would agree about the carseat...it's why I have not bought one just yet. But I think with Leah doing foster care, it probably will not be that long before a baby is placed. Sounds like it is a requirement anyway.
Make sure your crib isn't recalled! So many of them are now days. I pop in and follow y'all's stories in here too:)
Good luck to you. You sound very ready for this!
Thank you everyone! I've been talking to some women I work with over the last few days and they've all known someone who fosters in our county and a few foster only infants and appear to have placements all the time. So I think that's encouraging for us, in that we will hopefully not wait too long. I mentioned some things on Kelly's list to my MIL and she went out a bought a ton of it. Some things I forgot to mention and she got them anyway. She's wonderful. She even got my favorite kinds of sippy cups without me telling her. And somehow she managed to get all unisex and that's not an easy thing to do. My parents are coming over tomorrow to help do some things around the house.
DH is too cute. We got the crib last night and he sort of stood the sides against each other so we could see how it looked. We needed some extra hardware that got lost and so we went out and got it today. We came home and while on the phone with my mom he disappeared. He was upstairs putting the crib together. He said he wanted to make sure the hardware was right but he put the whole thing together and moved it to where we wanted it in the room and helped me put a crib sheet on to see how it looked and everything. I think he's getting excited too. :)
It sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on things. It's easy to drive yourself crazy trying to have everything 'perfect' so make sure you take some time for you and your hubby too! Good luck! I can't wait to hear that there's a little one placed at your house...sounds like there's a lot of love there!
I highly suggest getting the silicone sleeves for the glass bottles. Speaking from experience, they break whenever they hit tile. Some people don't like glass & formula over their shoes & purses. :shocker:
Thank you! We have plastic bottles as well so we can always switch if we need to. So far glass bottles are cheaper which surprises me so I don't feel like it's too big of a waste of money. We ordered our car seat and high chair today. Yay! Went ahead and got a convertible carseat with good reviews that will fit in both of ours cars and is easy to get in and out. We have our training tomorrow so I've been cleaning again today. Lol. So far I haven't gotten anywhere nearly as crazy as I did last time. I know now though that our case manager has three cats also and is very nice and personable so I'm not as worried. Lol.