I attended the first MAPP class last night. This is the State of Florida's foster and adoption education course. It is eight weeks long. It is never convenient.
We tried for several years to take it, but it was never at a time or place that we could get to conveniently. Finally we just decided we better take it no matter what. So for the first few meetings, my hubby will be absent (he will have to make them up) and I will miss at least one of the classes because of work travel.
We are not taking this to become Foster Parents. There are people in the class that are going to do this, but as we were told last night, you don't become a Foster Family if you want to adopt. That should not be your goal. I admire those people that can become Foster Parents. I admit it is probably a weakness that I cannot.
Since our goal is adoption, then, we will strictly do the adoption route. I'm not even sure that we will choose to try to adopt through the state. But these courses will definitely help us to learn what sort of issues we might face as adoptive parents.
I don't look forward to the 45 minute drive every week. I don't look forward to the 3 hour class. I don't look forward to class participation. I don't look forward to the homework (yep, there's homework each week). I don't look forward to having the smiling foster kids' pictures staring at me each week. I don't look forward to the heartache of knowing I can't help them all.
Mostly I don't look forward to hearing how hard adoption and fostering can be. I already know that it is hard and what we've been through thus far isn't even the half of it.
Though, for all of this "not looking forward", I know that there is still a lot to look forward to.