After not hearing a response from DCS, I began to search on my own for other ways to find out about this young lady. So as any laptop-wielding person would do: I googled her. I searched on adoption blogs. I scoured the internet . . . and I found her! To my surprise, she showed up on the website of Youth Villages! She was listed there as being one of their children who was available for adoption.
I called Youth Villages, and within 12 hours, two different social workers from the agency had called me. They spent a couple of hours on the phone with me, asking me questions, orienting me to how they work with DCS, and finally asking me if Ken and I could come in for an orientation meeting. Of course, I said yes! I did let them know that there was a particular young lady we were interested in from their website. They indicated they would check to see if she was still available. (As of this writing, this young lady is still on their website as being available for adoption.)
Ken and I attended the orientation, and learned more about the process of adopting through the foster care system. To our surprise, adoption through foster care is completely free, and there is even a daily stipend given to support the child until the adoption takes place. How incredible! One of our biggest concerns about international adoption was the expense!
Youth Villages made us aware that they dealt with children who were considered difficult to place, but often that was merely because of their age. We didn’t have a problem with adopting older children, and we could see ourselves adopting more than one. Youth Villages was clearly pleased and asked if we would consider filling out an application, and beginning their free “Parents as Tender Healers” classes (PATH), which were required by the State of Tennessee for adoptive families.
Before the end of our orientation session, we had filled out an application and were signed up for PATH classes, beginning the first weekend of October. We were excited that we had officially begun the process!