Thursday, February 22, 2018

This is a Thing That's Happening

Welp, we went to the interest meeting last night and learned about the process of fostering to adopt.  We were nervous and excited all at the same time.  The small conference room was literally packed.  The representative of The Agency said that this was the largest crowd they had ever had at one meeting. 

So, what we mostly learned about was the process. 

The first step is the application.  Three pages of paper that The Agency will use as the first marker to determine if we are a good fit for them.  We give references, answer questions about our income, history, and interest.  If we are found to be a good fit, we move to the first interview. 

We will meet with our representative from The Agency to discuss what we are looking for, the process, and requirements.  We will dive deeper into what this will look like and talk about what we hope to get from this process.  Again, they can choose to stop the process here if we are not a good match. 

If we make it to step three, there is a 6 week in-person training as well as additional online training that is required.  We meet for three hours a week to get training on the process, the emotions associated with it, and discussion with current foster parents.  At the same time, we will get started on our paperwork.  This includes a questionnaire, an autobiography, a letter from our doctor, and financial information.  We also have to get fingerprinted and CPR certified.

From there, we have 2 home visits, one of them will be unannounced. 

They said on average, this takes 6-9 months. 

The good news?  We've already been approved for the first interview! 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Exciting but Also Scary

Callie and I are going to an interest meeting about becoming a foster care and/or adoptive parent. I hope to post more about the process as we go, as I haven't found any good lesbian adoption blogs. This is such a personal, terrifying process, but I hope to be able to help someone else but detailing our experience.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Quiet, Special Kind of Heartbreak

White OleanderWhite Oleander by Janet Fitch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"This was how girls left. They packed up their suitcases and walked away in high heels."

"It reminded me that there were snakes that stunned their prey with their breath."

"Crickets stroke their legs like pool players lining up shots."

Many years ago, I first watched White Oleander and decided that I would someday be a foster parent. The movie had such an impact on me and has stayed with me through the years.

How poetic and perfect it is that now is when I chose to read this book. My wife and I are currently learning more information about potentially adopting or fostering a child. This book is exactly what I needed at this time.

Astrid is 14 years old when her mother, a poet, is sent to prison for murder. Astrid is sent to her own prison - foster care. In the years that follow, Astrid bounces from one foster house to the next, thanks to a combination of bad decisions and even worse luck. The things she goes through are unimaginable and heartbreaking.

The writing in this novel is so unexpectedly lovely that it is what really drives it forward. The dark and tragic events that take place are a stark contrast to the quiet, lyrical writing style utilized by Fitch. The imagery and descriptions are so magical that they will punch you right in the gut. I'm the type of reader that is very plot-driven. Typically, novels like this with long, flowery descriptions tend to bore me and I find myself skipping over whole paragraphs. Not here. I was hanging onto every letter.

I absolutely loved this work. This isn't the kind of book that you will love so much that you want to scream it from the mountains and throw it at everyone you know until they start reading it. It's the kind of soft, quiet heartbreak that you want to hide under your pillow and cherish.

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Diverse, Adorable Lady Love + Death

Kim Reaper: Grim BeginningsKim Reaper: Grim Beginnings by Sarah Graley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my heck, did I love this little book. I just finished it during the #24in48 readathon and I just need to dump my brain before exhaustion takes over my love of this book.

Kim is a part-time grim reaper, full-time cutie. Becka is adorable and enamored. When Becka gets up the courage to ask Kim out for drinks and accidentally follows her through a portal, hijinks ensue. Mix in an octopus, zombies, some of the greatest dialogue I've read recently, and the Board of Grim Reapers, and you've got a fun, adorable series. Graley's art is so amazing and the dialogue was sheer perfection. I already can't wait for the next installment. I will definitely be purchasing this the second I can.

If you need a quick, fun, light-hearted, diverse read, look no further.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me the opportunity to read and review.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

That Stay-Up-Way-Too-Late-Because-You-Can't-Put-It-Down Kinda Good

See All the StarsSee All the Stars by Kit Frick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Wow, wow, wow. This book. I can't say truthfully that I read it in one sitting, but I can tell you that I got as close to it as I could. I absorbed this book. I couldn't wait to get off work so I could go home and read more. I stayed up way too late to read the last 100 pages, and I regret nothing.

It started with four - Ellory, Ret, Jenni, and Bex. Unseparable forces of nature. Add in a beautiful, soulful, hardworking boyfriend, and Ellory feels like nothing in life could be better. Her world is perfect. If Matthias would just open up more. If Ret would tone it down.

But now, everything's changed. Now, it's just Ellory. No boyfriend. No friends. Alone.

What happened last year to cause such a drastic change? See All the Stars reveals the beautiful and heartbreaking story that will have you itching to read more. I couldn't turn pages fast enough. I loved the writing style. I felt like I was back in high school. The fully developed and real characters are what make this debut YA novel so magical. I absolutely loved it and will be buying a copy for my personal collection ASAP.

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Potato Chip Reading

Do Not Become AlarmedDo Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

TW: Rape

A quick-paced, thrilling novel about a family vacation gone completely and terribly wrong, Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy is the definition of potato-chip reading. Cousins Liv and Nora, along with their families, embark on a cruise for Christmas vacation, wanting an easy no-stress holiday. When an excursion ashore doesn't go quite as planned, a bad situation quickly gets so much worse.

I have to say that the pacing of this book could not be more perfect. The shifting perspectives was a gripping way to tell the story. Each chapter was short, but perfectly written. I was struck by the last sentence of each chapter. Meloy would punch you in the gut with a sentence and leave you needing more.

I listened to the audiobook version, and it was such a treat to have the author read the story. She is definitely the only one that could do justice to the different characters, varying accents and languages, and dialogue emphasis. I really enjoyed the author was reading me the story.

My only drawback was the use of rape as a storyline. There are a lot of ways that the abuse could have gone, and that is not one that I am comfortable with. Typically, I DNF any book with a rape storyline on principle, and that's a surprising amount of books. The fact that I continued with this even despite that should say enough about my enjoyment of this book.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Whole Lotta Nope

Parasite (Parasitology, #1)Parasite by Mira Grant
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I should start this by saying that I absolutely LOVED Feed. It is a book that I keep close to my heart and love and come back to. I was hoping for the same kind of experience with Parasite and was so excited to read this book. Unfortunately, I felt a bit let down. This book veered away from the horror and much closer to the science end. Don't get me wrong, I can nerd out with the best of this one, but I just was not about this one.

When I got to the reveal of what was causing the sleeping sickness, what the truth about Symbogen was, I was out. I had no interest, I thought it was ridiculous and boring, and just had to call it a day. I didn't feel enough of a connection to Sal to plow forward, so I had to DNF this book.

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