So, here’s the deal…to begin with, at this point I am definately leaning towards not pursuing this. Mainly because at this point I don’t feel like God is calling me to do it. If He did, I’d go, even with the reservations I have about it, because if it’s His idea I know He could take care of the details. But, since right now that isn’t the case, well, holey cow!! This deal could be a nightmare! It is more of a ‘group home’ or very ‘homey-feeling’ institution, really. Not exactly how it was initially described to us, but not a complete surprise, either. The amount of paperwork and rules is daunting, since you are dealing with the state. My understanding of what we’ve been told is that if you have a foster child in your home, basically you just do what you’d do with your own kids – I mean, obviously there are checks and what-not, but you just do your thing. Is that a proper understanding? There, every little thing has to be done ‘just so’. The kids have to follow the state mandated diet, so they have a nutritionist do all the shopping, planning, cooking. There are pre-set times for afterschool snack, homework, lights-out, etc., etc., etc. Any time a child has any problem (ie: tantrum, whatever) it has to be logged on an ‘incident report’. All the kids are on some sort of medicines, some psychotropic. Currently there are 6 kids, one 10 y.o. with behavioral issues and the rest surly teens, some of whom have been sent there thru the juvenile detention centers. Just a little more than I think I want to deal with! For me, really, the biggest issue is my own daughter. I don’t want to do anything that screws her up for the rest of her life! She’s my top priority, obviously. Now, it could be that she’d learn so much and grow in positive ways – again, if I really felt the Lord was telling me to do this, I’m sure he’d protect her, body and soul – but if He’s not, maybe it’s not a good idea to throw her in there. There is a staff of 5; the nutritionist, the paperwork gal (yeah, the technical term for her!) and a couple others, plus the director. The director is a wonderful woman, I can see that this work is what she was meant to do! On the one hand, having someone there to handle all that paperwork, and someone else to shop and cook is awesome – but on the other hand, that means there are always people there in the home…it’s not like we would have really any place of our own… and I’m a nester. I don’t think I’d handle that well. It doesn’t pay enough that we could live there plus keep our own home for our time off. I think I’d feel almost "homeless". The part that’d be really cool is that Alan and I would be doing it together… it’s not like he’d be heading off to some other job while I play chauffer to 8 kids….but I’m thinking maybe there is something else we could do together….! It also became apparent during our chat that the board may not even want to find new ‘house parents’ but maybe find a way to financially carry on the way it is now, with the staff working lots of extra hours and taking care of all the details, including the nighttime stay and all. I don’t know…. it’s not totally crossed off the list, but we will give it more prayer over the next few days and see. Oh, and the only pet we could MAYBE bring would be the dog…not the cat or the rat. Being a huge animal person, that is an issue for me. Even the dog, they said she’d have to be an outdoor dog…who are we kidding??? My dog only goes out to do her business, then wants right back in…like, what, do I think she’s a dog or something? lol. Besides – I’d really like to know how she could possibly be outside there at this point… the snow is up to the top of the windows! Where exactly would she go?? So, that’s the deal. I think Alan is feeling disappointed because he’d love to be doing some sort of full-time ministry. I think he’s more for it than I am. My gut tells me it’s not right… and my gut usually knows what it’s talking about. I’ll keep y’all posted.