Well, we finally did get in touch with our caseworker, and made an appointment to go in and get set up for fingerprinting. We were there on time, she was not. We gave her our drivers licenses to copy, but then she couldn't get her computer to work so she said she'd have to do it later and mail us the paperwork (I guess they send us a scan-code which we take to a location that does our fingerprints). That was almost 2 weeks paperwork in the mail. I have to call her tomorrow to find out what is up with this.

On the upside, we did get our referral packet to the agency we will be working through. WOW...there is a lot of information to fill out. We are planning to work on that this weekend. We also already scheduled our fostering classes through them - set up for the first 3 Saturdays in May - we are on our way!! It's very exciting...but at the same time it's a little scary how fast things seem to be moving now that the larger agency has received our referral. We have to turn our loft area upstairs into a bedroom. It's an open loft right now, so we have to build a wall, and add a closet and a door. This is what it looked like the weekend after we moved in (my daughters bed and vanity were moved to her room after we painted her bedroom):

Like it is for many people, our money is tight right now. But we aren't planning on letting that deter our decision to become a foster family. We feel that since we finally have a home, we are ready to open that home to children in need and want to be able to do that as soon as possible. Without putting ourselves into hock and going into debt doing it, that is. So...right now our plans to fund the project, as well as purchase the other items we will need like beds, bedding, toys, etc., consist of a few different things (these are things we plan to do specifically to raise money for the things we need to do - in addition to just saving any extra money we can).

1) Grocery savings - we'll be putting back the money we save using coupons for our weekly grocery trips. Any amount under our normal weekly budget that we save is going into our "foster-home remodeling project" fund. For instance, our normal grocery budget is $60...if by using coupons we end up only spending $40, then $20 goes into the fund.

2) Ebay - we are going to be listing a bunch of items that we've outgrown or can no longer use on ebay. We'll also be listing any items we get as donations to list on Ebay (my mom is quite fond of finding stuff for me to list on Ebay and then refusing the for now, when she gives us something to list I won't argue with her about that!). All of the proceeds from those auctions are going to go into the fund as well. To jump start our fund, we decided to take a gamble and purchase 4 concert tickets to Keith Urban and Taylor Swift that is coming up in June. They are great seats, and we spent about $400 on the 4 of hope is to double that (the combo in concert seems to be pretty popular, and it is already sold out - so here's hoping someone wants to pay a premium for great seats), however if we make any profit at all it will of course be helpful. We figure the worst thing that can happen is we recoup our money and put that towards the fund - so it's really a no lose situation as long as we can sell them.

3) Garage Sale - The first weekend in June, our town has it's annual festival and along with that there are yard sales galore. In fact that might be the biggest attraction of the festival for some people. There are always lots of people out looking for a bargain. Our hope is to have the room finished (or at least funded and partially finished) by then, however hopefully we can sell enough to buy any items that we need such as furnishings or bedding that we haven't already aquired. We figure it will be a good time to sell any items we have that are too large to list on Ebay, or just aren't Ebay-friendly items, or any items that don't sell on Ebay after relisting one time.

I am going to try to set up a widget on my page that I can update with our goals, estimated costs, and to-date savings and goals met. We'll see if I can figure that one out - but don't hold your breath!