A huge part of the process of being foster parents whether you adopt or not is going through the training. The Foster to Adopt training is called PRIDE training, they also have a brand new training which our agency did inside of the PRIDE training called the 3-5-7 Model. The length of the classes are all different just depends on your agency or county and what they have available. Luckily ours were only 3 Saturdays and we were completely done!
Going into our first Saturday training was nerve-wracking to say the least, mostly for me because I am pretty quiet before you get to know me. Now with my husband it was different, he wasn't nervous at all or at least he didn't show it. He's pretty great at talking in front of people so automatically became the "star pupil" asking all the questions and raising his hand to read every line of the book. I laughed inside every time an awkward silence came among the class and my husband was the one to break it. I so appreciated his willingness and excitement to learn everything there is to know about being a foster parent.
We learned so much from our classes, not so much from the books but from the experience that was in the room. A lot of foster parents needing training hours took the class and so they told story after story of their 20+ years in foster care and it was exactly what my husband and I needed to hear in order to really grasp what is in our near future. Yes, there were a LOT of horror stories and surprisingly they came from the people in the class which made it even more real, but for some weird reason neither of us walked away thinking we weren't capable of handling whatever God gives us and I think it made us more excited for the challenge.
The first class was all from the book and one video to go along with it, the second class was my personal favorite where we got to put our art skills to work and do some projects that the kids might be doing with their therapist. One was a life map where we got to draw out the important milestones in our life and we also got to think what it's like for a child that has been bounced around from home to home and how they must be feeling. Another activity was writing a letter to someone in our life that things were left unsaid, and that was a real eye opener because the children could be writing to their bio parents or even to a foster home they left and loved.
The third class was the wrap up class where we talked about what to expect in our home study and the rest of the process. We also received our certificates!
It seems funny having to go through all this training to become a parent, but I probably feel a little more prepared than the average parent because of it, so I am thankful for that. The training was a wonderful experience!