When we started thinking about this process, we never knew how much paperwork it would entail. 100+ pages of paperwork with questions detailing our childhood to our finances was sent to us by our licensing organization when we first inquired about becoming foster parents. It was difficult to get started when the huge stack of paperwork sitting on our table was dauntingly tall. To do so, we set a goal of filling out a few pages each evening. Over the course of a few weeks (and through many episodes of Stranger Things), we managed to finish most of the paperwork.
While filling out these forms, we reflected on our own childhood experiences. When thinking about our own childhood routines and traditions, we began to discuss what we'd like our foster child to experience when he or she first arrives. Both David and I had childhoods that involved after school activities (wrestling for him, water polo for me) and family dinners. We'd like to continue the routine of spending dinners together as a family. In addition, we like cooking together and playing board games afterwards (my family is known to be quite competitive- we often bet money when playing Bananagrams!).
I was also encouraged by my Life Coach to think of the feelings we hope to cultivate in our home. The words that come to mind when envisioning our child's experience in our home are comforting, nurturing, and kind.