*I'd like to remind everyone of our auction on Facebook that ends at 7pm EST on Sunday, January 20th. We are always looking for more fundraising ideas, so feel free to post any ideas or contact me. And please, share! This is our first adoption so it's all new to us. We are counting on our advocates and prayer warriors to help spread our cause.*
I have never done a home study before, so when I read through all the paperwork, it was a bit intimidating. When it's all written out on those very official forms, it seems incredibly daunting. Some of my readers may remember that hubby and I met on active duty in the military. The terms, "Fire Inspection" and "Home safety audit" brought to mind the days of meticulously organized sock drawers and crisply made bunks. The goal of a military inspection is to look for the smallest details and the person conducting the inspection usually takes pride in finding some obscure thing out of place. Despite the many assurances from my friends in the adoption community that the home study was nothing to worry over, I began stressing as the date approached. We not only cleaned as usual, but we reorganized most of the house. All with me worrying whether it was going to be acceptable and whether our social worker would feel we had enough space.
Finally, right at noon, our social worker arrived. I was just finishing putting lunch on the table for the kids. As it was Spaghetti O's, little E was stripped down to a diaper for easy clean up. The social worker asked if the kids knew why I was there and I said they did.
R piped up with, "So we can adopt Carolina."
"What do you think of that idea?" asked the social worker.
"I think it's great, " replied Ryan.
At this point the other children began adding their emphatic agreements. M was hoping the social worker was actually bringing her. She is almost beside herself with excitement for her new sister.
While the kids ate lunch, the social worker, hubby and I sat in the living room and discussed our plans, our documents, and went over our autobiographies. She felt we had done an excellent job of providing information on our backgrounds and our motivations for adopting. We discussed the types of disabilities that we are open to and how we could accommodate those. We discussed what specialists we intended to use and where they are located. We discussed interventions that are available through the local school and other places. We talked about the strengths and weaknesses of our marriage and how we deal with conflicts between us. She asked us about how we discipline our children and we explained our system. Following all of that, our social worker took a tour of our home and again ensured we had a mounted fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and an evacuation plan. We then looked at the bedrooms. This part of the process took only a few minutes and it was done.
I had dreaded this part of the process since before we ever committed. I feared someone coming in and critiquing my home, but in reality, it was actually an enjoyable experience. Yes, we cleaned like crazy, but no more so than if we were having a Super Bowl Party at our home. Our social worker had no problems with approving us to adopt one child, and in fact, did not blink an eye about approving us for two. Now, don't get too excited here, we have not actually selected a second child to adopt and it may not even be possible due to her region, but it was nice to hear nonetheless.
So there you have it my loyal blog followers. A home visit in a nutshell.