Sunday, March 31, 2013

Home Study 101

I know that it has been a while since I have written, but life has been really hectic for us and full of fun and exciting things that we hope to share soon.  I promise I have not been ignoring your messages of encouragement and requests for status updates; I just haven't been in a place where I was able to get the words and feelings out of my head.  To answer your questions about what is involved in the adoption process and where are we in our own journey, here is a quick update. I know it is a little late, but hey, better late than never!

First, let me say that I can totally understand where the hesitation of adoption comes from.  G and I knew going into the process that it would be a lot of work, but we had no clue what exactly it entailed.  After we met with our social worker and got the list of requirements for the home study, I think it was a huge shock for us both.  I am a detail person and great with lists so the checklist was no big deal to me.  We need birth certificates, marriage license, taxes, financial worksheets, FBI/CPS/DMV checks, physicals, proof of employment, etc; no problem. G on the other hand saw it as a mountain of paperwork and began to feel overwhelmed.  I was good on data gathering, my freak out didn't occur until I got to the autobiography and essay questions.  As I began to read through the application questions I began to feel sick.  How do you plan to support your child if they have different religious beliefs?  How do you plan to discipline your child?  What are your strengths?  What are your weaknesses?  How do you and your husband resolve conflict?  What is your experience with infertility? Question after question and page after page, I was terrified of giving the wrong answer as well as having to relive some parts of my life I wanted to leave in the past.  It's funny to me how couples are so different.  G was overwhelmed by the list and I was overwhelmed by the questions.  I guess we are a good pair and were able to take some of the pressure off the other.

So where are we now?  We have gathered and completed all the paperwork (including medical records on our cat), ordered our background checks, childproofed our house and yes even completed our autobiographies and essay questions.  We had our final session with our social worker this past Friday.  Now we are waiting for our social worker to review our references and complete the actual write-up of the home study.  We hope to have the approved home study within the next two weeks.

Adoption is an amazing way to grow a family, but it is not something to be taken lightly.  I encourage you to do research, talk with a therapist and other couples that have adopted for support in making the decision.  When/if the time comes don't let the home study overwhelm you.  Remember, you can take it at your own pace and move as slowly or quickly as you like.

I know I have been MIA lately, but I will try as much as I can to keep you up-to-date as things progress with us bringing home our baby!