First, THANK YOU!
Wow, Everyone! Please let me start by saying I am overwhelmed and so grateful for the outpouring of kind words, love, and support. I love processing all of this in writing and am so glad to know that people enjoy reading and want to follow along! Thank you to those of you who subscribed to my blog and “liked” me on Facebook.
Now that we have shared that we’re adopting, I have TONS to say on the topic! I’ve written a few posts to document our heart and the home study process and will continue to entertain other events and topics as they strike my fancy!
Onto Home Study #1:
What is the “Home Study”? This is to meet and talk through every conceivable topic regarding children, personal histories, and child rearing in order for our social worker to compile her official report stating whether or not we seem to be acceptable candidates to adopt. Essentially, checking the heart of the home! Before our portfolio is eligible to be shown to birth mothers, we had to complete all our paperwork, the portfolio itself, and the home study process. Through our agency this consists of two visits; one at the office and one in our home. Then, after the child is placed in his/her home, a social worker in the state of WI must conduct one home study per month for the next six months to confirm that it is a good, safe situation.
Our first Home Study was Tuesday, May 21st. Andy took a half day at work so we could make the tiny trek to Portage. I was one tightly wound ball of emotions; mostly excited and nervous. We met our social worker, Kari, for the first time. This was a huge event. Last year, when we initially met with an adoption agency/social worker, it was NOT a good fit. We left feeling that she did not even want us to adopt, let alone was our champion in the process. This time, not so! She was wonderful. She knew her stuff, fielded our questions and conversation, squelched certain fears, and at one point even said, “I am not here to judge any answers you give me. My goal is to get you two as close as possible to the vision you see for your family.” How awesome is that?
This was the crazy meeting of basically checking of boxes of what you “want” or “do not want” in the birth mother and/or child. It was very strange to answer certain questions that we normally don’t even think about when having biological children. They were as straightforward as boy, girl or either or as incomprehensible as being open to a child that is the outcome of inc*st or pr*stitution. Obviously, there were questions we were prepared for and others that caught us off guard and took a minute to work through before answering. I feel like a more comprehensive list of questions deserve a post of their own.
We left feeling exhilarated…exhausted and slightly overwhelmed, but overjoyed at our connection with Kari and the process getting underway. It is surreal that our hypothetical conversations about adopting are coming to fruition (and quickly).
(At this meeting, we also learned that we had to submit all paperwork within 6 months of our Doctor’s appointments and the corresponding (*dated*) paperwork. Well, Andy’s appointment would have “expired” on May 26th. So, we immediately contacted all of our reference letter friends and they were amazing to write and submit their letters in less than a week!)
Currently, we completed our second home study at our house (read here), Kari submitted her report and we are approved (phew, we “passed” and are officially labeled as suitable parents :) And we have completed and submitted our portfolio…so the waiting game begins!