Friday, April 29, 2011

Road Sign: Homestudy

When last we gathered 'round the campfire, my husband and I had come to a screeching halt at a STOP sign on the "Adoption Highway" just days before our scheduled homestudy.  We found PEACE in the time spent at the sign, then moved our foot from the brake to the accelerator pulling away from the intersection and changing lanes in the process.  We entered the Homestudy zone where the speed limit had been drastically reduced.  Our agency prepared us well in advance that it could take months to navigate our way through this leg of the journey.  The highway ahead was bumper to bumper, one stoplight after another.

Officially, the homestudy is a complete analysis of your life in order to insure that the orphan(s) will be entering into a safe, loving, caring environment.  You must be prepared to provide full disclosure of your health, your finances, your criminal background, your past, your attitudes, your relationships, and the feelings of your extended family members toward adoption.  This is the day we would have to bear it all.

Our homestudy was completed by a certified social worker in one six hour visit to our residence.  She was a warm, friendly experienced woman who lifted the shroud of mystery surrounding the international adoption processes, procedures, and childhood issues.  She was a wealth of information....we could have listened to her stories and advice for hours.  She spoke with such love and excitement about each family in her care.  After spending time with her, the process became manageable, and the future became full of promise.  There was a method to all this madness and the payoff was going to be huge!

The day started with a couples interview, then individual interviews with each Gary and myself, followed by a home tour, and finally interviews with each of the three children.  We laughed a little.  We cried a little.  And by the end of our day, spirits were soaring.  All fears about the homestudy had been extinguished.

She left us with these encouraging words, "  Your home was made for children.  There is definitely room here for more.  You will make a wonderful adoptive family.  I can't wait to meet your new little boys!"

JOY is the bumper sticker we plastered to our vehicle that day. 

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