I've had many people ask what exactly the home study is. While I do my best to answer this question on the spot, I thought it might be a good idea to take a few minutes to sit down and write what our home study entailed.
I am by no means an expert, and technically our home study isn't complete yet. Still, here's the general breakdown of what it took to get to this point.
First, we filled out a basic but somewhat lengthy application with our adoption agency. It asked about how much money we make, debt, jobs, length of marriage, that sort of thing.
After we were approved, we were quickly matched with our social worker, Beth, who did our home study. Now, I just have to throw this out there one more time: She. Is. Awesome. I believe a big reason why our process has gone so smoothly this far, is because of her. So, we had our first meeting with Beth in our home. She walked around the house, got a feel for the floor plan, checked out the future nursery, met the dogs, that sort of thing. Then we all sat at the dining room table and she quickly got us to talking. She didn't waste a second. It started with our infertility treatments and asking what all we did. The thing that sort of caught me off guard is she asked what we are doing to heal, and pointed out that it will be a life-long process. Then we went into discussing why we chose adoption. One thing that God just sort of popped into my brain and heart was, "I am healing from a loss of carrying a child, not a loss of being a mom. I in no way need to HEAL with our decision to adopt. It's the best and most courageous choice we've ever made." She then asked about our families, A LOT. Immediate family, extended family, our upbringings, etc.
The 2nd meeting she met with Michael & I individually. She asked us both pretty much about every aspect of our lives from our first memories until today. We touched on our childhoods, how our relationships with our parents, siblings and grandparents have changed throughout our lives.
The 3rd meeting was about our marriage. This one was by far my favorite. Maybe because I no longer worried about our meetings or because I just adore my husband so much. Whatever the case, we actually enjoyed it. We didn't just touch on the basic how we met stuff, but what first drew us to each other. I laughed when Mike said, "Well, since I was 19, I just thought she was hot.." Clearly, by this point we were so comfortable, Beth felt like a friend, and we had no problem just blurting out exactly how we were feeling. This was the final interview.
Our 4th meeting is still pending. All it will be is a chance for Michael and I to read the home study before it is turned in.
The other parts of our home study are that we are both CPR & 1st Aide certified, and that we attended some classes. One class is in just a couple of weeks.
Now, although there were tons of phone calls, emails, and paperwork-that was pretty much the whole home study. Time consuming, yes, but scary? Not at all. I wish I could go back a month and a half and tell my scared little self not to worry about a thing.
The only other update is that I've spoken with Renee, who is the birthmom counselor and Night Light. We will meet with her in the next 2 weeks to talk about our portfolio and our birthparent letter.