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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Adventures in Adoption - The Home Study

After out last class with arrow, I knew we needed a home study. It's the next step. I'm not sure what the holdup was, but there was a few months of "we need more paperwork,"  "we need an fbi background check on your 15 yo son," "your file is switching offices," and some other stuff - I don't know.

I know a few other families that have used arrow and I have asked for advice. One of those mom's (and a friend from co-op) mentioned that arrow has a Christmas party for foster children currently in care. She said we should go and help out at this party and meet our caseworker. (Our case was switched from one office to another a few weeks prior to this conversation and the party was with the new office)  Big Girl already wanted to go since we always find ways to serve others in December.  Her friends were all going.  So we went.

I was able to meet not only my new case worker, but a few other people that I had been emailing. I also meet a lot of great kids. I feel in love with several teenagers and told hubby I want big kids, not little kids. We weren't too sure if we wanted to ‘start over’ with as busy as our three are, or throw some the same age into the mix.  The big ones were so sweet. I'm sure the little ones are too; but at nap time when they are full of sugar and presents, they are not pleasant.

I also met a lady who does homestudies!  Yea!  My friend made sure to introduce us and mention that I needed one. Inspector lady said she could be at my house the following Thursday. Fantastic!  
Party goes well, I'm excited that this is moving forward. We go home and check everything and do a thorough scrubbing.

Thursday comes and Thursday goes. No news. Everyone is now off for Christmas.
Discouragement sets in again. We go on Vaca.

January 15 - I got an email from my case worker letting me know that I am (FINALLY!) assigned a home study. I will be getting a call within 7-10 business days.  To me - and most of the world- business days are Monday to Friday. That weekend we planned to finish up painting the girls rooms and clean up the house, again.

Friday January 17 - both girls have sleep overs.
Saturday January 18 - my son and I get up and start painting. It's a beautiful sunny spring day, so I leave the back door open.  Leaves blowing in, the dogs are tracking in dirt.... I will clean it after painting.  Still in my pj's/painting clothes, I go pick up Baby Girl.  I figure there is no reason to clean up when I am coming right back to finish painting.  These parents can see me when I am disheveled – it is ok.

Noon - standing in the foyer of baby girls friend’s house I get a call.   Mr. Home Study wants to schedule a meeting with me! Yea!  How soon?   Let's get this done!   6:00 tonight….  Wait!? What?!  Wow!   Oh no!  I explain, apologize and quickly leave with Baby Girl and rush home. Pick up the paint supplies, put furniture back, lock the dogs out, vacuum, sweep, mop....  Clean the play room!  My bff was on her over with Big Girl and said she would help. Thank you God!   I was sweeping the sidewalk (Why?  Who cares what the sidewalk looks like!) and praying when God pointed out to me that Mr. Home Study is not going to fail is just because of a small mess in my 'lived in' home.   I calmed down.  Then bff (who adopted 2/3 of her kids) told me "they are looking for a reason TO give you kids.   Not looking for a reason to fail you."  That helped too.  God speaks through us – if we give Him the chance.  This time He spoke through my friend.  I’m glad I heard Him.  Loud and clear this time.

5 pm- everything is clean, everyone is showered, dinner is in the oven (men need to eat. He is going to be here at dinner time, I am going to feed him)

6pm- nothing

6:15- we are hungry and I need to feed the kids.  It is Saturday after all, we have church tomorrow We sit down to eat

6:30 - Mr. Home Study calls, he is stuck in traffic.

7pm- he is here!

We talk and eat.  There is a point when the kids have to leave the room and he asks me about my childhood, relationship with my parents, siblings, and hubby (even intimate relationship).  Hubby gets home from work and is his turn to be questioned. The questions weren't hard, but I don't think about what my favorite/worst childhood memory is.  What did I like best about mom/dad.  What makes me angry and how do I deal with it.  What do I like best/least like about Hubby.  How do I feel about our marriage and love life.......

We finish and its Hubby’s turn. Same questions

When Hubby is done, each of the kids get a turn.  They only had a few questions.  Things like: Their age, and grade.  What do they like most/least about school.  What do you like most/least about your mom/dad?  What age child would you be willing to share your room with?  Favorite thing we do together. 

After the interrogations, we went for a quick trip around the house.  Mr. Home Study saw the messy classroom, we had been sitting in the dining room, living room and kitchen.  Upstairs to the bathroom, Boys room, super messy Baby Girl’s room, Big Girls room and then to the play room.  

The only issue in the play room was that the storage totes (full of toys) were stacked too high.  No problem!   This room is never this clean.  They will never be this high again J  Then the attic.  The attic door needs a lock because it has direct access to the water heater.  To the laundry room.  He has now seen 3/5 of our fire extinguishers.  They need to be re-tagged by an inspector.  No problem-o.  Finally, to the master bedroom and bath.   The biggest question was if the guns and ammo are stored separate.  No problems here.  As Mr. Home Study and Hubby head to the garage I get the kids to bed. 

They are so excited I don’t think I will ever get them (or myself) to sleep. 

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