Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Home Study Update #4: Done with Visits now, too

 As Christmas approaches fast in five days, one "present" we're happy about this year is that we were able to complete all three of our social worker visits before we traveled for the holidays!

Just a fun Christmasy photo, this one with Santa Cow :)

All three visits are in our home, with our social worker Sandy who has been with us since we started the adoption process for Zelie.

  • Visit 1: November 27 (Bethany's birthday :)) - joint visit, discussed any major changes since we last met four years ago, talked about our openness to various adoption scenarios, then Sandy did her less-than-a-minute walk-through our our house
  • Visit 2: December 4 - individual interviews, where Sandy talked to Dan and me separately about any personal changes or challenges since our last home study, our feelings about the next adoption, etc.
  • Visit 3: December 11 - joint visit, and with our kids, too, talking more about parenting (the blessings and the challenges), our approach to discipline, our plans for adjusting to baby #3, etc.
Zelie had some questions for Sandy, along the lines of: "what's 100 plus 1,000?" and "do you like legos?" Sandy was a good sport about them! Zelie also made Sandy a picture and gave her a baggie of cookies to take with her; Grace eagerly showed Sandy her current favorite toy. ha!

After Visit #3, Sandy also went to have a chat with our in-person references (our dear friends the McClains, also Grace's godparents), part of the requirement.

So that got wrapped up really well and we thought very quickly! It was a bit of a challenge to squeeze this in during a busy season already, but we're grateful that we could and keep this train moving. 

Next steps are:
  • Sandy writes up the actual home study (n.b. the official "home study" is an actual document that details our readiness to adopt, the kind of situations we're open to, and more, which is shared with whatever agency we're working with)
  • Two people from Barker review the home study
  • We get a chance to review it and offer any suggestions or (more likely) correct anything factually inaccurate
After those three things are done, our home study for baby #3 is officially approved, woo hoo!! At that point we're technically in the waiting pool because we could legally adopt with an active home study.

Then (#nosurprise) we have other things to do, too:
  • Chat with someone at Barker about what out-of-state agencies would be good to consider joining; the numbers of babies adopted in our area are fairly low, and while we may be able to be considered for some possibilities locally (that's how Grace joined us!) we'll also be looking to enter another waiting pool, too. So we need to (re-)consider which out-of-state agency is the best fit in terms of location (how easy is it to get there? do we know people nearby?), cost, services, etc. Barker vets the agencies in terms of doing adoption ethically. 
  • Once we choose an out-of-state agency to sign up with, they'll have their own requirements, typically we'll do an application and maybe talk with someone on their staff; they get a copy of our home study to review as well.
  • Then we'll update our profile book with current pictures of our family, and maybe create a video too (that was something that was just becoming common before we adopted Grace); we're waiting on this to see what agency #2 expects to see, as they're all a bit different.
Then we wait! For only God knows how long! 

Thank you for your prayers!