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!
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.
- 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
- 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.