We have just completed the first interview for our home study. Now, friends and family are asking “how did it go?, “did you hear back already?” and we don’t really have a response. So let me shed a bit more light into the adoption process and explain the purpose of the home study or family assessment.
Actually, there are three purposes:
- Educate and prepare the adoptive family for adoption.
- Evaluate the fitness of the adoptive family (and by fitness they are not looking at my love handles and Mr. Thrasher’s abs).
- Gather information about the prospective parents that will help a social worker connect the family with a birthmother/birthparents whose needs/requirements they can meet.
To kick off our home study, we had to plow through a massive pile of paper work. In my post “What’s Next :: Our Adoption” I’ve roughly explained the complete adoption process.
From A for Affidavit of Health Insurance to C for Criminal Records to L for Live Scan Prints (fingerprints) to P for Physicals for Mr., Mrs. and Baby Thrasher to Z for ‘Z’ertified copies of marriage license and birth certificates for every member of the Thrasher Clan (they didn’t ask about our dog though) – we had to provide information we didn’t even know existed. Gasp!
We received the package with all the forms on May 11, 2013. It took as more than a month and $1,000 in fees until we finally sealed and shipped a big, padded envelope including every little detail about our lives and a check for $2,500. No matter how quickly I gathered documents and information, there were a lot of things that were completely out of my control. (Oh, how I hate that!) Such as getting an appointment for physicals, finding a day for Paul to take off work so we could get our fingerprints, obtaining the results from our blood work (for said physicals), finding a date where we could get a babysitter so we could attend a First Aid/CPR course and so on. You can imagine why we celebrated when we dropped off the package at the UPS store.
During our interviews our social worker is asking more in-depth (read: very personal) questions about our marriage, our childhoods, our health, and our struggles. Did you have any marital problems? If yes, how did you overcome them? How were you disciplined as a child? Did you experience physical or verbal abuse in your home as a child? Explain your finances. Do you have cancer in your family, a history of depressions or mental illnesses? What did you parents say when you told them you are seeking to adopt? Was everyone supportive?
The level of intimacy in these questions appears almost intrusive. Thankfully, our social worker is sweet and fun so these meetings feel a lot more like we’re getting to know a new friend.
We have two more meetings in the calendar: Individual interviews where Paul and I won’t be together and a home visit where our social worker will take a look around Thrasher Home to ensure that our home offers a safe and child-friendly environment. She will also check in with us about our plans to accommodate our newest addition to the Thrasher family.
Once our home study is completed, our social worker will write a report and hopefully approve our family for adoption which is the requirement to legally adopt a child.
On to my last update: our finances. The bad news: We still need $11,000 to reach our adoption fund goal of $29,000. The good news: We only need $11,000 to reach our adoption fund goal. It really depends on how you look at it. I choose faith and gratitude. A few more weddings, a few more months of saving and hopefully a few more donations and we will have made it.
Please join us in prayers for our baby, its birthparents, our family and God’s favor over our finances and one birthmother’s decision to choose us. Thanks for being on this journey with us, friends!