So all our efforts finally culminated last week when Chris and I had our solo home study interviews. Mine lasted 3 and ½ hours…Chris’s (which came after mine) was a little over an hour. These interviews cover basically your whole life story.
And I mean your whole life, and a good bit of your psyche:
- What is your motivation to foster and adopt?
- How were you parented?
- How long were your parents married?
- Describe your mother, father, siblings and your relationship with them as a child and now.
- Discuss childhood memories and any history of abuse.
- Describe your education and professional life.
- Briefly discuss your dating history before spouse (or previous marriages).
- Describe spouse.
- How did we met? How long did we date? How long have we been married?
- How are decisions are made in our family? How do we communicate and problem solve?
- Describe any criminal history.
- Describe our lifestyle, church, community/neighborhood, and school.
- Describe any health issues (depression/suicide, medicines, chronic disease, and fertility issues). How do you handle stress?
- What house rules do we anticipate having. How will we discipline?
- How do we plan to talk to child about their identity, culture, birth family, big life issues? Are we open to incorporating other cultural elements into our home? How would we handle birth parents interactions?
- How do our families and friends feel about our involvement in this process? What role do they anticipate having in our growing family?
- And, last but not least, what can we handle (race, gender, physical illness, mental illness, sexual abuse, etc.)?
Needless to say, that is a lot of ground to cover. But having to hash through all of that with a stranger made me extremely grateful for the life I have had, and the family I am blessed with (both by birth and by marriage)!
We wrapped up the interview with the walk-about of the house (see environmental checklist) and discussed necessary child proofing still to be done, as well as plans for the nursery/tot bedroom. We are well ahead of the curve but still need to install the child locks in the kitchen, gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, and deal with limiting access to the bathroom, which is an issue because it is where the litter box is. But all in all, we’re in really good shape. (Now if we could just get the nursery done!! But there is progress here too!)
So now the home study gets written up, sent to a committee at our agency for review and tweaking, final changes are made, and our package is submitted to Child Protective Services for their review (and approval). We expect that this will be completed by the end of September. So, we’re third trimester folks, in a way…which is exciting, and a bit daunting!