Home Study Starts Now…

Tomorrow is the big day on the adoption front. Our last big step, our home study begins. For those who may be newbies in the adoption world, the home study is the mandatory process by which an adoption Social Worker assesses a family or individual who is considering adoption. The home study involves a series of meetings (generally 4) and helps to identify strengths and vulnerabilities that will affect both parent and child in the months and years after placement has occurred.

home-study-pic-300x225For us the home study is the last step in the process, with the exception of our medical reports, before our file can be presented to birth parents.  It is very exciting, but also a bit nerve inducing.  The reality is that we are who we are, and plan on going into it without over prepping.

I mention prepping because there are so many websites that have tips on preparing for your home study.  Most of the websites are U.S based, so really don’t apply. Over prepping seems a little counterintuitive to me. The purpose is to learn about us as a couple and is truly a tool for both R and I, and the adoption practitioner to best prepare us for placement. So over prepping seems to be inauthentic to me.  What is there to prep? Our answers are our answers.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t be cleaning and thinking about what drinks and snacks to serve.  I would do this regardless of who was coming over.

Leading up to the start of our home study we each completed two in-depth questionnaires, which are part of the  S.A.F.E (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) assessment home study. These questionnaires help our social worker learn which questions may need more detailed discussion with each of us. The questions also help us describe some things about ourselves that may be otherwise difficult to verbalize. The S.A.F.E questionaire has a significant focus on the family we grew up in as well.

I like the idea of the S.A.F.E process, because it is structured, and is based on 70 Psychosocial Factors that have been demonstrated to be necessary for safe and effective parenting. Coming from a background in Human Resources, and having studied Psychology I know that using Psychosocial Factors can be an effective and reliable tool.

I look at each of these steps as being one step closer to meeting our baby!  So bring it on!

 

Life Is Good

My entire life I have been on a quest of sorts. A quest to improve as a person, a quest to be “perfect”, a quest to move up in my career, get the bigger house and with each achievement I found that I was then setting the next goal to achieve. Goals are a good thing; they help to keep us focused and give us something to strive for. Right?

On a recent vacation, I had some time in nature, some time to sit in silence and reconnect with myself. In my contemplation, I realized that in many ways the need for better and my quest for achievement have also held me back.

As we travel along our journey to starting our family I have a single regret, which is that we hadn’t started sooner. Why hadn’t we? The reason is that we spent 11 years of our relationship putting our biggest desire aside, telling ourselves that we would start once we accomplished the next goal. The reality of it all is that a baby doesn’t need a big new house, doesn’t care what your job title is and can’t read all the degrees and education hanging on your wall.

How often do we all do this, put off something amazing or that will be life changing until we achieve that one next goal?

Now by no means am I advocating for throwing goals out the window, but I think we need to see them as an aspiration and not turn them into barriers to taking other steps in life. Goals don’t have to be linear, but rather similar to a vision board they can be intertwined and overlapping. We also need to take the time to celebrate achievements, and bask in the satisfaction of accomplishment.IMG_1067

On this vacation, in this moment of silence, I took the time to look back and celebrate all we have achieved as individuals and as a couple over the years. As the sun set on the rustling trees, I turned to R and simply said, “Our life is good”. With a warm smile, he reached out and took my hand and simply said, “It sure is”. Then without the need to talk about what would make it even better, or set that next goal, we sat in the silence together and took the time to embrace the fact that life truly is good.