Managing the Achiever in Me

Yesterday we finished the last home study meeting.  This one took place in our home, and lasted the morning.  R’s Dad was met with for a one on one, as he will be living in the house and therefore must undergo the same process, back checks etc.  Leading up to the visit I was conflicted as to whether or not I should do an insane cleaning of the house or would that look like we were neat freaks who would have challenges dealing with the disorder and mess that having a child brings.

Truth be told we did clean, but nothing over the top, a typical dusting and a vacuum. Our house is rarely “messy”, but rather we end up with a couple of spots where things are left until we find time to find them a home. So we found time to find a home for those items.

The visit with “Meredith” our home study Social Worker went well, and as per usual she made us very comfortable and took us through our final meeting, clarifying some points and asking questions about safety, smoke detectors, number of fire extinguishers and the like.

As we ended the visit, “Meredith” began to talk to us about preparing ourselves for the wait.  She spoke about how this can be difficult for individuals who are used to putting in the work, planning for outcomes and then if you don’t see results it can become disheartening and lead to disappointment.  She spoke of how this can be especially difficult for those that are accustomed to usually “achieving”.  I explained that intellectually I get it, but I know that if after a year and our file hasn’t been looked at by birth parents, or we aren’t seeing results I’ll be heart-broken. I was being honest.

achiever

After “Meredith” left, R said to me “You do know that when she was talking about it being difficult for people who are used to achieving, she was talking to you”.  I had to think about it for a bit and yes he was right.  I am used to a certain formula. If you follow the steps, work hard, put your best foot forward at the end you achieve your goal.  This formula has always worked for me in all aspects of my life.  Set a goal and then do everything you need to do and you achieve.

I have enough self-awareness that I know I need to find congruence between my thoughts and feelings.  When I speak of congruence I mean that what I think and what I feel are in alignment.  I tell myself that I am prepared for a long wait and potential disappointment, however, I battle my inner feelings that things will move quickly, and we’ve done all the steps, we are going to match in no time.  So I speak of congruence not fully in the Psychologist Carl Rogers definition, but rather that inner battle that many of us deal with which is how do you get your heart to listen to your brain and vice versa.  What we think, what feel and what we do are in full alignment. Easier said than done.

An ideal state
An ideal state

Yes, I have been an achiever.  Yes, I have been goal oriented.  That will not change, regardless of the situation.  What I can do better is be self-aware enough to understand that not everything is in my control, and that sometimes you just have to keep your feet on the ground know that you have done everything you can do. Trust in the process, trust in the universe and just manage the achiever in yourself.

 

Just Keep Swimming!

We have been moving along steadily in the Home Study process, truth be told, I am loving it.  Yes you read that correctly.  Prior to starting our adoption journey the Home Study was the part of the process that I dreaded the most.  I think that it was mostly the fear of the unknown.

We wondered, “What questions would be asked?”, “Would it feel intrusive?” and most importantly “Will we pass?”

So far we have completed a 3 hour meeting as a couple, reviewing our SAFE questionnaires and expanding on our responses to provide clarity.  “Meredith” has done an amazing job of just making the whole process very conversational.  We respect the process, and there have not been any questions that don’t make sense.  We each then had one on one meetings with our social worker “Meredith” to do dive deeper on our history, learn more about each of us and also answer several more questions.  Rob’s was about 3.5 hours long and mine was 3 hours long.

I know it sounds like long sessions, and what could possibly be covered?!  Well I can tell you that no stone is left unturned.  Parenting is a big responsibility, and we both  have 40 years of history to cover.  Coming through the process, you reflect back on how you were raised and your experiences growing up and your parents.  Dory

It helped me to articulate that I had a pretty amazing childhood, full of opportunity, love and support.  It also helped me to see just how amazing my parents are, and what an incredible job they did raising us.  As kids we never had any worries, we could just be kids and learn, explore and grow.. knowing that if we stumbled, my Mom and Dad were always there to pick us up and dust us off.  I was very luck.  I’ve also realized that they have been a huge influence on me and are truly my role models for parenthood and in my relationships.  I just can’t believe what they were able to do, given that they had me when my Mom was 19 and my Dad was 21.

Our next and presumably final step in the home study is to actually have a home visit.  This will take place next week and will be a chance for “Meredith” to see our home, the neighbourhood, spend time with R’s Dad and check for safety concerns.  We’ll also talk more about our relationship as a couple, some financial stuff.. and then next step a full report and hopefully the stamp of “approval”

Until then, we just keep moving along.  As Dory says we are going to “Just Keep Swimming”.