How Does One Ace a Home Study?
I had the first of three visits with the social worker yesterday. To prepare for it, I spent some hours on Sunday and a frantic hour or two on Tuesday night, trying to find a place for all the things I have. Why is it that I always seem to have more stuff than I have actual space for? I know this isn’t unique to me but it certainly feels as if I’ve gotten better about letting go of things. And yet, here I still am, surrounded by things. Though, I do have to give myself a little slack - although I’ve gained a whole apartment, I’ve lost an office. So there are several bins worth of “office” stuff that sat on shelves, waited to be used in drawers, etc. While I now have a home office aka hopefully the kid’s room one day, the available space is taken up with craft supplies and there is no room for many sets of folder tabs. I’m not quite sure what I thought I would be tabbing when I bought those things but that’s neither here nor there.
The visit was only an hour and wasn’t meant to cover much business. It was a chance to meet each other, go over the process a bit, and an opportunity for me to ask some initial questions. I suppose I was nervous; how could one not be when someone is judging their ability to care for another human being? But I didn’t feel that nervous. Not because I’m not petrified that I won’t get a child. Because when I stop to consider that notion I break out in tears. Having spent much of the last couple of years fighting back tears I can tell you I’m pretty tired of it so instead I’ve settled on not thinking too much about it. I can’t say I really feel Zen about it all but I’m pretending to be. Whatever will be, will be. It helps, I suppose, that this part of the process is just a lot of document gathering. The home study could take three months or more, it all depends on how quickly I move along, setting up the references, getting finger printed, writing my bio, etc. I’m obviously doing all of this with the hope that there is a child at the end of the process but the sheer bureaucracy of it all also serves as a bit of a balm. Maybe once I get down to simply waiting for that phone call, then it will all seem really concrete.
The conversation seemed fine; I tried to not focus too much on the note taking. But maybe the nerves finally got to me when she asked me if I was aware and agreed with the agency’s stance on corporal punishment. I laughed and nodded. Yes, I said. I’m aware and have no problem with agreeing that I will not use corporal punishment to discipline a child. I felt the need, then, to explain the humor; that ended up being a couple of minutes of me telling her that pretty much anyone that knows me knows how I feel about corporal punishment. Thankfully she didn’t find my laughter weird. Or if she did she didn’t say anything about it. Which is a good thing because I let out another laugh when she asked me if I keep any firearms in the home. If the idea of me being armed isn’t the most ludicrous thing ever, I don’t know what is.
Let’s see, I won’t go into the answer I gave but I want to note the questions she asked. If I don’t write them down, with my memory being what it is, later I’m liable to think she asked what my favorite color is and my views on Pluto being deemed a non-planet.
- Why did I decide to adopt?
- Why a domestic adoption over an international adoption?
- Have I told my employer about my desire to adopt?
- Have I considered how having a baby will affect my day to day life?
- Have I given any thought to the costs that I am taken on, post-adoption?
- Did I consider adopting an older child?
- General questions about my home, employment, family makeup and health.
- Have I ever been to a therapist?
I think that covers the questions she came prepared to ask. There were others that were follow-ups to information I shared with her. During the second visit we’ll do a more in-depth interview though I’m not sure what else there is to ask. During that visit she’ll also do a walk through of my apartment. I guess I could have saved myself the frantic dash to put stuff away in the bedrooms. But, hey, at least this way I’m ahead of the game for the next visit, whenever that may be. If I want it to be any time soon, I need to get on the ball with completing the documents. As they say in El Salvador, a ponerme las pilas! (Gotta put the batteries in!)