That’s what I thought was going to happen during our home study, even after our social worker assured us that that wouldn’t be the case. We had our home study home visit last Monday. Essentially, this is the part of the home study where the social worker comes to your house, takes a look around, and then interviews you. (Fortunately, this interview doesn’t involve an interrogation room or harsh lighting, although on the pre-home visit side, you almost expect it to.)
Having read a number of books and friends who have gone through the adoption process, I knew (in my head at least) that she wasn’t going to turn over all the cushions or inspect the grout in the bathrooms (whew!). When we were setting everything up, she said “lived-in clean” was okay. The house still got a scrub down anyway. I even broke out the lavender scented mopping solution. You should know that I hate mopping. AND I put away my laundry, which – ask Evan – is a huge feat for me. Of every chore imaginable, laundry is my least favorite. And putting away the laundry? The worst part of the whole ordeal. So I was ready. Turn over those cushions. Inspect my bathrooms, bedrooms, and other rooms in the house. It’s the cleanest it’s probably going to be for a long, long time. There’s something about someone coming to your house to interview you about your life that makes you want to put your best (and cleanest!) foot forward. No matter what anyone says about how it’s going to go.
Of course, as soon as I met our social worker, my whole preconceived notions went right out the door. We seriously have the best social worker ever. She’s awesome. I want her to be my neighbor so we can talk about adoption/parenting/doggies all the time. We went through our eight-page questionnaire and she asked us a number of questions about our reason for adopting, family histories, jobs, life, and medical histories. Then she gave us about an hour of education on the process, dealing with
nosy personal questions, what myths about domestic and international adoption, not liking our child’s referral picture, and bonding/attachment issues (aka how to manage life with a screaming, terrified child for four days….). Seriously, if we had had Starbucks around, it would have been like catching up with an old friend.
Oh, and the tour of the house? All of three minutes. (In our defense, we do have a small house…) Part of me wanted to be like, wait, wait! You didn’t inspect the lavender scented clean floors! But then I was pretty sure I’d earn demerits for pointing out my floors. You don’t want to look like one of “those” parents.
So now we’re working on paperwork. We even tracked down a notary public who can help us get everything notarized without too much complication. (HALLELUJAH!) This is a gift and an half because practically every document has to be notarized. We made our first payment to our agency and submitted our contract. (Um, so I don’t get morning sickness with an adoption, but that was certainly stomach flip inducing!)
I sometimes feel like this can’t be happening. Evan caught me using the word “if” when talking about the adoption and/or children the other day and he’s like, hon, there’s no “if” now! Indeed. So right now, in the midst of every piece of paper and dollar, I keep thinking: WHEN we have our kiddo home, all of the paperwork, and craziness, and everything, will be worth it.