#Fostering: Home Study

We survived the first half of our home study.

She comes back for the follow-up next week.

The biggest thing today was getting through the house inspection, which consisted of looking at all the rooms, checking the patio gate that blocks the pool, and making sure we had the outlet covers on, and medicines up high (we only have over-the-counter stuff and vitamins, but still).  I was afraid this would be a big deal, but since DHS had already told us what to do to be ready for her, it was super easy.  I was both relieved, and a little frustrated because I worked so hard and no one even cared!  Too funny.  Classic.

It feels good, anyway.  And will make for a relaxing weekend, and an easy week next week.  I am okay with that.

The hardest part, though, was beginning our interview.  We both had to answer basic questions about ourselves, our educational history, our work history, and each other’s personalities.  The next part was talking about our families, and we got all the way through with mine.  I talked about what kind of parents mine were, what my brother is like and what I have learned about parenting from him, and how our family got through struggles.

Some stories were nastolgic, like remembering how close my brother and I were when we were little (and telling her about the forts we built in the woods).  Other stories were funny, like the time mom told me to go get a switch and I brought back a tree branch.  Other stories were hard, like talking about when they got divorced, or when mom was in ICU while dad was dying, and when mom was killed in January.

I managed not to cry.

But it was a good experience, very good, to see how our family came out on the other side of things, and how my brother and I have started our own families, and what “goodly parent” pieces we brought with us.

It was really intense, actually, even if not necessarily hard or uncomfortable.

Nathan goes next when she comes back, then we also talk about finances and parenting styles and those final details.  She will bring her report draft with her, and we will go over it then.  She will add the things from our second visit next weekend, and then turn the final report in to DHS.

She says it is required to be 40 pages.

When DHS gets the final report, allegedly we get a copy of it also.

That copy of our home study is what we turn in to an agency or specific worker if we ever decide to adopt, whether because we decide to adopt in general or if any of the foster kids we help ever go up for adoption and we are interested in keeping them.

It’s really the last piece in place before we actually have any real kiddos placed with us, and this is both exciting and terrifying!

The woman who did our home study was shocked that we had had waited so long, and said that it is really unusual for it to be such a long wait.  That’s what everyone else has told us, too, except that we found another couple in our county with the same worker who has waited even longer than we have – more than a whole year.

For now, though, we have at least one week (two?) of reprieve before jumping in, and I think we will soak in every minute of it, just to be good and ready when the time comes.  Theoretically, we could have our first child placed with us by the middle of July, but definitely by/in August.

One day at a time.

And tonight is Friday night, with all our chores and writing finished, with no extra meetings or projects waiting.  That’s rare.

So I think… It’s time to play.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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