Thursday, June 27, 2013

Home Study

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A few weeks ago while ago (yes, that's how long I've been working on this post!) we had our home study visits with our social worker.  I wasn't sure what to expect from a home study - in my mind I envisioned a very stern lady coming through our house and opening every door and examining every nook and cranny only to finally announce whether or not we made the cut.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Before our social worker came for our visits we each had to write and submit a self-study to our agency.  The self study consisted of several (around 30) questions that we each had to answer.  We could not discuss our answers with each other.  The questions consisted of just about anything anyone could ever want to know about Clay, myself, our background, our marriage, parenting views, adoption, etc.  Let's just say that those who read it will know everything about us - good or bad! ;)

Here's a few of the questions we had to answer:

  • Describe your personality.  Include what you view as your strengths and weaknesses.  Briefly explain the events and experiences in your life that you feel have shaped your personality.
  • Describe the family you grew up in.  Who was in the family, what were their relationships to each other?  What was your relationship with your parents like?  What were your feelings about other family members?  What were the positive and negative qualities of your family?
  • Describe your parents relationships to each other while growing up and currently.
  • How has your relationship changed since the ‘honeymoon’?  What do you admire about him/her now?  What are his/her strong and weak points?
  • What are your main areas of disagreement?
  • What are your relationships with each other’s families?  Do they live within visiting distance?  When do you get together?  What is your relationship like with your father-in-law?  Mother-in-law?  What are the similarities and dissimilarities between the two families of origin, and how have these differences impacted your marriage?
  • Please explain your view of a birth parent and why and/or how a birth mother releasing a child for adoption?
After we submitted our self study, we were contacted about two months later by our agency's social worker. It just so happens that she goes to our church, but it was super fun to get to know her even better through this experience!

She was required to do 2 visits with us, one of which had to be in our home. We did the in-home part first. She had to work through several questions with us and so she did 1/2 of the interview plus the walk through of our home that day. She asked us questions about our families, our backgrounds, our personalities, what led us to adoption, etc. It was very much like the questions we answered in our self study. Then she did the walk through of our home, which was seriously just that. It was more like showing a friend your house than an investigator trying to find a reason why you are unfit to parent. (I was fretting for no reason!)

A week later we met her for lunch and completed the second half of the interview. We each had to have a few minutes at the table alone with her to ask some individual questions so I came late and Clay left early. The questions this day were more parenting and discipline oriented. After that, we were done! It was honestly a delightful process.

This was our official last step in the "paper trail" process of adoption. Technically, our profile could have been shown and we could have been matched before the home study was complete but now we are 100% ready to go and waiting.  

And oh how we are ready to meet this precious little one that God has picked out for our family. We are praying that we meet him or her very soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Garage Sale Fundraiser

[I'm sorry for the blogging hiatus recently - my only excuse is that life has happened. :)  We've had so much going on but I already have a list of things I'm ready to sit down and write about so hopefully this summer will lend me the time to do so!]

A few weeks ago we had a garage sale fundraiser at my parent's house.  My mom and our best friends, the James and Harrison's, all kicked in to make this sale happen. 

Natalie, Kim and my mom all cleaned out their houses and contributed to the sale.  We also had a few people from our community give some things, and some stuff was donated from a church wide garage sale our church had earlier this year.  

My mom, Natalie and Kim all helped out working it and organizing it because I had to be at work a lot of the time.  I am so thankful for these three women!  

I teased my mom and said it was the least successful garage sale of all time! Ha!  I only say that because in the 3 hours that I was able to work it not one person came!! We ended up making a good little profit. As we were saying all weekend ... every little bit helps!  

There were some fun finds in our little sale ... it was fun to see the things that each household was ridding themselves of.  

One of them was this amazing Avatar mask that our friend Nathan did not realize he was getting rid of (you can thank his dear wife Natalie for that!).  My dad thought he needed to model it and soon thereafter it sold!  (For  $5.00!) 

We were all shocked that the most valuable item in the garage sale did not sell!  Our dear sweet friend Kimmie did this self portrait in college and she has been hiding this little gem away for years.  We're thinking the garage sale audience did not realize what a masterpiece was in front of them and it might need to hit the auction scene in order to get it's true value in profit. ;)  
(Kimmie, just get ready because this little thing might start making it's appearance in all kinds of fun places!)  

Once again we have been incredibly humbled by the support we've been given in helping to fund our adoption.  Thank you mom and dad and to the James' and Harrison's for giving of your time and resources!  

We also contributed an entire room of furniture to the sale in order to clear out a room to make a nursery -- I'll hopefully be putting up a post about that soon!