Monday, November 8, 2010

You Want To Know WHAT???

HOME STUDY. While attending my adoption classes, those two words kept surfacing. None of us participants knew exactly what a HOME STUDY was, but it sounded very invasive. Yes, we all understood that a child was not going to just be handed over to us without social services making sure we would be good parents, but just the thought of having a relative stranger poking around in all our business made us all nervous.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I really didn’t have to be so nervous. And I especially did not need to clean my house with a ½ gallon of bleach the day before the social worker was scheduled to visit. I wanted super clean, but what I got was a very strong lingering odor of swimming pool.

Yes, a social worker doing your home study will have to delve into some areas that a lot of folks consider sensitive – your financial profile, for example. But one thing I learned after a couple of home study updates, the social worker really does want you to get approved. While it may feel like you are being tested, and oh no you might fail the test, that’s not really what it’s all about.

I have a link to a great site that talks all about the home study process. The site is part of the Child Welfare Information Gateway, run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While some things may vary slightly from state to state, this site hits all the basics. Take a look around and let me know if you have any questions. I have had my original home study completed as well as three updates to that study – AND SURVIVED – AND BROUGHT A NEW FAMILY MEMBER HOME EACH TIME!!

Perhaps all the hoops prospective adoptive parents have to jump through are just training for some of many hoops they will face once a child is placed in their family. All it takes to survive the process is a little organization. And if you are one of those folks who feel very organizationally-challenged, I can help there also. One of my favorite teeshirts is emblazoned with OCD WORKS FOR ME!