A reader e-mailed me and asked if I would share more about my personal story with our home study. So, I have put together a series about each of the interviews. I hope that sharing my own story will help those of you who are entering into the home study process for the first time. Keep in mind that what is discussed in each visit might be different depending upon the state from which you are adopting, and there might be some differences from agency to agency. However, I would say that our home study experience was fairly typical and a good overview of what you might be facing as you enter into your own home study process.
Our first interview was the most nerve-wracking for me because I did not know what to expect. Hub and I were both nervous as we waited in the lobby for the social worker (C) to come and get us.
C showed us to her office, where we sat side by side in two chairs facing C’s desk. She started with the pleasantries, telling us a bit about the adoption process through the agency. She said that we would have five interviews – four as a couple and one as individuals. She just wanted to get to know us and help prepare us for the adoption process.
C told us about the adoption profile that we would need to put together for expecting mothers to view. She encouraged us to get working on our profile now so it would be ready when we completed the home study. C also told us that, by state law, each interview must be at least five days apart, although we could each have our individual interviews in the same week. However, because C only worked in the office on Wednesdays, from a practical standpoint, we would be having meetings weekly on Wednesdays, and we were going to have to work our schedules accordingly.
I was very stressed out during this first meeting and broke down crying. C kept trying to find out what had triggered my tears. All I could say was that this mattered so much to me. Hub jumped in and said that I just really wanted to be a mom. C assured us that we were going to be approved; otherwise, the agency would not have even started the home study process with us. We already looked good on paper. This process was to help prepare us for the adoption process and was not a “judgment” about us.
That was all hub needed to hear to cross any concerns off his list. However, I did not believe her. I knew that C had all of the power, and I feared that one wrong answer would mean that I would never be a mother. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself and made the process much harder than it had to be.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt