Homestudy visit #1 down. Three to go.
And the “Home”-part of the Homestudy went like this:
Do you have a fire extinguisher?
Can you point out your smoke and CO2 detectors?
Do you plan on moving anytime soon?
What is your neighborhood like?
Can you give me a tour?
(peeks her head into each room)
14 hours of cleaning for a 3 minute tour. She didn’t even use the bathroom.
The bathroom in which I insisted on scrubbing the blinds mercilessly.
The bathroom in which I ensured every towel was hung with perfectly straight lines.
The bathroom in which I carefully surveyed every square inch for hair.
Do you realize how hard it is to remove every trace of hair from a humid bathroom?
Hard. Very hard.
But our house is so clean and pretty now! So in spite of wanting to drag her through each room and point proudly at every sparkle and shine, I refrained. I held onto the knowledge that even if she wasn’t able to fully appreciate all the work we put into preparing for those 3 minutes, we would appreciate having a spotless house for 2 hours.
So what did we actually do then?
Mostly, we answered questions that will become a preliminary plan for what situations/conditions we would be open to for our adoption. For example:
How open would you be to adopting a child with special needs?
How open would you be to adopting a child for whom you don’t know the father’s medical history?
How open would you be to adopting a child whose mother smoked/drank/did drugs/has mental illness or cognitive impairment/ has a family with a history of mental illness or cognitive impairment?
And some really, really sad questions like:
How open would you be to adopting a child who was conceived by rape?
How open would you be to adopting a child who was conceived by incest?
Other questions had to do with our expectations and hopes for our relationship with the birthmom/parents:
Are you willing to provide written updates to the birthmom?
Are you willing to make personal contact with the birthmom, either at a neutral location or at your home?
Are you willing to adopt from a mother who insists you use a certain name for the child?
It was a lot to take in. Thankfully, it seemed that Tyler and I were on the same page for every answer. The hardest thing is that we both strongly feel every child has just as much value as another. It would of course be easier to adopt a child with no complicated family of origin and no pre-existing conditions. By that criteria, I would love to open our house to any child needing a loving family!
But our current lifestyle — though fairly simple — still finds us busy with our jobs, with our families, and with our church. Of course, our children will always come first. And if I were to get pregnant with a child that had a special condition or disability, we would certainly rearrange our lives. But we can’t help feeling that adopting a child with special needs might suit us better a-ways down the road. Maybe even through foster care.
We answered most every question with a score to indicate that we would prayerfully consider those situations, but in more severe conditions, feel it would be unlikely that we would be ready to commit.
Please pray that God would lead us to the child that is meant to be ours. He will, and we know it. But we still may have decisions to make ahead!
And if adoption is something you are considering for you future, please don’t let this scare you from it. Our caseworker assured us that every child finds a family, and there are families out there who know they specifically want to open their home up to a child with special needs. These were also not binding statements of intention. The agency asks these questions so that if you know you wish to adopt a child with certain circumstances, you would be their first choice. We in no way felt we were being pushed to commit to anything.
Thank you all for your prayers and support! It’s been overwhelming to see how many people are interested in reading our story!