The home study was the last thing our case worker needed in order to submit our paperwork to the courts. It literally took only 10 minutes. I sent a chat to Leatrice when the doorbell rang and when she left I got back on the chat and it was only 10 minutes later. We knew it wasn't going to be super-involved because we had talked to a couple beforehand who had already adopted. They said the home study was basically just for the case worker to see that we weren't going to keep the baby in a closet or that we didn't live in a complete dump. Of course we had spent a long time cleaning and getting ready for her but since we knew it wasn't going to be too involved we didn't make it quite so that you could eat off the floors. Maybe close, though.
She rang the doorbell and we sat down at the kitchen table. She asked us to describe the neighborhood and say if there were many kids around. She asked us about our house, including the year it was built, how many bedrooms, square footage, and what decorating style we had. She asked us if our dogs were good with kids and we said yes. Our dogs are actually much better with kids than they are with adults! When there are kids at the dog park they just go up to them and sniff or lick them. With adults, our dogs like to jump up to be at their level. With kids they don't have to, because they can stare them in the face.
After she asked us the questions we gave her a tour of the house, and that was it! She said it would take her about a week to get her report written to submit to the courts. She told us once our fingerprints came back and the courts signed off on us, we would get a letter of certification in the mail.
That night I think I finished our profile that the birth mother gets to see. The following is the information that is included. It is not in the best format here because it was in a table in a word document, but here is the best way I know how to post it...
FAMILY INFORMATION FOR BIRTH PARENTS
NAMES: David and Sarah
YEAR MARRIED: 2004
(There were a few items in the beginning of the profile that I did not include simply because they were in a table and I don't know how to post a table on here! Information included date of birth, race, height, weight, hair/skin/eye color, and religion)
Describe your personality
Husband: Very outgoing, friendly, charming, love to laugh and make others laugh
Wife: Caring, loyal, good listener, introspective
How do you express affection?
Physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service
Give the name(s), age(s), personality and physical description(s) of your children. Born to you or adopted?
If you do not have children in the home, what experiences have you had with children?
We have several nieces and nephews. We also have grade school age cousins that we hang out with at least monthly and baby sit occasionally. We also have several friends with infants/toddlers that we see weekly and baby sit occasionally.
Why do you want to adopt?
We want to welcome a child in our home that we can pour our love into!
How will you tell your child about his birth parents?
We will start from a young age and use materials such as children’s books or videos to help them understand who their birth family is and who their adopted family is. We will answer all questions honestly!
What goals do you have for your child?
We would love for our child to learn how to love God, him/herself, and others. We would love for our child to learn how to be generous, kind, and have fun!
How do you plan to discipline your child?
We plan to set and communicate boundaries, use lots of positive reinforcement/encouragement, and teach consequences for actions.
What is special about your family? What sets you apart?
We love God and we know we are loved by God. We are generous with our time and resources. We love meeting new people and welcoming them into our home. We love to laugh and joke and make others laugh as well.
What do you do with your free time, as a family (i.e., evenings, weekends, and vacations)?
In the evenings we like to have dinner together, relax, and talk about our day. On the weekends we like to have a good balance of going out and doing activities and staying at home and relaxing. We spend time together on the weekends watching movies, going out to dinner on occasion, or hanging out with friends. On Sundays we go to church and sometimes out to lunch after church with friends. In the summer we have a pool we use and enjoy inviting friends over for cookouts and pool parties. We travel usually twice a year to spend time with out-of-town family. We have also vacationed to such places as Hawaii, Las Vegas, San Diego, and New Mexico.
What makes your home distinctively yours?
Our door is always open for guests and friends! We love to have people over whether we just met or have known them for years.
Do you currently smoke?
What kind of pets do you have?
Two dogs and one cat.
What is your extended family’s involvement in your lives?
We visit David’s side of the family once a year and talk on the phone with them about twice per month. Sarah’s cousin lives in Tucson and we get together with her family about once per month. Sarah’s parents live in Florida and they visit twice per year and we visit them once per year. We talk to them on the phone several times per week. They are planning to move to Tucson in a few years and we are so excited to have them around to see their grandchildren as they grow up! We are very close with our extended family and they provide us with a great deal of support.
Are they aware of your plan to adopt? How do they feel about it?
Everyone is aware and everyone is excited for us! Sarah’s half sister recently adopted a toddler from Vietnam and it was a very exciting time for the family.
If mother is employed out of the home:
How long will mother/father be off on maternity leave?
How many hours will mother work?
David will have three weeks of paternity leave and will take additional time off since he has two months of vacation time saved. Sarah will be off for at least the first three months and may stay home full-time after that as well. If Sarah goes back to work it would most likely be part time and in the evenings or weekends while David is home with the child.