Homestudy: Part I

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Right before we left on vacation, we had our first homestudy visit. Let me start off by saying that domestic infant adoption and embryo adoption homestudy visits do not hold a candle to homestudy visits conducted by the state. The former, while perhaps an inconvenient glance into your personal life, are nothing compared to the pants-down invasions of a homestudy conducted by a state social worker.

Our caseworker is a Canadian-born, propoer woman in her mid-50s. She is well-dressed, slender, and very poised. If I wasn’t nervous before the visit, I sure was when she rebuffed my offer to sit in the living room and insisted that we sit at the kitchen table. She pulled out her white spiral notebook, black ink pen, and turned to the first page. She didn’t put that pen down for the next two hours.

She started off with all the expected questions: Why are you doing this? Why through the state? Tell me about your first two adoptions. We answered her thoroughly, honestly, and taking turns between Tygh and I. We answered candidly and without hesitation. And yet, we were careful in our phraseology. After going through two of these already, we know how stray remarks can be captured, and misconstrued.

At the end of the examination, we gave her a brief tour of the house. She reminded us that a more thorough home imspection would be coming. She told us we were a “good” family who would be “competitive.” The people pleaser in me smiled at that. There would be at least three more visits, she told us. The next two will be one-on-one with each me and Tgh, and an observation of the kids.

She expected to be able to complete her 25-page report by the end of summer, which means we could then receive a “password” to log in and begin looking at available children. The cynic in me felt a little like we were shopping for a child. It felt uncomfortable.

In domestic infant adoption, the birthmom chooses the adoptive family. Brae’s birthmom chose us. Sure, we probably would never have met apart from each of our separate crises, but it was in crisis that we were united forever. We have a great relationship with the birthfamily.

In embryo adoption, the genetic family (or agency) chooses the adoptive/biological family. Sienna’s genetic donors chose us. Again, we probably would have never met apart from each of our separate crises, but it was also in crisis that we were united forever. We have a great relationship with the donors.

Here, none of that applies. Yes, there is a crisis invovled, but the birthfamily is certainly not choosing us. Their parental rights were terminated by the state. The state and a panel of “experts” will then choose us from a group of two other families, “competing” for one child. It’s hard to picture how this great relationship with the birthfamily is going to form, when they likely feel that their rights were yanked from them.

But, here we are. On this path. Making our way through, trusting and believing that God has it all planned out for good.

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