So we have finally finished our homestudy and it wasn’t grueling at all. I had read so many stories about semi-negative experiences with homestudies, I thought we were in for a doozy. I really wasn’t looking forward to all these invasive questions about our arguments and details of our sex lives. That would be way too much for our social worker to handle. *wink* anywhoo…
Our homestudy worker, let’s call her Maria, showed up on a Saturday morning around 11 AM – she actually was scheduled for 9 AM but her roof fell in (long story) and she had to delay. But she was professional, kept me appraised of the situation and showed up on time. She was a nice lady, had her papers all together and once we got her settled at our dining room table with some raspberry tea, we went ahead and dug in.
First, she asked questions of both of us together. Questions about how we met, how long we have been married, how we would describe our marriage. She asked us about our support systems in Houston, whether we go to church, what activities we like to do together. She asked us how we argue, our policies on discipline, whether we could support reunification. She asked and asked and asked. And we responded.
Finally, the joint part was over and she talked to me on my own. She asked about my relationship with my parents and how that affected my life. Since I had some adversity and had even been part of the foster care system briefly, we talked about that in detail. And I was pretty open, because, truth be told, foster care is something that I have ALWAYS wanted to do. If you ask my friend-friends, they will tell you that before I ever thought about children from my womb, I wanted to adopt a child from foster care. We talked for two hours and then finally it was over. We walked through the house so that she could see that we had child proof cabinets, fire extinguishers and safety ladders (Note: our fire inspector said we didn’t need them but she said we did, so if I were you, I would get them – save your receipts).
We scheduled a meeting in two Saturdays because she is legally obligated to come to our house twice. The second meeting was focused entirely on Wood. He said she asked the same type of questions to him. And then it was over. Easy-peasy.
The next steps after the homestudy is that she “staffs” our story with our agency and they decide if they want to move forward or not. If they are positive, she writes the homestudy and sends it to the agency. The agency reviews, makes any corrections or edits – mainly grammar and legalese – and then submits it to the state for certification. So close but yet so far.