Friday, July 18, 2014

Home Study Part 2 Complete

We had our office interviews with our caseworker, B, on Friday, June 20th - the day before leaving on our vacation to Costa Rica!

We woke up early and drove to The Chosen Agency's office to meet at 9:00am. By the time we actually sat down to start the interviews, it was about 9:30am.

First, B interviewed us as a couple. For those that are unfamiliar with adoption, I want to shed some light on just how PERSONAL it is. There is nothing left under the table - we were asked about our marriage, our struggles, how we fight/resolve conflicts, strengths and weaknesses, how we plan to parent, what kind of expectations we have regarding the adoption process, the adopted child, and parenting. And we were asked for more detail about what situations we are or are not comfortable adopting with (such as ethnicity considerations, drug/alcohol usage, the nature of the unplanned pregnancy such as rape).

Michael and I consider ourselves to be pretty open and direct people, but it's very uncomfortable putting yourselves in the spotlight and having all your secrets, fears, and vulnerabilities exposed. We completely understand why the adoption process is so personal in order to look out for the child's interests, but I hope I've communicated well that the automatic "solution" to infertility is not necessarily adopting because it's an extremely invasive process that couples who only have biological children may not fully understand. (Imagine if when you got pregnant, your doctor began questioning you on the state of your marriage, struggles with sin, how you plan to parent, how accepting your family will be, etc.) We were real close to B after all those questions! :)

B interviewed us as a couple until about 11:30am, and then we broke for lunch. We drove to a local vegan restaurant and enjoyed a very tasty meal with dessert.

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We got back to The Chosen Agency around 1:30pm and continued our couples interview until about 3:30pm. B had told us that the whole thing would take approximately 4 hours to complete. Well, we must be very long-winded because 3:30pm was when we finished the couples interview. Then B interviewed Michael one-on-one until 4:00pm and they still did not finish all of the questions! B told us to enjoy our vacation and to schedule the remaining one-on-one interviews over the phone.

Well, we just completed our one-on-one interviews Wednesday and yesterday. These questions were also very personal: talked about our childhood, our parents individually, how we're alike and unlike our parents, how are our parents' marriages and parenting tactics, what we learned from them about marriage and parenting, other family members, strengths and weaknesses of our spouse, any physical, mental, emotional, or financial concerns related to adoption. So. Personal.

But, we're done, we've shared honestly and openly, perhaps more than she wanted to hear. It's been very humbling and eye-opening that so many life events and relationships can impact your personality and influence your parenting. Though we feel a little bit on display, we also feel more confident about becoming parents and learned a lot throughout these interviews. We're also really, really thankful to have B as our caseworker, because she is so friendly, sweet, and reassuring.

So now what?

B and her team will review our application in depth. (It sounds weird to say, but it's like we'll be discussed in detail in a committee.) After reviewing our application, they will decide whether or not to approve us to adopt through their agency. We should hear from them around mid-August with this decision. If approved, we'll officially be added to the waiting list. Yes, THE waiting list! That will also start the clock on their average "wait time" of 15 months.

God is good (always and only good). He has completely led this process, and we trust Him to work out all of the details as we wait to become parents. We're so excited to see His plan unfold!

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