Christianson Adoption {Part 5}: The Home Study

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If you have not read the first part of our adoption story, start at {Part 1.}

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By the end of March, we had most of our first adoption checklist done or at least started. There were parts that took longer than others, especially if they required Tom to do them. The kids and I had all had physicals within the last year that we could use as our medical references, but T had to go get one. I was able to turn in all of our initial paperwork and payment to Triangle Adoption Services before Spring Break.

The next steps were to get fingerprinted, prepare our house for our social worker visits and write our autobiographies for our social worker. We both had to be fingerprinted in multiple offices (for state and federal purposes,) which took some coordinating around T’s long work hours. And, of course, we had little helpers with us for most of these excursions — so they got their fingerprints too 🙂 And some cool Orange County Sheriff badges and stickers.

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We had to write our autobiographies for our social worker based on a very long list of questions provided by Triangle Adoption Services. Questions like– What were our parents like? Our childhoods? How were we disciplined and rewarded? What was important to our family? Details about all our siblings. Why we wanted to adopt? Details about how we met and our children, etc. Over a page of questions led to 5 to 7 pages for our autobiographies. We had to complete and submit these to our social worker 48 hours prior to her first visit, so that she could “get to know us” prior to the visits. Since I am the talker/story-teller, mine was significantly longer than Tom’s. The great thing about writing the autobiographies is that I learned things from my husband’s that he hadn’t really told me before, like how he fell in love with Noah and that he couldn’t tell who he was falling for faster. His autobiography made me cry– just another example of how well he loves Noah and how love, not biology, made our family.

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Preparing the house for our home study wasn’t bad at all. I had looked at various Pinterest posts about a home study visit and what social workers look for, as well as reading about it in our Complete Adoption Book. We baby-proofed all the outlets. We put a magnet lock on the kitchen sink cabinet to protect our next baby from the cleaning supplies stored underneath. It was a little weird to baby proof our house a year into living here, but it didn’t really take much effort. One of the articles suggested a written fire evacuation plan, so Noah and I drew a map of our house and discussed the exits and our plans for emergencies and in case of a fire. I taught him how to make an emergency call on my phone (or any iPhone) and what the back-up plan would be if he got out of the house through the basement but I did’t meet him at the mailbox. (He would be responsible for getting himself out of the house and to the mailbox, while I got the twins out and met him there. If I am not at the mailbox within several minutes, he is to go to next door, explain the situation to our neighbor and ask to use their phone to call 911 and/or Dad.) Funny thing, the social worker did not ask about those plans at all. She did ask about our fire extinguisher and our carbon monoxide detectors and toured our home, but we did not have to show proof of any evacuation plans. Basically, I was stressed out about nothing. We spent most of her time at our house answering questions while sitting on the couch.

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We had our first visit with our social worker, Stefanie, on Sunday, April 9th and our second visit on Saturday, April 22nd. Both visits went very well. All that was left was for her to complete her write-up about our family and for us to wait out the 4 weeks before we got our official home study documents. While we were waiting to be “home study approved,” we finished and printed our profile books. Our profile book is what our agencies present to expectant mothers that are considering our family for the adoption of their baby.

To continue reading about our profile book, click {Part 6.}

 

 

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