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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home-study Update #3

     We survived!  We had only a week between our second and third meetings and had a ton of education work to do, including a ten hour online course to complete. We had to complete it separately, so we spent
 a lot of extra time on the computer that week. Our third meeting with our social worker was on August 1st. This meeting included information about what health care (i.e. hospitals, doctors, etc.) is available in our 
area for the child we want to adopt, information about potential delays or problems that might come up throughout the adoption process, where to find further education about specific adoption situations, expectations for the adoption, discipline methods, our commitment to helping our child keep some connection to her roots, and religious beliefs. 
     For those who have looked ahead and wondered what to expect and whether or not this was going to be a terrible experience, I can assure you that it is not the monster it can sound like. That being said, I highly recommend that you take time to check out the agency you want to use.  Ask questions and do not be afraid to choose not to use an agency if they are not a good fit for you.  Check the agency's ratings on the BBB website, Google the name to see what you can find out about them (keep in mind that sometimes people who are disgruntled will post negative things, but those who have had a positive experience will not always put it out there for everyone to see),ask friends/others who have adopted which agency they used, and pray that God will show you which agency you should use.  We have had a wonderful experience with our 
home-study agency.  However, each agency has some latitude to determine what they ask or include in their
home-study interviews.

     A brief explanation..why do I keep mentioning a "home-study agency" and a "placement agency"?  A placement agency can help you with all the steps of the adoption, but in order to write our home-study, they must be licensed to do so in the state where we reside.  Lifeline is our placement agency, but they are not yet licensed in our state.  So, we needed a second agency,  to do our home-study meetings and write up the actual home-study document (which will consist of several pages) to give to Lifeline and be used throughout our adoption process.  These two agencies are working hand-in-hand to get this piece of paperwork completed.  After the home-study is done, CAS will not be involved in the adoption again until we have our post placement (meaning after the adoption is completed) meetings. We hope to have this document in hand by the middle of August.  Once the home-study is written, it will be approved by Lifeline before being finalized and released to us for use.

    My husband recently recorded an interview with Leo Gibbons, a family friend who has been involved in foster care and adoption for 15 years.  If you are interested in hearing it, you can find the interview here

     See you next time!