Friday, May 7, 2010

Homestudy visit-- the first one

Ahh, today I can breathe.  It still surprises me that no matter how many times we have visits w/ social workers, I still get nervous.  I guess I  should go back to our very first homestudy visit over 11 years ago.  I remember sitting in the living room thinking that it must be a 110 degrees in the house.  Hands clamy, heart practically beating outside my chest, and every other nervous habit you can think of.  An interrogation to the 10th degree.  I mean think about it, this is the person that is going to determine if you are fit to be a parent.  A person that can change your life forever.  Nobody is perfect but would they point out those imperfections on the report?  I remember on the first visit ever that every time that pen wrote something on that notebook, I thought I would fall over.  Nerves were getting to me.  Would the dog behave, would I look okay, is the home clean.  These are all questions that run through your mind during that first visit.

Fast forward to yesterday when I greet my social worker w/ a load of laundry in hand.  I didn't stress about what to wear.  Mostly didn't stress b/c I was too busy making more banana nut bread for all the teachers.  LOL.  And when you've had 4 homestudy visits previously and 28 post placement reports done, you tend to get more relaxed each time about the little things.  Still, even yesterday my mouth was dry wondering if I said something I shouldn't have.  Would she care if my kids got grounded?  Would she care if Alyona's area was still (and yes, it is STILL a mess...remember, the battle?) a mess?  And I'm sure there was a half eaten apple on the table in the dining room.  --noticed that one later.  No, I don't think that stuff really does matter as that is all part of life.  A normal life.  A little chaotic life at times, but indeed, a normal life.  She was here for about 4 hours/ 45 minutes.  She will becoming back to interview Warren and the kids as well.  When is she coming back?  Well, of course at a time that she will see the Boyd Bunch in true action.  I can't guarantee what will happen that day.  Why?  Because it is the day before our big mountain trip.  We'll be packing and getting ready.  Checking and double checking.  All while trying to be calm.  "No, you pack the dinosaur."  Yes, you have to take underwear."  And I'm sure she'll hear all kinds of phrases she'd never thought she'd hear.  LOL.  Does Nik have all his gear.  Yes, you have to brush your teeth while there.  No, you can't bring your running leg.  You know, the normal stuff hopefully.  These are just some of the things that were said last year while packing and some that I think will be said this year as well.  I'm hoping she'll see them work as a team and not get into a tiff over who gets what duffle bag.  Typically, they all just use their backpacks for  a trip.  But since we'll need so many changes of clothes due to weather and activities, we take the bigger bags.  Anyway, I'm hoping she'll really and truly see how this family functions together.  How even though none of us are biologically related, we all do things together as if we'd been family all along.  I am one of those adoptive parents who doesn't really keep track of gotcha day.  For me, it just feels as though they've always been here.  Really does.  Every child we've brought home has fit in very well w/ this family.  Every single one was meant to be here.  I truly believe that.  Same with the next 3 coming home.  I know in my heart they belong here.

Visit went well yesterday I think.  I hope.  She is easy to talk to.  Lots of questions have to be answered just due to our situation here.  And I'm glad they're asked and the social worker is doing her job.  I think this is a crucial point in every single adoption.  Here is my opinion for a homestudy visit.  I really think a social worker should just drop by around dinner time one day. That is when you really get to see families be themselves.  I know some people think big families must have a chaotic dinner.  Sometimes, but not really.  Usually, it is rather organized.  We may do things a little differently here but it gets done.  The blessing... we sing it.  Other kids spending the night think it is interesting.  We do that so that Nik can hear it.  It's so cute when he tries to sing along.  Sometimes the converstaions get ridiculous.  Sometimes, they have to be redirected.  What I'm getting at is this is life.  For those new to homestudies, don't stress it.  Life happens.  I think if I were a social worker and went into a home where everything just seemed too perfect, I'd be worried.  Normal things happen here as they do in every single house.  Kids forget to tell me they have a project due.  Boys are trying to determine who's toothbrush is who's(this was Bojana nd Alex this morning) b/c the dentist gave them the same one.  Irina wants someone to spend the night.  The list goes on of daily happenings.  Main thing is, how do you handle those things when they arise and how would you handle more children coming to your home.  I'm guessing this is what social workers want to know.  So, I survived our first visit.  Our next one is next week.  All of them home.  Life happening.  Maybe a video tape would be in order.  LOL.  They'll do fine I'msure.  Kids will be kids.  I remember doing crazy things as kids as well. 

It is becoming more reality that we are doing this again.  Some have asked why we didn't start earlier on the homestudy.  Easy answer.  Money.  We had to wait till we had received our tax money back.  HOld up was our state was auditing big families.  We had to prove we existed and the kids too.  Lots of paperwork for that.  Once it was done it took awhile to get the refund back.  But, we did and then started right away.  I wished we could have done this a few months ago but also know to be patient, that the kids will come home.  We have talked about downloading the I-800A and filling it out so it is ready to go once the homestudy is approved(keeping fingers crossed here!).  Once that is back, the dossier is submitted and told it goes fairly quickly from there.  I'm ready to go.  I really am.  We feel so ready to complete our family forever and start doing some more things with them all.  Can you believe next year at this time we won't be discusssing travelling to Bulgaria, but instead discussing what we're going to see when we travel cross country w/ all 10 kids.  Yikes!  They asked me at the school today what grades I think the new kids will be in next year.  I think they're ready too.  LOL.  So, as you can imagine, we're ready to do what we need to to get the homestudy done.  Some more reference letters need to be received yet.  That should all happen very soon.  Social worker is checking on a few things as well.  We want to make sure all this is to the letter.  You know as well as I do countries can easily reject these for one missing piece of paper.  So, today I'm going over some paperwork and making sure we have what we need.  SO excited and we haven't really done anything yet.  But know right now, we are getting ready to do quite a bit here and enjoy every step for we know it is our last adoption.  We are so ready to complete our family.  Warren has kindly reminded me that we have said this is our LAST adoption for every single adoption before this one.  LOL.  Yes, we have said that for every single one.  Even the first one! 

Now, I'm going to go have lunch w/ my son Nik.  Why?  Because it is life and life happens here.  Enjoy your day. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi, this is a great blog - packed with useful information and fun to read. My husband and I have just started the process to adopt from BG and your blog gave me some good ideas to start mine:

    Good luck with your adoption and thanks for all the great info!