Monday, January 16, 2012

Nothing to Hide

To my knowledge, anyone in the U.S. who wants to adopt, domestically or internationally, is required to have a home study completed and approved.  Chris and I went into it with the attitude, "We have nothing to hide."  We were going to be open, honest, and transparent, no matter what question was asked of us, and if Liz found something in our lives that disqualified us from adopting, then so be it.

The first interview lasted about three hours.  It began with us giving Liz a tour of the house.  We walked through every room, including the basement, and she jotted down a description as we went along.  She was looking for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, functioning doors and locks on all doors {this has yet to be addressed upstairs.  We don't have one door that functions properly up there.  Oops.}, and adequate space for a child to live.  After the tour Liz asked us a broad array of questions.  What is your neighborhood like?  How do you resolve conflict as a couple?  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  How would you describe your spouse in three words?  What does your family think of you adopting?  Would you describe yourself as culturally minded people?  And on and on.  The three hours went very quickly.

Before Liz's next visit, Chris and I were to complete personal questionnaires independently of the other person.  We couldn't share our answers or talk about the questions at all.  These questions were much more detailed.  How would you describe your childhood?  It asked about child discipline, alcohol and drug use, past relationships, your spouse's history, and on and on again.  Liz's second visit was four hours long.  Two were one on one with me, and the other two were with Chris one on one.  She went over our questionnaires with us individually, clarifying, asking for stories and further explanations, and I must say that by the end of it, she knew far more about me than my best friends and family.

A month after the first interview we had our third.  It's now the end of March.  This interview was two to three hours, going over any remaining questions that Liz had and clarifying previous answers given.  So what is Liz doing with all of this information?  She used it all to compile and compose our home study.  In the end, it was a twenty page document, all written by Liz, with everything that we talked about.  There wasn't anything that we talked about that didn't make it in that document.  It was alot of work for her and took a little over two months for her to complete.

I was always, and still am, so appreciative of all of Liz's work.  January was her first month working as a case worker, and we were one of about twenty families that she was working with.  She was always very careful and respectful of everything we divulged to her, and she would often refer to her "crazy weekends" that I later learned involved last minute adoptions and placements.  She traveled all over to people's homes and hospitals, and she was the only full time case worker in her office.

So with all of the interviews completed, our only responsibility was to wait for approval.  Birthparents couldn't look at our profile until we received it.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.

More to come,


  1. I just love reading your blog. It's fascinating to me, and I loved looking at your profile,etc. Thank you for opening up to share your story and details of your journey!

  2. I really loved reading your story. My husband and I have been through a similar journey, and most of the time we feel very alone. Thank you for helping me not feel alone. I can't wait to hear more of the story that it to come...