Saturday, December 27, 2008

Home Study


Today the social worker from the adoption agency drove 2 hours to my house, arriving at 9 am to do my home study. This home study will eventually be presented to an Ethiopian judge and he will decide based on it's contents whether I am fit to parent one of their country's own. I thought it went well. The dogs were calm, the house was clean and looking great (I'd been mopping and dusting and putting out Christmas decorations for days!) I was able to answer all her questions honestly and I think being a social worker also helped us bond over something. She and I both had 3 cups of coffee, but she didn't touch the butter muffins I had bought for her. I wasn't really nervous, I feel this is meant to be. I also think God wants this to happen also because He seems to be smoothing the way. Little things, like finding a parking spot immediately in front of the court house (while it poured torrential rain) when I needed to get my fingerprints done; or bigger things like leading me to this smaller agency (which seems to be very ethical and faster but lesser known than the big agencies), all seem to be His handiwork. I'm becoming more of a believer than before... there is a sense that God already knows my family to be, and I just need to do the footwork to allow them in. Although I'm anxious, I'm not worried. The social worker asked me questions about my family history, my views on parenting (discipline, when I will tell my daughter she was adopted and how, my views on trans racial adoption and being a "conspicuous family", how would I integrate Ethiopian culture into my daughter's life, etc.) I told her I would tell my daughter age appropriately that she was adopted, perhaps explaining that 'mommy went across the ocean to pick you up' and how special that makes her at a young age, and then explain more as she got older. I also told her I don't believe in spanking, and that positive reinforcement seemed to work very well with my dogs (but not to put that in the home study!) She laughed and agreed that there were similarities. I told her I had researched attachment parenting and planned to follow the philosophy. She was pleased to hear that and explained that although the babies in their Ethiopian house are well cared for and sleep with their nannies, there will be some attachment work that needs to be done regardless. I told her I was planning on starting a group for African adoptions as there isn't one in my town yet, as well as listening to ET music, having ET art in the house, and learning to cook *wat* and *injera* (the bread made from their primary grain teff).She took a tour of the house and complimented me on my multicultural decorating style which I told her came from having grown up all over the world. She left after about 2 hours and I immediately called my parents who were waiting to hear how it went. She said she would have the home study written up before I left for the holidays on December 20th so I could review it and make any edits.

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