Thursday, February 1, 2007

After the Home Study...

Our Home Study is officially behind us! Yipppeee...

All in all, it was a good, yet exhausting experience. Our social worker was really a delight. We were like-minded in many ways. She arrived at 9:30 a.m.

I began telling her about the lake which can be seen from our back windows and how there is a barbed-wire fence between our property and the lake. My dear son piped in "but I just go right around the fence." Anyone who knows how particular CPS is about bodies of water located close to foster homes can imagine the panic this sent through me. First off, we don't go around the fence. The rule is that we don't get near the lake at all. Secondly, even if we did go close to the water, it would only be with an adult. I can laugh now - but at the time I was a little concerned at the fact that we were just beginning!

The social worker met with each of the kids individually. It worked out well. The kids were hospitable and honest and she saw the really positive sides to their personalities.

Then began the conversation of a lifetime... or should I say the conversation about a lifetime. Alex and I each met with her separately to discuss our lives in great detail. This was eye-opening and cathartic in many ways. When you analyze your life as a whole, rather than in pieces, it makes a great deal of sense. Isolated events, on their own, look like a group of mistakes, trials and successes. But, when taken as whole, clearly God's hand can be seen weaving the tapestry of a life... all for His ultimate good. Not that it all was 'good,' but He used it all for His good.

Alex & I met with her together and spoke of the strengths and weaknesses of our marriage. It was universally accepted that we need more 'date nights.' We were certainly aware of this, but at a loss as to how to make it happen. We sincerely enjoy our children... it is not as if we need to get away from them. But it is always nice to enjoy an evening out for a nice dinner and book shopping!

So, after 5 and a 1/2 hours, our social worker was encouraging and very positive about the desires of our family to be a foster-to-adopt family. We were energized and ready for the next step.

When working with CPS, the home study is a very last step. The agency, Covenant Kids, pays for the home study. So, they don't want the home study to be too early. They do the background information, training, etc. before moving to the home study step. It makes sense from a financial stand point.

When do we get the baby? We should be licensed in the next week or so. From there, they work to make a connection between our family and a child that would fit well into our environment. We are open and trusting... we started this journey with certain desires in mind. They have changed and our hearts have opened along the way. We are flexible. How amazing that God can take two stubborn, set-in-their-ways people and bring them to a point of flexibility. It never ceases to amaze me. We couldn't have 'willed' ourselves to be flexible in relation to a new addition to our family!