Monday, March 18, 2013

Clean It Like A Social Worker Is Coming Over

Today is the day.
It is the day that we will check the very last step off of our "Adoption Certification To Do List."
Today is our last home study visit!
In case you have never gone through the foster/adopt certification process, let me fill you in a little bit on what we have had to do to get to this point. Beginning in September 2012 and continuing [mostly] steadily through the past 6 months, we have:
  • Made original intake phone call. Answered approximately 15 minutes of intake questions.
  • Filled out initial application (containing all the same questions as the phone call, of course)
  • Attended 2+ hour orientation seminar
  • Were fingerprinted and background-checked through 3 different national registries
  • Filled out huge application packet (including 30 pages EACH of autobiography), turned in with copies of entire family's birth certificates, SS cards, drivers licenses, marriage license, passports.
  • Each of us and our children underwent an extensive physical exam (at our own doctor), including blood work for the fella and I
  • Our friend (staying in our upstairs bonus room until August) had to be fingerprinted, background checked through 3 registries, and get similar physical exam
  • Attended 2 separate 7 hour foster care training classes
  • Insert positive pregnancy test here.
  • Attended 6 hour adoption training class
  • Home inspected by Fire Marshal and Health Department
  • First home study visit with home inspection and interview
Each of these steps came one at a time, and none was too stressful or overwhelming. Until those inspector people started coming to my home. Now, please don't get the wrong idea about me. I maintain and mostly clean, orderly, safe home. I mean, we live in it, so it isn't perfect, but it's more than sufficient.
If you have never gone through this, the only way I can describe it is this; Imagine you are in your third trimester of pregnancy. 3 different people are coming to your home to inspect it and determine if it is a safe and comfortable place for your child. And their opinion determines whether or not you get to deliver your baby.
While it is admittedly irrational to think that whether or not my baseboards have been scrubbed will determine whether or not we get certified, these were the types of emotions and thoughts that ran through my head.
Before the Fire Marshal and Health Department came, I went insane with cleaning and organizing. Days upon days, from sun up to sun down, I cleaned every crevice and organized every closet and cabinet. The fella dutifully installed the fire extinguisher, hung our fire escape plan in the children's rooms, and put safety latches on all of our cabinets. Comically enough, the visits were extremely short (no more than 20 minutes each) and the things I most worried about were not even checked. (Glad I spent an hour organizing my bathroom closet, they didn't even look in the bathroom let alone the closet!)
You would think that those experiences would have calmed me for the home study. Nope. The 24 hours before the social worker came for the first of two visits, I once again entered "nesting" mode. This time my mania was focused on my kid's rooms. If the rooms don't look clean and fun and stimulating and safe and......they won't trust us with more children. Once again, irrational, but that is how it went down. The visit went smoothly and I really had nothing to worry about, yet again. Now here I sit, 7 hours and 50 minutes until our last home study visit. It has not been even a week since my last cleaning frenzy. The house just needs a quick FlyLady-style Home Blessing Hour. Will I do those 7 simple tasks and calmly wait for our lovely worker to show up?
 Well...what do you think?

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1 comment:

  1. Congrats! So excited for you :)
    Must have been a very long journey, but seems like you're just a step away from the finale.