We have officially wrapped two out of four of our home study interviews for our adoption agency! Whew! Honestly, I thought they were going to be way more stressful than they were, but it turns out the first few are mostly just catching the case worker up on your life so far - everything is personal history, family history, etc. Not that this is easy for everyone to talk about, but at least you know the answers already. We were taken back individually to talk about our families. I felt like I really hogged the time and S's time flew by, but that could be because I was fighting with TurboTax the entire time she was being interviewed. We both left feeling a little stripped down, a little vulnerable, but also reassured. Our caseworker is incredibly kind and understanding. Any time either of us had something to share that we perceived as problematic, she would jump in and say that everyone has their stuff and what matters is that we can reflect back on it and identify ways we have grown or changed as a result.
Next up are the true tests - the N.E.W.T.s. Thankfully we have two weeks to prepare for the challenging interview and three weeks to prepare for the site visit. The interview is the first one where we will be entirely looking forward. We'll be asked things about how we plan to approach various aspects of parenting, from discipline to recognition, from teaching about sex to teaching about death. We will also be asked how we would handle a variety of special parenting needs, such as parenting children who have been abused, children with mental health issues, children who have been impacted by drug or alcohol abuse, and general issues surrounding separation from family. I feel fairly confident that there can't possibly be one right answer to all these questions. Every parent is different and there are a wide variety of ways that effective, loving parents would handle each of these things. On the other hand, that means we can't just find the right answer out there somewhere, we have to create OUR right answers.
Finally, the home site visit. If you are thinking, "that should be the easiest of them all - you just have to open your front door", then you have never been to our house. Or rather, our tiny apartment. We are the messiest people alive. It looks like we are hoarders, but we aren't really. S is naturally messy and I am naturally inclined to intertia (so if a place is clean I will keep it clean and if a place is messy I will add to the mess). It's not a great combo. One room isn't even unpacked yet, it's just full of crap. The rest of the rooms are unpacked but they look like a tornado blew through. And, to make matters worse, we won't even be living there in a few months, so the site visit will have to be redone in our new place! (This argument did not get us a site visit waiver, just reassurance that they'd come inspect the new place too.)
Lots to do, lots to do - oh, and did I mention I'm also still growing a human being inside my body and feel pretty terrible almost all the time? Hoping it passes soon (I'm 9 weeks, which is supposedly the peak of morning sickness?) so that I can be an active member of the clean-up crew.