I want to make sure to write down our experience with our second home visit so it might help someone else to know what to expect! A long time ago I searched for blogs about home studies/home visits and didn't find much so here it is. If interested, this was the post on our first home visit. (We are using Lutheran Social Services out of Austin for our home agency)
We were of course up till about 1:00 a.m. getting ready for Mary's visit back on July 9th. Claire and I had made cookies the day before but I couldn't get much done cleaning wise with two munchkins doing their job - playing and making messes! So Neil and I worked hard making sure everything on the inspection list was completed, floors were cleaned, everything dusted, etc.
We weren't as nervous because Mary's visit went really well. She created a very comfortable situation which was such a relief =) She first interviewed Neil while we had lunch and then she did the inspection. This sounds scarier than you think. Mary gave us a list of what should be done in the house before this visit so we were ready:
- She looked in the garage to make sure all paint, bug spray, flammables, etc. were out of reach.
- Checked for no rubbish which was interesting considering we have a garage full of garage sale donations!
- She turned the water on to make sure it got warm/hot. Looked where we kept our cleaning supplies to make sure they were out of children's reach.
- Checked where we kept medicines - I had just switched it to a higher shelf in the cabinet!
- Checked to see where we kept our matches and lighters. She made sure our glass doors was marked with something (we got a wall/window decal) at children's eye level so they wouldn't run into it.
- She went into our attic to make sure everything looked ok.
- Made sure we had a working fire 5lb. extinguisher near the kitchen (we have to get it inspected)
- Asked if we had a fire drill plan and if we practiced regularly (yeah, we couldn't say yes to this one but she said her family is working on this one too!)
She did not look in every crevice of every room with her white glove! Didn't even go into the closets or our bathroom. On the phone she told me "This isn't to see if your house is perfectly clean and if it was, I would be concerned!" That gave me room to relax because she understands as a mom of two herself!
Again, we were prepared for all of this because she gave us a list of what she would have to check when she was here for our first visit. I appreciate her being so thorough as I know she takes her job seriously - having the children's best interest at heart.
After inspection, I put Eden down for her nap and Claire in quiet time. She then interviewed Neil and I together about our relationship - how we met, why we married, how we resolve conflict, our strengths as a couple, how we discipline, how we will keep our son's culture in our home and family, why we are adopting from Ethiopia, etc. It was great to sit and talk together about our lives!
In all, she was here for about 3.5 hours. It was a wonderful experience! She will not do another home visit until our little guy comes home! Hard to believe because that won't be for a long time (we're hoping for sometime during Fall 2011) The next step to completing our home study will be her write up, our approval, Lutheran's approval, still waiting for FBI clearance, still waiting for Louisiana's background check for me, waiting for my income verification paperwork. Once everything is completed, we will need AGCI's approval and then it should be good to go! Then off it will go to get translated and mailed over to Ethiopia's govt. We can't wait for the home study to be completed so we can go ahead with applying for grants and adoption specific loans. Please pray that it will be a speedy process from here.
I will soon be writing about where we are with AGCI. It's been slow moving but it's soon to be getting one step closer!
Hope this helps those who might be looking for home visit experience! I pray it has been as positive for you as it has been for us!
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