Our home study with the state of Colorado is now complete! We signed the home study report yesterday after looking it over. Both Josh and I were quite relieved to see that we (don’t quote me on this) “are considered to be fit to parent a child.” Also I noticed Josh is “free from any physical abnormalities,” so that’s good. Unfortunately we do not have the right to see our home study report ever again. Not like in Texas where they made five copies and handed them to us to do as we pleased. The law is different here. But we did get to see it once and it seems that we are generally viewed as healthy, happy, and responsible people through the social worker’s eyes. I’m not sure Maggie passed our social worker’s internal checks and balances, (she barked forEVER at the poor lady) but she was written up in the report as “a 14 year-old dog who is generally friendly around children but takes up to ten minutes to stop barking when people enter the home.” Way to GO, you darn dog- trying to wreck our unblemished report!!
So we had four meetings with the caseworker, not including the fifth where we just read over the report, made corrections, and signed six copies saying we had reviewed it.
Visit #1: Our social worker arrived and asked for a tour of the house. We showed her every room and she wrote in the report a written guide of how the house is laid out. She asked where the child would sleep and we pointed into Hannah’s room amidst all of the unpacked boxes, still sitting there from our move not much more than a week prior. She was very understanding and assured us that she had just moved this month herself and she totally understood. She loved the house and commented on how much space we had. She looked outside around the house for anything hazardous. She chatted with Josh and I about our family dynamic and upbringing, and how we met and work on keeping our kids behaving and our marriage thriving. The visit lasted approximately an hour.
Visit #2: She met Josh at his work and talked to him alone about himself. He had to fill out a huge ol’ questionnaire. Then she discussed what he filled out with him at length to make sure she understood everything about him. After he was thoroughly grilled, she headed down to the house and met with me. Same routine, same length of time. She is very pleasant and had me at ease. We joked around some but got everything she was wondering dealt with and answered.
Visit #3: She wanted to meet with the kids one-on-one. She showed up around 4:00 when we were fresh home from school and talked with each of them in their respective rooms. She was pleased to share that the kids said the following things to her: Lex- “I will keep my door shut because (the new child) could choke on my Legos, and I have lots of them laying around. Also, I don’t like to read much, but I would like to read books to her.” Hannah- “I can’t wait to have a sister to play dolls with!” Elijah- “I will read books to her.” (which is cute because he can’t read. : ) ) After talking to the kids she talked more in-depth with Josh and I about our routine and what average days look like, what we like to do in our free time and how we provide boundaries for the kids.
Visit #4: She called me after visit #3 and asked, “Can I come down tomorrow? I just need to see everyone all at one time and it’s a requirement that I do this fourth visit. I’m actually totally done with writing your home study and all of my questions are answered.” “Sure! Come on down!” So we had a quite brief (20 minute) visit where she still asked questions and chatted with us, but not about anything that would go into the report.
The next day, she met us to sign the final copy. And here we are; all finished!
But the report must clear through our international agency before being finalized and sent in to renew our I600-A with the department of immigration. (Which expires November 30th and takes 45-60 days to process) We are expecting it to not go out to immigration for another 2-3 weeks. All of our background checks and references came in and everything was apparently quite supportive of our endeavor to adopt. Thank you to all of you who sent in a reference! It means a great deal to us.
So that’s it. Until you hear from me again, I will be clasping my cute little hands in prayer that our form does not expire. The rest is up to God! Thanks for keeping up with us and we so appreciate your support! Lots of love from the Wells Family.