I have a three week break from work, in which I will remain in the USA and most likely in Oklahoma, so I’m setting a goal to blog every single day of break. As you may know from my last post I have a few things to write about.
We did survive our first home visit last week. Our adoption coordinator drove in on a Harley, sporting a ponytail and fingerless gloves. He did a house assessment, which consisted of a series of questions about our house, property, vehicles, etc. and a brief walk-through of the house. Upon his advice, I took notes and made a list of things that will need to be completed for our actual homestudy. Things like: copy car insurance verification, kid immunization records and marriage license; obtain letters stating current Zerbe kids are in good health, rabies shots for the dog and a fire extinguisher for the kitchen; install outlet covers and child locks; and develop a fire escape plan and list of emergency numbers. He also asked us about trash, water and sewer service. I guess maybe they don’t let you adopt kids if you have an outhouse and pile of garbage out back?
He didn’t have a lot to say about the house. We’re interested in adopting three girls, so there was some discussion about the size of our bedrooms. Rob’s still in the process of completing some home projects so there is a door with no trim, tile to be removed and a floor to be replaced. That was also no big deal and Rob’s even been able to finish a few things since that visit. We even have some good looking light switch covers in the bathroom rather than crazy electrical wires!
Our coordinator was also able to tell us a bit more about the placement process. Here’s how we understand it at this point: Our application was received at the end of June. It typically takes 90 days to complete background checks, classes through DHS and a homestudy. Afterwards, there are a few different ways we can be matched with kids. 1) Waiting Child websites are available to view and we can let him know if we are interested in anyone particular. 2) Statewide staffings are held once a month and caseworkers can review our files to see if we might be a match with someone. 3) Adoption Events are held a few times a year–an opportunity for potential parents to mingle with kids that are waiting for families. We did tell him that we are already interested in the girls we saw on the Waiting Child television spot. He didn’t know if they are still available or not but we’re hoping to find out soon! Everything has been submitted for our background checks, we started classes today and our social worker is coming on Monday & Tuesday to do our homestudy.
When there are potential matches identified, we’ll have a few opportunities to meet with the kid(s) in a public place–a park, the mall, McDonalds, etc. If things seem good after we’ve met a few times, the child(ren) would move in for a trial placement. And then, after six months if everything is still great, we’d go to court to finalize the adoption. Sounds kinda easy, right? It keeps feeling right to us. Each step confirms it a little bit more, and makes it seem more real. Right now the time seems to be flying by and I wonder if that will continue as we get closer to placement.
I’m not super nervous about our homestudy visits next week, but we do have a few things to work on before she arrives. Rob talked with her last week and said she sounded super nice. She doesn’t expect an absolutely clean home (whew!) and although she’s required to visit twice, it’s perfectly fine to come two days in a row. She suggested coming at the beginning of my break so I can enjoy the rest of my vacation. Probably a good idea, since if it was at the end I’d spend the whole time getting nervous about it!
I’ll look forward to writing soon about the homestudy adventure. But for now, I’ll be digging in my file box (which I referenced here) for proof that we are insured, married and injected. That’ll give me a good 36 hours to figure out where else the paperwork might be. You know, in case it’s not actually in the file box.
This picture: I took it in June at the international church in Xiamen. You are required to show a foreign passport in order to attend. It’s an amazing, pure worship experience.