This is slightly overdue - I have a few things to update on. First, we had our international adoption class last Friday. Second, we had the "home visit" yesterday. Third, we had individual interviews with our homestudy agency today. It's been a good week and the end of the homestudy is in sight!
The class we took was an 8-hour course on issues related to bringing home internationally adopted children. It was required by our homestudy agency, and probably the state too. The subjects ranged from bonding and attachment issues, to specific behavioral issues related to being in orphanages, to approaching the adoption subject with the child. It was eye-opening to say the least and it sure brought us down to earth.
The class basically started with video clips from orphanages around the world. The conditions in these places are very tough, sterile and institutionalized. There is no giggling, there are no hugs and no individual attention. You can only imagine what the conditions are like for any length of time. It was easy to understand that there will be certain behaviors that will likely result from living in an environment like that. It won't necessarily be easy to figure out how to handle that. But we did get pointers, and things to look for. We got advice on how to react to certain behaviors - as opposed to resulting to discipline. It seemed to make sense, but again, we'll see how we do in real life!
The Home Visit
OK, was I really worried about this one? It was a piece of cake. Let's put it this way. If you read this whole entry, then you probably spent more time on this than the social worker spent at our house yesterday.
I'll give you the blow-by-blow anyway. Basically, we sat down at our dining room table for about 5 minutes. We chatted for a bit about how the class went, and how she is doing with getting our background checks and such done. Then we took her on a tour of our abode - um, 2 minutes upstairs and 2 minutes downstairs. She had a couple of documents I wanted to make copies of - then, poof, it was over. Easy.
Before we knew it, Ryan and I were off to happy hour and had a great little dinner of cocktails and appetizers.
So, nothing to worry about. She didn't look in any cabinets, drawers or our pantry. Really the best thing about it was that it made us pick up around the house and clean out the "kid's room." (I have to put that in quotes, since it isn't really anyone's room right now.) So, we can check this one off our list.
At our happy hour dinner last night, Ryan and I talked about issues that might come up in our individual interviews today (yes, to get our stories straight). Again, we over-prepared. Our interviews were about 45 minutes long and they both went well. Mine was second, and I got confirmation that our answers were consistent!
Essentially we had to talk about our relationship, our upbringing, our views toward parenting and thoughts on discipline. I don't really like talking about myself that long, but it was over soon enough. And, check that off our list!
So we accomplished a lot this week. We are really in the home-stretch of our homestudy. Our next immediate steps are the medical exam and getting notarized criminal background letters. Hopefully I'll be reporting back on those very soon!
After that, we have a few tough steps for immigration and our dossier (the packet sent to Poland), but it is manageable. My hope is that we have all of this done and our dossier on its way to Poland by August 1. That is a realistic date, but a lot of it depends upon the government, so we'll see!