Wednesday, March 20, 2013

surviving the adoption home study

If you are somewhat familiar with the adoption process, then you probably know that the home study is a pretty big deal.  The home study is a pivotal part of the adoption process, and is necessary to have completed before you can move forward with your Dossier paperwork.  It's kind of like the edge puzzle pieces to a really hard puzzle... if you don't have all of the edge pieces completed, you can pretty much forget the rest of the puzzle.  The home study is the framework for your entire adoption process.

We had our home study last Friday.  Initially I was a little intimidated by the whole invite-a-social-worker-into-your-home-and-let-them-evaluate-your-house-and-future-parenting-skills... but honestly, it's wasn't all that bad.

It's not nearly as invasive as it sounds.  The social worker is typically looking to check off a few key things while visiting your home... 1) that you have reliable transportation... 2) that you have an available room for your children... 3) that there are smoke detectors near all bedrooms... 4) that you have a fire extinguisher... 5) that all medication is in a locked container... 6) that any alcohol or cleaning supplies are out of a child's reach... 7) that any firearms are locked and stored properly... 8) that you have a first aid kit available...  You get the idea.  I mean... really, most of these things are good ideas regardless if you have children in the home.

So... Lance and I reviewed the home study checklist, and for the most part, I felt like we were in pretty good shape.  I mean, our house is pretty kid-friendly... right??

And at that very moment, I glanced over at the console table in our dining room and saw this...

and this...

and this...
Oh, you know.... what kid wouldn't want to play with a lighter and a box-cutter, all while chomping on a few prescription pills??  FAIL.  Yeah... soooo... apparently our house isn't as kid-friendly as I thought.

Time to get serious... we needed to whip our house into home-study-kid-worthy-shape... pronto.

Step 1 >>All of our medication went into a simple combination-locked storage box...
This was a project in and of itself... the amount of expired drugs that we owned was ridiculous.  But after some major pill-purging, everything fit nicely into our little locked box.  The vitamins and supplements stayed in a basket up on the top shelf.


Step 2 >>All of our cleaning supplies went into the closet off of our dining room on the top shelves...
This has been helpful in general.  I love that everything is in one location and I can clearly see what we have and what we might be running low on.  All the kid-friednly items are on the lower shelves... extra paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning cloths, etc.  Initially this closet door didn't close all the way, but Lance fixed that right up and now we are able to pull the door closed for extra kid-proofing.  (Pay no attention to how gross and scary this closet is... it's super sketchy with crumbling drywall and hundreds of layers of wallpaper.  It's the one part of our house that was neglected during previous renovations.)


Step 3 >>We reclaimed the closet in the guest room (our future children's room)...
This probably wasn't necessary for the actual home study itself... but it was important for me.  The closet in our guest room was stacked high with crap.  Photo albums, old bedding, extra pillows, gift wrap, empty boxes, not-so-empty boxes, jewelry supplies, crafting supplies... you get the picture.  If I didn't know where to put it, it went in there.  It was time to do some serious purging.  This will be our child's room and their closet one day... I want it to feel that way.


Step 4 >>We installed more smoke detectors...
Or our Landlord did anyways:)  Our Landlord knew we were in the adoption process and he made sure that everything was brought up to code before we even had to ask.  Even though we already had enough smoke detectors, he went ahead and installed 3 more, just to make sure there was one in every bedroom and commonplace.  You can never have too many.


Step 5 >>We did the little things...
We bought a brand new First Aid kit, outlet covers, door knob thingies, and drawer & cabinet latches.  While most of these things weren't required to pass our home study, they are things we knew we would do eventually anyways.  We very likely will be bringing home a toddler (our age range is infant - 3 years), so we may not have the luxury of "growing into" the curious-mobile-toddler-stage... we will need to be prepared to already be in it:)

So, there you have it... home study... check.

The edge of the puzzle is done!  Well... actually we are still missing one edge piece (waiting to receive our Georgia criminal background check)... but for the most part, we are ready to move on to the next big section of the adoption puzzle!!  Stay tuned...

4 comments:

Laura Nation said...

Congratulations on finishing your home study! Thanks for sharing the process, it is nice to know what you are stepping through. Very excited that you passed this big milestone :)

mleslie43 said...

Wow, didn't really realize you had to have medications locked, thought they only had to be out of reach. I can see it becoming tiresome to unlock that every time one of you have to take a pill but we both know it is so well worth it! AKA: Grandma's house in 1981/82...

Angie said...

Sounds like you got a big piece of the puzzle out of the way. Praying everything falls perfectly into place for you all :)

chrystinanoel.com said...

That's quite the list. It's amazing how many little things around the house wouldn't pass that I don't think twice about. Good for you guys for getting through the list - and that's awesome that your landlord is on board.