This past week last led me to the conclusion that home studies are the "braxton hicks contractions" of adopting/fostering.
I've never been pregnant but my understanding of Braxton Hicks is they are the uterine contractions that are 1) uncomfortable 2) prep the body for the arrival of a baby 3) signal that the arrival of the child is imminent. Home studies?? Same thing.
The home study consists of some pretty uncomfortable questions, talking about my childhood, what my family was like, etc. Now this may come as a shock to some who know me, but my childhood wasn't all unicorns and rainbows. It was hard. I struggled a lot with self esteem issues, depression, the effects of abuse within the family....Memories and feelings I haven't had to deal with for many years. Unpleasant to say the least. I had difficulty sleeping, worried about how my past may look to an outsider now. One of these days I'll care less about what people think about me.
Home studies prep you for the arrival of a baby. Most people would clean their house like it's never been cleaned before. I'll be honest...I did NOT do that. I figured the social worker is going to need to see my house in it's natural state of chaos. I purposefully did not dust the furniture. The house was cleaned and organized but it did not get the toothbrush scrubbing/fine tooth comb treatment. Lord knows I do not clean like that on a regular basis. The cob webs were gone. Floors were vacuumed. As much as I stressed over the cleanliness of my house (I'm not the best housekeeper), they need to see what my house looks like on the average day. The home inspection went very smoothly. The only thing we'll eventually have to adjust is our fire extinguisher. Even though the certification number on it matches the state requirements, it's only a 4 1/2lb fire extinguisher not a 5lb. She again complimented us on our preparedness. We had everything on the check list. I'm thinking "isn't that the point of a checklist!?" I guess some people don't look at it that way.
I think my greatest source of stress/anxiety is comparison number 3. Home studies signal that the arrival of a child in imminent...like every day from this day on I'll freak out whenever my phone rings, wondering if it's THE call. I really think that is what I was/am so freaked out about. I've waited so long to have a child and the countdown is ON!! I think, like with any expectant mother you reach that point where you think "I got this. I am TOTALLY prepared"...then contractions start and you think "WAIT!! I'm not ready!!" The paperwork now gets submitted to the state for them to process and sign off. The agency gets notified that we've been licensed and then they will call to place a child in our home. We've specified age 0-3 years. They will take in to account that 1) we are wanting to adopt 2) we've requested a younger child but they may place a child that is outside of our specifications if they feel that he/she would be a good fit in our home. We have the option of saying no but hey, have you met me??!! The chances of that happening are slim to none.
So after yeeeeeeaaaaars of waiting, my labor had finally started. My time is coming...SOON!!