A few minutes ago, our home study draft landed in my inbox!!! This is the culmination of about eight weeks worth of work, worry and, yes, tears. I cry because the paperwork is ALWAYS harder than I remember it. I cry because this is NEVER on my timeline. It is NEVER goes as fast as I think it should. It is never, ever easy.
A home study is required for any adoption path you pursue. If you are seeking to adopt domestically (within the United States), this article describes the home study process nicely. If you are interested in the home study path for international adoption, this article describes that process well.
We have used the same social worker for our last three adoptions. She is a great fit for our family. Prior to that we had a different social worker for EVERY adoption we did. That takes its toll. It is possible that you will only be able to find one, maybe two, social worker options in your area for the path to adoption you choose. You’ll make it through, but my best piece of advice would still be to just be very open with whoever your social worker is about your concerns. They may have GREAT resource options for you. They may have none. Adoption is a HUGE choice, responsibility, and life change. If you aren’t open about your concerns there is zero chance you’ll get the information you need going into the adoption. No amount of pre-adoption training is going to truly prepare you for what this will be like. If you haven’t honestly sought out information about where to go when things get hard, your chances of failure are going to be MUCH higher.
Yes, I said failure. Adoptions do fail. Lately, they fail at rates so high that many international programs are deciding to limit the number of adoptions they will allow. Countries do look at what we, as adoptive parents, do when the adoption struggle becomes real. Re-homing your child after adoption is a legal option. It is done enough that there is an agency who has an entire adoption program built to help people adopt children who have already been adopted once.
Sometimes, it’s shocking to people outside the adoption community that this occurs. Inside the adoption community, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know someone who has re-homed a child. This is six degrees of happening to your family. You could be in such crisis that this is something you would consider. If you haven’t made connections to seek out help, you’re at risk. If your social worker can’t provide those connections, then that is on YOU to find them. I know how much stress this adds to the process, but I really can’t highlight its importance enough.
That’s my adoption related PSA for the day. I have strong opinions about re-homing. I have thought long and hard about what, if anything, I can do to prevent it. Without violating my children’s right to privacy, I am as honest as I can be about how hard this is, but how much hope there is.
I know that transparency is important too, so I’m going to be totally transparent about cost too. Thus far, we have spent $7471.16 on this adoption. We have no guarantee that we will get approval to bring Isabel home.
–FullPlateMom, who knows that all we can do is try.