We received the final draft of our home study on Thursday. (I should note that while it was apparently the final draft to the agency, it was the first draft we got to see.) I was very unlike my usual compulsive self and actually waited until today to look at it. Part of this delay was out of a bit of necessity – a 12-hour workday on Thursday plus a busy day on Friday and even a conference for work on Saturday – but I think part of it was related to nerves. While I was very curious to see what had been written about us, I guess a part of me was also dreading reading this written evaluation. Don’t get me wrong – I knew that it would be a positive report – but it’s just so strange to have someone judge whether you are fit to be parents.
So, this afternoon I picked up the 17-page report and dug in. I admit to crying a couple of times as I read it. (We all know that I cry a lot, right?) It was a bit overwhelming to see our life stories in print. It was also really strange to read our parameters for the child we want to adopt. That’s just not something I’ve ever seen before. Essentially, we are hoping to adopt a child of either gender under 12 months but we are open to up to 18 months (at time of referral). We would prefer a healthy-as-possible child but are open to some minor correctable problems. We recognize that there may be some developmental delays due to the fact that the child will have been living in an institutional setting. We also realize that we may not have access to much medical information or history of the child.
The one thing in the report that made me laugh out loud was the social worker’s description of our dogs as “delightful guardians of the home.” That was basically her way of describing the dogs’ enthusiasm in greeting her at the door, I’m sure. Anyone who has been to our home knows what I’m describing. I’m not sure if delightful or guardian are words that come to mind, but it’s much better than “annoying, whining, jumping beagles who wouldn’t let me in before I paid ample attention to them.”
We only identified a few things that require correction, and I’ll send those items to Barker tomorrow. They are mostly addressing our backgrounds/family history. We also want to get a bit of clarification over some of the wording in terms of our acceptance of special needs. We want to make sure that the use of “special needs” in the report refers only to the things we specifically outlined. We know in the end that we, just like any other parents, will not have any guarantee about the future health of our child, but we want to make sure that the report describes our parameters as clearly as possible.
I’m also debating over whether I should do things like correct punctuation errors in the report. My gut tells me not to (that’s not why they sent it to us, and we should focus on content), but then again, I can’t stand the thought of this very important document having identified errors in it, and of course I marked them as I read through the report. Hmm. Any thoughts?