home study

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?

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14 Responses to home study

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Ooh. Grammatical errors are one of my pet peeves. And I’m totally with you on wanting the official document to be as professional looking as possible.
    We ran into the same problem with our SW. Our SW was super-sweet and we felt like we could easily say, “hey, while we were looking over our HS, we happened to notice just a couple tiny punctuation/spelling errors. Do you want us to bring those to your attention too?” If your SW is as nice as ours was, she’ll be happy to hear it – they do soooo much writing, I’m sure their heads are swimming at the end of the day and little errors slip through easily. But if your SW is more uptight, I would maybe hold off.
    Does that help?

    • Kelly Pfeifer says:

      Thanks for this idea, Elizabeth. I think I can find a way to bring these things up to our SW without being annoying or offensive.

  2. Angela says:

    Love your new blog. I’ll be willing to bet she won’t mind, but I agree with the suggestion of using the “btw” approach. Congratulations on a positive report!

  3. Jenny says:

    love the new look! i’m so glad you’re almost THERE… i agree w/elizabeth’s approach 🙂

  4. Theresa says:

    I love your blog…it’s so pretty! I had the same issue with our home study. I decided not to address the grammatical or spelling errors. However, I was very pleased when our adoption agency (AGCI) reviewed our home study (Holston) and AGCI marked every single small error and had Holston correct them. So, I didn’t have to do it after all and it is now perfect and getting ready to be presented to the judge on October 14th….so my fingers and eyes are crossed that everything is just right.

  5. Theresa says:

    I also wanted to let you know that you are not alone in the sadness that comes when you hit the “due-date” mark with no baby for celebration. I remember that pain so clearly. April 13, 2005. I was so excited about my little Aries boy…I just new he was a boy but was too early in the pregancy to find out before the miscarriage. Time heals the wounds to some extent but having a child puts all things into a more positive perspective. I look forward to the day when you get your referral and have a gorgeous face to stare at and show off to everyone! What a joyous day it is! When I think back to August 5, 2009 I am filled with joy! Our very special referral day!

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you, Theresa – this is the type of thing I need to hear! I believe it in my core that so much of the pain will fade away, but it’s helpful to hear from others who’ve been there/done that.

  6. Christine says:

    Oh yes, I remember that day well. I had to work up the nerve to read our as well… and when I did, I almost threw up since there were three HUGE errors in it… and it had already been submitted to USCIS. (We’re talking big… like the salary.) So I was not really focused on grammar at that point… but I do like how Elizabeth handled it. 🙂

  7. Meg DeZutti says:

    (1) we too have a CRA.ZEE beagle…and our SW just said that our family included a “small beagle named Lola, that Gregg and Megan report is good with children.” Hmmm. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that we kept Lola in the kitchen each time said SW was at the house so she didn’t get mauled/licked to death?
    (2) YES send in the grammatical corrections! We did and our SW actually thanked us “second set of eyes” and all that.
    (3) YOU need to be comforable with the HS…it’s about YOU. Just keep that in mind.
    (4) we had the exact same request…and Sammy was 6 months upon referral and is practically perfect in every way. I’m sure you’re little one will be too.

  8. Robin says:

    I like the new site!!

    It must be weird to read about yourself. I think it’s important though that you make sure you are comfortable with it since it represents you. Maybe you need to figure out how serious the punctuation issues are? If they are things that most people would know, like capitalizations, periods, commas, etc. then go for it. But if it’s something more obscure (semicolon vs dash, etc.) let it go? I’m like you. I hate seeing errors.

  9. Krista says:

    I’m just happy that your homestudy is DONE!!
    (p.s. whenever I try to add your new site to google reader, I get some beagle mania webpge coming up??!!)

    • Kelly says:

      Hmm. I added it to my own reader and didn’t have a problem. I’ll have to see if anyone else is having a hard time. Interesting that it was a beagle mania page, though – I do love the beagles!

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