Having a caseworker come to your house to figure out whether you’re fit to adopt the child you feel like you’ve been waiting your whole life for–it’s quite possibly the most intimidating guest you’ll ever host. But you need not panic or fret, I have ten tips to help you ROCK your adoption home study, getting you one step closer to bringing your child home to his or her forever family.
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1.) Bake something homemade- If you’re not a baker, light a “Vanilla cupcake” candle and pop some Pillsbury goodness in the oven! A home is always more welcoming when a yummy scent greets someone at the door.
2.) Love your home- Although the idea of a professional caseworker coming in and assessing your number of electrical outlets can be daunting, they need to see that you love where you live and that you desire to raise someone in your sacred space.
3.) Have a list of questions ready- While the orientation meetings at most adoption agencies do a great job at answering the main questions, I guarantee you’ll have hundreds more so write them down and don’t be afraid to ask!
4.) Be yourself! – This one sounds cliché, but your caseworker needs to get a feel for who you really are. Your answers will be shown to numerous birthmothers and birthfathers, so be sincere in how you answer the questions.
5.) Be covered in prayer- What a beautiful thing to be prayed for at such a pivotal point in the adoption process. Ask close friends and family to lift you up in prayer during the home study visits.
6.) Set up an adoption binder- One thing the adoption process promises is A LOT of paperwork, so take the time to get organized. It’s worth it! This will help your caseworker tremendously, and let’s face it- you want them on your good side right?!
7.) Talk with your spouse beforehand about your desires for your future adopted children. Boy? Girl? Infant? Toddler? Domestic? International? You get the idea. It saves a lot of time during your interview if you’ve had a chance to talk with your spouse about your desires for your future family.
8.) Plan ahead- Although it can feel overwhelming, there will be numerous phone calls and emails to send to various people, pediatricians, insurance companies and employers for both you and your spouse to name a few. Make some calls ahead of time and become knowledgeable about your options when your child enters your family.
9.) Don’t clean too much- Yes, you most certainly need to clean your house before your home study, but many over think and stress out way more than is necessary! Cleaning out cabinets and drawers is certainly not needed though. Here’s a checklist of things to have done:
– Outlet covers in all electrical sockets
– A designated room where the child will sleep (a crib and/or bed is not necessary at this point)
– Smoke detectors in every room
– Carbon Monoxide detector on every level of your home
– Baby gates installed if stairs are present
10.) Wait. Easy enough, right? Wrong. This is definitely the hardest part of the adoption process. Use this time of waiting to begin to prepare your future child’s room. It doesn’t have to be much, but even buying a small stuffed animal can give you a hope that you didn’t think was possible.
If these words resonated with you, stick around, read on:
And one more thing, if you only read one book about adoption, make it this one, friends. I cannot more highly recommend it: