Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Home Study

We have had our final meeting for our home study and have received the first draft! We are waiting on John's physical to get done next Wednesday and a few more online classes and then we will be done with our portion of the paperwork. Very exciting. Just one step closer to bringing our child home.....

For those of you that have not been through a home study, here is a quick run through as to what this entails. In short, the home study is a ten page document that is used to tell the United States Immigration as well as Ethiopia who we are and what we are about. The social worker also has to make a statement as to whether or not she recommends us for adoption.

Our first step was to turn in a bunch of paper work to give the agency some background on who we were. This included autobiographies, pictures, financial information and a family history.

Then we were assigned a social worker that set up meetings with us. We were required to have 6 meetings. Two as a couple, and two as individuals. During these meetings, the social worker was gathering the information she needed to complete the home study. Our social worker was wonderful. She saw these meetings as not only an opportunity to find out about us, but also as a time that she could share with us her knowledge of adoption and make sure that we were prepared for the unique challenges that come with an adopted child. She really took an interest in our lives and we both really enjoyed our meetings with her. What a blessing this is for us to have found someone so knowledgable and caring.

The other portion of the home study has been gathering documents to prove the facts that we are telling our social worker. We pulled together copies of our birth certificates, marriage certificates, criminal background checks, tax return, life insurance, proof of health insurance, and FBI clearance. We both needed physicals to prove we were in good health and we also were asked for references from family and friends. Completion of ten hours of online adoption education was also required to complete our home study.

Once everything has been turned in, a draft of our home study will be given to our agency it will be finalized. This process will take at least a couple of weeks to finish so we are expecting to have a final copy of our home study by the end of March.

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