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The Home Study, Part I

Posted Jan 04 2010 6:15pm

As I told you in a previous post, before our social worker arrived for our home study, Nadia and I feverishly cleaned and polished everything  in our house like never before.  In fact, we took a page from Dan Savage’s book The Kid, and even though I have some problems with the book, I am reading it as a companion piece to my current reality.   The bit about his approach to his home study sums it up perfectly.

 Savage writes, ” After we sent in our completed application, we got a call from Ann, who was going to do our home study. The day before our first appointment, Terry and I took steps to deceive Ann, misrepresent our relationship, and conceal the truth about our living arrangements. We cleaned.”

I don’t think we misrepresented our relationship but we did clean (uncharacteristically) like  mad women and we changed the pictures in the guest bathroom, just for her. Prior to her visit, Nadia had hung lesbian pulp book postcards in the bathroom; they were really funny, kitschy kind of visuals like this:

pulpfiction

We had about four of them mounted on the large bathroom wall and the week before our social worker’s arrival, I thought to myself, “Hmmm, maybe we should change these photos”. The day before her arrival, Nadia said the same thing, so we decided to switch those postcards with ‘natural women”  because these were the only things we had in the house which would fit the picture frames. They look something like this:

naturalpostcard2

I guess they are more dignified.

When, the social worder arrived arrived, the first thing she did was ask to use the restroom. Nadia and I both gasped and held our breathes. Upon her return, the first thing she said was, “I really like the photos in the bathroom.” Nadia and I exhaled and looked at each other like we had just scored a home run. Yes!

So overall it went really well. We sat at our dining room table, she pulled out her laptop and proceeded to type our answers to the several questions, including such topics as: our education, employment, how we met, our marriage, our thoughts on discipline and child rearing, our religion, feelings about birth parents,  and why wanted to adopt.

Everything went really well, until I told her how I had been trying to get pregnant for several years. Then, she said, “and what happened when you tried to get pregnant?”

And I wanted to cry and tell her about the whole horrific tale, including my fight with my insurance company and every gory detail about each failed IUI and IVF cycle, but I didn’t. I just said, “it didn’t work”. And, fortunately, she moved on. Whew!

Nadia was squeamish when she asked about health issues and she had to tell her about her thyroid cancer  (and her complete remission) and her new mild type I (yes type I) diabetes diagnosis.  To become certified as adoptive parents, we both have to get medical statements from our internists, and Nadia has hers already but our social worker wasn’t satisfied with that. she wants Nadia to get a letter from her endocrinologist stating that her health will not get in the way of an adoption. Basically, it’s not big deal, but I think that for Nadia those 3 to 4 minutes were excruciating. Poor thing.

I guess, you could call our soical worker Chatty Cathy because she talked a lot. She talked about day care, child rearing, and the NYT’s piece on surragcy. The upshot is that, ultimately, she made us feel very, very comfortable and I started to feel excited and hopeful about the ‘little one’ who will eventually grace our home, whom I’ve secretly started to call “Little Wing.” I told her that we hoped to have a placement  9 months aftaer filling out our paperwork and she said that she thought it might go quicker for us, which made my heart skip a beat. Yeah!

An hour and a half into it, she told us that she was ready to leave. I thought about insisting that she do the walk through before she left–because I didn’t know when or if I would ever have the energy to clean my house like that again, but I bit my lip and kept quiet. I didn’t want her to mention my bossiness in the home study. 

I enjoyed her visit. And she will return in a few weeks for part two.

In the meantime, Nadia and I are still wondering if we should put our pulp fiction postcards back in our bathroom until she returns.

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