Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home Study

Obviously life with a baby has changed things! I haven't found the time to return to the story...her little features and quirks and personality change so quickly I've been afraid to leave her to continue on here!

As I wrote the last post, we were sitting in a hotel room in Freezingville, Utah, waiting for permission to come home with the baby. Her story is such an important story that I couldn't wait to begin to share it with the world. She is an amazing tiny being that was created by God for us--and there is so much power and awe in that--that His faithfulness has really spoken to complete strangers about her.

We had to complete a home study in order to get approval from both states (Utah and New Mexico) to have her placed with us. It's amazing that a crack whore can deliver a baby in the gutter of an alley and nobody blinks about whether or not she should have been allowed to even get pregnant, but a couple that cannot conceive on their own (or even those that can conceive on their own) and want to share their warm, financially stable, loving home with someone have to be scrutinized. The idea of a home study is frustrating--but understandably necessary, as the sick things people do to children is unforgivable.

So a Home Study involves meeting with the social worker several times, one on one and as a couple. The social worker examines the house. I cannot thank God enough for the friends He has provided. The sister that told us about No Big Deal came and scrubbed the house (it was in total disgustingness, especially in all those nooks and crannies you don't think about until you realize someone is coming to inspect you) and painted the baby's room for the home study visit. She was on her hands and knees in bleach and rags--and despite knowing how we live, she still knew that this was the home for No Big Deal. She worried more for us about the home inspection than I think Hubby or I did--and that's true love and friendship :) The social worker gets all financial information (including credit information, retirement information), criminal information, family history, marital history--basically anything she thinks she or the courts will need to know about. And then a report is written about your life.

Hubby and I have not had the picture perfect marriage. It looked good to most on the outside, and it even looked good to us on the surface...but surfaces crack. We really struggled for a time. Fortunately, our God is an awesome God that saves all of us, and He saved our marriage. I truly believe that we had to crumble in order for Him to build us into the home that would be ready for this child.

Opening up the wounds are not easy. What happened happened. I don't easily forgive, and I very rarely forget. My father called me an elephant once--not because of my size :) but because of an elephant's memory. God is working with me on this, and each day it gets easier to forgive...there's a long way to go to forgetting. And it's not just our wounds that were opened on this--we had to have our families' wound reopened as well, as they had to contribute to the home study, and our families' know what we've been through.

It's also not easy to hear the final report because part of the history involves looking at our own childhoods and our relationships with our families. It's scary to think that the relationship that we have with our families will be mirrored easily into the relationship we have with our child. It's cliche but true that the past will repeat, and what we are taught will be taught to our children--we have to work hard and pray hard to keep what we liked about our childhood/parent relations and to change what we didn't like about our childhood/parent relations with our own children. Our parents' tendencies are most present when we think about how we will raise our children.

We had a social worker that had a similar religious background to the one I was raised with, and that helped. She also offered advice, support and parenting classes (the class was a requirement if we wanted her to do the home study). We went through it all, and were completely honest with her about EVERYTHING...and she still found that we should be approved for placement and adoption.

All we had to do then was get to Utah in time for the birth and take our child home. Easy, right?