Ugghhh! The whole thought of our family being evaluated and interviewed gives me the running goose bumps. I’m a fiesty mama when someone wants to assess my children, me, my marriage and my overall living…parenting philosophy. These feelings have no correlation whatsoever to the actual homestudy experience. It was just the thought of it that gave me a stomach ache the hour before she arrived. I saved Lucy’s walk for just prior to the visit that day because I knew I’d need to clear my head, and walking would help calm my nerves. I was too nervous to sit so I started sweeping clean floors. That was a tip off to Donny, so he said, “Mom, I bet in college you were the type of person to freak out over exams”. Well, everyone freaks out in some way over exams, it’s college! But, my way is to keep my head cool, be logical and reasonable, but inside my stomach does a follow the leader routine where a little demon performs corkscrews over and over. My gut is always a giveaway when I’m feeling uptight. Stress is stress, and I felt a little of it expecting the social worker to sweep into my home, open every drawer, look in every cabinet, assess all my highly unsafe dangers to the child and furrow her brow as she scribbled secretly on a clipboard, frowning deeper and deeper. I figured she’d be old, grizzly and hunched wearing comfortable shoes and tweed clothing. She definitely was supposed to have glasses that sat on her nose so she could give me an intimidating over the rim eagle eye stare when I answered in a way that might be radically wrong. Of course it didn’t go that way, and yes I take the movies I watch too seriously.
Our social worker arrived young, perky and friendly! She sat down with us all and the first thing she said was, “I’ve come here to approve you from all I’ve read in your information this far, so I want you to relax. ” Whew. The corkscrew demon went and took a nap as soon as she said that. She talked to us as a family and wanted to know why we want to adopt, and specifically from Uganda. She took each boy separately to the study to interview them. I must say, that was odd. I was DYING to know what she wanted to hear from them, and what they were going to say about us! We did not coach them at all except to say they needed to be honest and take it seriously, not be silly. For example, they joked all week about the types of belt scars they wanted to show her along the side of their legs as a result of the regular beatings we gave them…which we didn’t!They are naughty naughty boys loving to make up outrageous situations. They revelled in their moment of power over us and allowed their imaginations to shake it up. When it came time for their interview, they were quite sober, confident and serious. She mostly wanted to know how they feel about adopting, how they feel about their brothers and how our life might change when we bring home a sister. We talked about the training videos and articles we were required to do. We shared that we understand there’s serious outcomes we are prepared for, and have moved away from the romantic idea of rescuing a child from poverty and a life without a family. We talked about how to encourage bonding and attachment. And we wrapped it up with the promise that it all went well and we should expect to get the homestudy approval by the end of the week.
Now, if we had ever been arrested, then we’d have something to worry about. If we were certified mental cases, that too would be a problem. But, we are simple folk just ready to love a little girl and fold her into the family as soon as possible.