Thursday, June 16, 2011
Today was our much anticipated home visit with our social worker. As put by a friend of ours who is adopting, having a social worker come and inspect your house is a great reason to CLEAN. And clean we did. Within reason, of course (please see prior post!). Let me tell you, 11:30-5 was some of the most fun I've had during this process. Our social worker, Denise, is AH-MAAAZING!! She walked in, my kids loved her, and I noticed she had a tote bag with her that had "Walk in Faith" written on it. Are you KIDDING me with that awesomeness?! When we mailed our application we prayed that God would direct it to the right person at WACAP, and that our social worker would be hand-selected by Him as well. When a Christian social worker knocked on my door, I sent up a quick "Thank you Lord!" and showed her in. Denise came in and told us that the home visit could easily take 8 hours, but let's shoot for four. Suuuper optimistic when my eldest is running loose in our home. Madelyn was so cute, though. She raised her hand when she had information to share, and politely waited for her turn to be asked questions. She did offer Denise a tour of her room a good five times, but eventually got to show her on the walk-through of our home. We had an amazing lunch of margherita pizza on homemade crust (http://annies-eats.com/2008/08/15/perfect-pizza-crust/), followed by an even more amazing dessert of apple pie pizza, which is my own little creation. Appley orangey goodness topped with a drizzle of powdered sugar orange juice icing. Just sayin'. Sorry, I started talking about food and my mind got stuck there. Anywho, after we discussed the following: Interpersonal relationships, character strengths/weakness, parenting experience and style, early childhood education training, hobbies, safety, and a myriad of other topics, we moved on to the tour of the home. Remember last time I said I wasn't fit to pass a home visit? Turns out, I was a little right. Why? Because we are not in possession of....brace for it....a fire extinguisher. I am SO ASHAMED!! What kind of responsible adult, especially one who's second biggest fear is burning to death in a fiery furnace, does not own a fire extinguisher. Humiliating. Especially after I had bragged about being "an adult" because I have a land line. Totally humbled by a red tube of foam. Or rather, totally humbled by the LACK of aforementioned red tube. Other than that, the visit was really great. I feel so encouraged to be working with Denise. I know that she'll be totally forthcoming with all info she has, and I am blessed and grateful once more by the might provision of Sovereign God. Awhile ago, I was crying to the Lord (and not in the Biblical and/or "churchy" way, I was literally CRYING my eyes out) begging God for confirmation of His Will for us to adopt. Today I felt Him whisper to me, "Here you go, Precious. Here's some more confirmation for you, oh you of little faith." I have realized recently that phrase carries so much tenderness when God speaks it to my heart. You of little faith, though you've asked for an increase of faith, you are tiny and precious in your efforts. Just because I love you, I'm going to bless you, and because of who I AM, I am going to be faithful to you and your prayers. You of little faith, rest in my provision. And tonight, as my heart and my mind strive to function within the limitations of my post-visit exhaustion, I will rest in HIS provision.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
It's official! With the submission of our homestudy paperwork and attendance of WACAP Weekend, we are in our homestudy! What does that mean? Thank you so much for asking! It means that a very lovely lady by the name of Denise is going to come hang out with us this Thursday and determine whether our home is suited for children. HAHAHA Of course it isn't!! We have children here, thus by logical reasoning, it is absolutely not suited for them. Why? Because it is messy, a big thank you to Madelyn in particular. Things get broken...Hazel, that one's for you. And, I'm not smart enough to use one of the toilet lid locks (Gotta admit, all me). But if "suited" means full of love, acceptance, and JESUS, then I guess we would probably make the cut. I was a lot more nervous about our home visit prior to WACAP Weekend. We met with a social worker named Karen, who very graciously put all of our minds at ease. The home visit is not a white glove test. It is a safety test. For example: Do you have a gaping hole in your second story flooring that you, as an intelligent adult, avoid stepping through, and by extension, avoid a painful and untimely death? If so, let's slap some Pergo on it before baby comes home, m'kay? We actually received a lot of fabulous information at WACAP Weekend. I should back up, though. You are probably wondering what this mysterious WACAP Weekend is. Once again, thanks for asking. You're a great active listener, which is awesome, because I'm an active talker!! WACAP Weekend is the orientation to adoption training that our adoption agency, World Association for Children And Parents (WACAP by any other name, doth it smell as sweet?) provides. Which I love. For a few reasons. Numero uno, I am an idiot. Unprepared, untrained, uninformed. Sure I've spent HOURS researching every facet of adoption. Mainly what can go wrong, but that's another post. The point is, investigating the adoption process is like learning how to drive. You can read the little manual all you want, but until someone sticks you behind a wheel, you really have no idea what the frick n' frack you're doing. We had classes on attachment, ways to facilitate said attachment, and how to recognize the warning signs if little baby doesn't seem to be adjusting well. (Or is doing too well, actually, that is a warning sign!) Also, and my crazy brain had already processed this, we learned how, essentially, we are kidnapping these kiddos as far as they are concerned. Just follow me on this. We are a nice little white couple from WA. We travel umpteen hours to Africa and say, "Dear baby, come with us! We are your new mommy and daddy." Baby says: "I'm gonna pass, you need a TAN. I don't recognize you, where is my mommy/caregiver/etc.? And P.S. Why does your hair look like straw?? I'm scared, you're scary, and I sure would appreciate it if you would get back on that very large bird and go away forever." While I've already ran this scenario in my aforementioned crazy brain, it really hit me when I was told this by someone who has been placing children in homes for 22+ years. What else did I learn? Hmmm...I learned that we are the fourth best situation for this little baby girl we are bringing into our home. Number one best: Stay with momma. Number two best: Stay with family in country. Number three best: Adopted by family in country. Number four best (A.K.A. The worst): Adopted by family out of country. Which makes sense to me. I am gonna lay it out there: I am not black. Nor am I African American. Nor am I Ethiopian. I know very little about the culture in comparison to someone who lives there, and what I do know, I've learned online. SUPER lame. But, what is not lame is the fact that GOD ALMIGHTY doesn't care that I am white. And Norwegian (Although, I'm only Norwegian by marriage...my marriage!). And the God of the Universe has asked me to parent not only my two beautiful white half-Norwegian baby girls, but also this beautiful black Ethiopian African American baby girl. And what He asks of us, He prepares us for. And may He be praised for that, and so much more!! After that, though, Mary Ann, the vice president of social work, looked at as all with an expression that only an adoptive parent could have and said, "Honestly, though, when you hold that child in your arms, your heart will tell you that you are the best situation for her. And you'll be right." Ahhh. I love me a happy ending!! And I can't wait to be able to have that expression on my face, too. On a different note, something else amazing came of WACAP Weekend that I never thought would happen there: Jeremy became more aware of how he parents our girls right now! Which is sheer and utter insanity to me, because my hubby is an incredible, conscientious father as it is. He is, as he will tell you in a heartbeat, very relaxed, however. So he has committed to make a more concerted effort to make memories and traditions for our girls in the here and now. I'm excited to see what he comes up with, and frankly, a little scared. I'm an adventure girl, but my idea of adventure and his are sometimes miles apart. I'll go with it, though ;)