We're in the next phase! Our Home Study is an in-depth look at our readiness to parent.
August has been all about the Home Study: a series of interviews, background checks, and assessments designed to gauge our readiness to adopt and parent. Our social worker, Elizabeth, has spend about 6 hours on video chat with us so far, learning about our personal histories, childhoods, parenting philosophies, and relationship. Elizabeth has been awesome, and she'll be our advocate and case worker throughout our adoption process.
In our 3rd meeting (this past week), we went over our results from a relationship strength finder that Fawkes and I took independently. Our results said that our relationship is "vitalized," which is apparently a very good thing. We learned about some strengths that showed up in the assessment (communication, family and friends, conflict resolution) and got some great tips on things we might want to have conversations about before adoption, such as the specific roles we each envision for ourselves as parents.
Our next meetings will include more interviews with Elizabeth and eventually a "home visit" (virtual tour of the house) so that she can see if our home will be a safe place for a kiddo. After that, a team of social workers will take a look at all the information they've gathered and *hopefully* approve us! Once approved, Elizabeth will write up our Home Study into a big report and file it with the state of Minnesota. That document serves kind of like a license to adopt, and means we're legally able to match with a birth parent and accept the placement of a child.
On average, adoptive families match 1-3 years after their Home Study is approved, so we've still probably got a long way to go before bringing home a baby. But for now, the Home Study feels like a big step in the right direction!