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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Social Workers Scary?

Often when people talk with me about our adoption they want to know what it is like to have to open your home to a social worker. I can relate. Before Dustin and I took the plunge our main source of apprehension came from the idea of having our lives scrutinized under a microscope.

Dustin and I are not perfect people. We both have "histories". We were terrified we'd be judged harshly by a social worker. We didn't feel warm fuzzies at the idea of being graded on our acceptability as parents. Social workers seemed to us to be some kind of checklist loving nitpicks.

Turns out we had it all wrong. A social worker's job isn't to judge perspective adoptive parents. While they are there to determine your accceptability as parents it isn't what you might think. A social worker wants to support families and encourage their success. They want to help determine what needs parents will be best able to meet for a child/ren. They want to equip parents and to be a resource for them. They are not the enemy.

Most refreshing of all, our experience with social workers has been that they are surprisingly realistic. Turns out they don't walk through your home doing white glove tests to ensure your housekeeping is immaculate. Nor do social workers care if your home decor is modern or country in style. The don't mind sitting on a couch that a child has drawn on with crayon. (Trust me) It seems they only want to know your home is filled with love and is safe to place a child in.

So, if you've been tossing around the idea of adoption and apprehension about the home study process has been a hang-up for you I want to encourage you to contact me. You can pick my brain about the process, types of questions asked, anything. Truly. My email is in my profile info. Feel free to write any time.

In similar news I finished my last visit with our family's super awesome social worker today. We are one step closer to bringing A* home! Yipee! We also have our 12 month post placement visit with her scheduled for the beginning of December.

A friend cracked me up today mentioning how insane we are to be doing another adoption while we are finishing up paperwork from the first one. I totally agree! Whose idea was this anyway?


megs @ whadusay said...

Hi Jen -
I read you comment on Lysa's blog the other day and followed it here. I too have a passion for the orphan. We are in process of adopting our little girl from China (she will have some kind of special needs, but we won't know for sure what until we get our referral).

I guess I just wanted to say hi!
Sending up a prayer for your family and your little man in Ethiopia as you work to bring him home!


Jami said...

Hi Jen!

I just saw your comment from Megan's blog who also happens to be my sister.

We are in a similar boat as you. We adopted our son from Guatemala and are currently in process to adopt a baby from the U.S. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the homestudy process and social worker. We also have a fantastic social worker who is definately about encouraging us and not beating us over the head for not being perfect.

Have a great day!

Jennifer D said...

Boy I sure love our social worker and we just had our 6-month post placement visit and this time I barely even cleaned the house. I did what had to be done and just decided I wasn't going to go crazy this time when I barely have the energy to keep up with my family and daily chores. I told her this time I was so glad she didn't care about everything being "PERFECT". She said that wasn't her job to come in and expect how clean things were, just to know you are loving your children and keeping them safe. What a relief.