We have officially begun our homestudy! This was the part of the process that I was the most nervous about. I think that it is pretty "normal" to be nervous about the homestudy. After all, someone else is coming into your house to evaluate how good you'll be at parenting. And, since we don't have any experience with parenting, it is pretty daunting. But, our social worker is really great - she makes us feel totally comfortable and we are looking forward to continuing to work with her.
We had our first homestudy visit last Friday. The first visit was really mostly a paperwork visit. We had lots of forms to sign so that she could start doing the background checks on us, and she outlined the whole process with us so that we know what all the steps are and how to complete them.
We had our second homestudy visit today. This visit was much more "interview-like". She asked us a lot of questions about parenting philosophy, how we'll handle discipline, how we were raised, etc. She also asked us a lot of questions about what we know about adoption, so that she could get a feel for how much we've educated ourselves about adoption issues and attachment. We also discussed things like how we plan to incorporate Ethiopian culture into our home and help our kids retain their Ethiopian heritage.
The next time we meet, we will talk about finances, what special needs we feel we are capable of handling, and then we'll have the home "walk-through" where she'll walk through our home to make sure that it will be a safe environment for a child. We don't have to have our home totally "kid-ready" but we do have to have a plan about how we'll make it kid ready. Of course - I'm totally nervous about this walk-through for some insane reason, and I will probably spend a TON of time cleaning to get ready. And...she probably won't even notice all the cleaning (or care). But, I still HAVE to do it! Plus, it will make me feel better....and with 3 cats and 2 dogs, its not like cleaning is a bad thing around here!
In other adoption related news, AAI sent us the dossier packet!!! So, now we can officially get started on putting together our paperwork for the Ethiopian government. We have a TON of paperwork to do, so we'll be busy for the next couple of weeks getting all of that together. But, when Z looked at it he said "this will be a piece of cake". Apparently, the Army has overloaded him on paperwork enough that this amount of paperwork will be easy. Whew! If I put him in charge of paperwork then it won't be so bad for either of us! So, now we need to make doctor's appointments (so we can get doctor-approved) and start collecting all of our paperwork.
The great paper-chase begins!