The last week has been a whirlwind of appointments and paperwork, but we are this.close to having everything ready for our first home study visit!
Josh and Elliott had physicals last week, and I had mine this week. Jackson is up-to-date on all his medical care, so it was as easy as getting a form signed for him. Josh and I also had our psych evaluation this week, which consisted of personal interviews, an objective assessment and a projective assessment. The interviews were similar to all of the questions we had already answered in our written home study autobiographies, and the objective test was as simple as 570 yes-or-no questions on a computer. The projective test was a storytelling exercise, so not too intimidating for me. She may have reminded me at the beginning that these didn’t need to be detailed stories. HAH! Josh’s stories were apparently more like observations at first, so he had the opposite problem from me. Either way, we are happy it’s done and not anticipating any problems with the results.
So what’s left? Local Criminal Checks (getting those done today), another out-of-state child abuse history check, 2 hours of Hague Training, receiving our written psych report and personal references. That’s it! The remaining out-of-state check and written psych report can take up to 3 more weeks. After that, we can do our home study visits (a total of 3) and submit to our agency. Fingers crossed that our home study is complete by the end of March.
EDIT: Just got word that we can schedule our home study as soon as we have references in hand! Hoping to give our social worker a call Monday to get on her calendar!
Cool Thing that Happened
I got a call while we were at the psych evaluation that there was a problem on our paperwork for requesting our child abuse history from a previous state. I had already been warned this state is not adoption-friendly, and it could be a really long wait (think 2 – 3 months even) for the records we needed. I knew we couldn’t even schedule our first home study visit until this clearance came through, so I was incredibly frustrated.
I vented to a few friends (Hi, Joonies!), and one of them is also currently adopting internationally. She told me she called to help expedite her child abuse registry checks. I couldn’t figure out the right person to call, but I am pretty darn good at finding email addresses, so I tracked down a department director in the county where we used to live and sent a request in to her directly. As a result, we went from problematic paperwork and an anticipated lengthy wait on Tuesday to receiving our COMPLETED child abuse history check from that state this morning! Such a great reminder that it never hurts to reach out and ask for help and that most people are more than happy to do what they can if the request is reasonable.
Uncool Thing that Happened
Before we even knew we were adopting, I had scheduled a global entry interview for this week because I had an opportunity to do it for free. So I completed that yesterday afternoon, and it will hopefully make our Korea trips a little easier when the time comes.
However, it was kind of an interesting experience in an unexpected way. I’ve read and been warned by other adoptive parents about some of the reactions you may get when people find out you’re adopting internationally. I had my first questionable interactions yesterday.
In the waiting room, several of us started talking about traveling and such. I was asked if I had any upcoming trips, and I said no but that I knew I’d be traveling to Korea next year for adoption purposes.
You know what’s interesting? Any time I told someone I was pregnant, I got congratulated with a big smile. The few times I’ve told strangers I’m adopting, I am yet to get any kind of congratulations. Not that it’s expected or entitled. I just find it so interesting how different growing your family is treated.
Anyway, I got a lot of questions. Someone asked why I wouldn’t adopt domestically when there are so many children here. Someone asked why Korea can’t take care of their own children like we take care of ours. Someone insisted I wanted a “good one”, meaning a developmentally healthy child, not a special needs one. Someone told me it was good we were getting a child under 2 because once they’re older, they’re “untrainable”. One person seemed to honestly think it would be better to let our child grow up as an orphan with “their own kind” rather than as a minority in the United States.
This is not one person. These are comments from 4 different people. It was kind of surreal.
Anyway, I felt incredibly irritated on the drive home, but I kept trying to remind myself these comments came from a lack of knowledge and experience, not maliciousness. At least I’d like to believe that for now. I’m a little doubtful about one guy to be honest.
But it’s just another reminder about why I am writing this blog. To help adoptive families who come after us, but also to help shed some light on international adoption and what it means to grow your family that way.