I went from all at peace about the home study to a ball of nerves in about 24 hours. Organization and managing details are not strengths of mine at all. I can usually manage well enough to keep us functioning as a family, but it’s not how I would ever choose to create a first impression. So between not knowing exactly what to expect or how detailed our social worker would be and worrying about making a terrible first impression due to the “live-in” nature of our home, I have spent the last two days panic cleaning and getting very little sleep.
By this morning, I finally felt confident that everything would be done in time. I knew she could open any closet, examine any drawer or cabinet, check every power outlet or cleaning supply. It was all going to pass inspection.
And then the home study was the most chill visit ever, and I realized I worried for no reason at all! A few women had encouraged me that this would be the case, but a couple of people I knew had more detailed experiences, so I just didn’t know how it would go. I am so thankful we were in the “easy peasy” group!
Our social worker arrived right on time. After brief introductions and a glass of water, she asked us a few questions about what led us to adoption as a whole and South Korea specifically. We then went through all of the paperwork, made a couple of adjustments, swapped out originals for copies for some documents, and answered a few safety questions.
When our kids arrived home, she asked Jackson a few questions. He said he liked his brother and being a big brother, but then he got distracted and asked her questions instead of answering them. He wanted to know all about her house and backyard and “are you a korea guy”. Overall, he was actually very sweet and friendly. Elliott kind of observed, but he did like showing her his room.
The kids led the tour around the house. She walked in each room, looked around, asked a question or two if needed (where’s the carbon monoxide detector or fire extinguisher, etc). It was very brief and casual.
At the end, she answered a few questions we had about the timeline and what to expect moving forward.
As far as the current timeline:
Our interviews will be on Monday. Then she will write up most of the home study over the course of 1 – 2 weeks before we meet for the third time. The third visit will be focused on our international training. Then she will complete the home study, send it to the TN specialist and Hague specialist at her company, send it back to us, and then when everyone approves, it will be sent to our adoption agency. After our agency approves it, they will send it to Korea for translation. We will then start the USCIS process and join the waiting list for a referral!
Josh thinks end of March is still a reasonable timeline for the completed home study, but I am adjusting my hopes to no later than mid-April. From there, current estimates seem to be 2 – 3 months for referral! Still keeping my fingers crossed that we will know our child’s name by the end of June! It’ll be tight, but it’s possible.