There are two main sections in an international adoption: home study and dossier (pronounced dos-ee-ey). There are lots of little steps within those bigger steps, but those are the 2 main sections. The dossier is your collection of documents that goes overseas.
The home study is a detailed written report about your family completed by a social worker. It is 8-9 pages long and the information in it includes medical, financial, family life, marriage, childhood, criminal clearance, house info, and more. The social worker gathers this info through interviews, paperwork, and house inspection and then writes it all up.
China requires 4 visits for a home study. Our first visit was a joint interview, our second visit was Matt's individual interview, our third visit was Lisa's individual interview, and our last visit was our home inspection. I've heard that your home study experience totally depends on your social worker. The social worker really shapes what that time is like. We are so thankful that our social worker has been wonderful! She is sweet, easy to talk to, and communicates well. I enjoyed the interviews. It was therapeutic to answer her questions and to have her listen so closely. I loved that.
The home inspection was a different story. I was so nervous! Something about someone opening all the doors and inspecting each room of the house made my stomach turn upside down. I was talking to myself in order to remember that I did not need to be anxious about this, that I needed to lean into Christ and trust him. The inspection happened this morning very quickly without any major problems.
Outlet plugs were definitely things she was looking for in each room.
We are still gathering some paperwork that our social worker needs and completing our adoption education. But, we are hopeful that our home study will be finished in the next week or two. That will be a happy day!
Totally unrelated to the home study, I thought I would give you a peak into our lives today, here are some pictures of the girls this afternoon. They each set up their own house on their beds:
My favorite part of their room is this hanging on the wall. I pray the never forget that they are wonderfully made..... I hope this constant reminder in their room will help it to sink deep down into their hearts! And, I am excited for the day when I get to teach that to my sons, too.... although it won't be in such a pink flowery way. :)