Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Homestudy

I've been jumping through hoops, going through the process for our second adoption. Today the social worker came to our house for a homestudy. I'd be interested in hearing from those of you who have had homestudies in the States. Because from what I know of those, they are a wee bit different than what we experienced today....

Our district social worker, Mama Mbaruku ("Mama" is used much like "Mrs." here) had told me a couple days ago that she thought today would be a good day for the homestudy. So I called her up this morning and she said I should come get her about 3:30. Yes, come get her. Even the district social worker doesn't have a car. So Grace and I drove the 45 minutes to go get her. Then we waited for an hour (which is interesting in small office with a toddler). When we got to our car, she said, "Oh, Grace can sit with me!" I politely told her that we had a special car seat for Grace to sit in. Then we drove back in traffic so it took over an hour to get home.

After all that, she stayed at our house for about 15 minutes. I'm not exactly sure what she was writing down, but I showed her every room in the house. Her biggest concern was that Grace was sleeping in her own bed in her own room. "She's only two years old! She needs to be sleeping with you in your bed." I told her that it was our American custom to have babies sleep in their own beds. "From what age?" she asked. "Usually, from birth!" I told her. I assured her that Grace was perfectly fine, and showed her how the baby monitor worked, but I'm not sure she was convinced.

And that was it.

As strange as this description might sound to those of you who have had American homestudies, it actually went really well. The last time we had a homestudy (in between Grace's foster care and adoption), when I showed up at the appointed time to pick up a (different) social worker, she told me she was tired and didn't want to come. In contrast, I've been more than impressed with Mama Mbaruku's professionalism and earnest desire to help us--and I thank God for her! Our paperwork should get done much faster this time because of her. We just have to take into account the totally different worldview.
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