Home Study Stall

I had thought to take part in the Open Adoption Roundtable discussion about the impact of money in our adoption story, but frankly as we seem to be rushing between a telescope schedule (nights) and what appears to be an unrelenting pace at my work, plus the Learn-to-Knit Party we’re not getting to the actual process of adoption, specifically the homestudy paperwork.

I admit, the autobiography for the homestudy has me overwhelmed. We must write a 4-10 page autobiography that covers some of the most intimate parts of our relationships. Basically, we have to write a term paper. I hate writing term papers. I think Green may hate them more. Ask him some time about how he completed his dissertation. Guess who pulled the short straw on spearheading the effort to get this together?! Ugh. Rather than write about the impact of money on our adoption or any adoption process I’m going to put the home study autobiography task out here and set myself some public goals and share the spoils online. The spoils being my ramblings. Interested? Gone through this process yourself? Want to share? Help out?

Reaching back to the whole term paper thing, all I can think of is a couple of pieces of advice regarding writing.

1. Put it all out there, just vomit words on to the page and then edit, edit, edit

AND

2. If you can’t think of anything just start with ridiculous stuff.

Hmm, sounds like what I do a few times a week on this blog already minus the editing bit. Maybe it won’t be that hard.

The autobiography for our home study is supposed to cover a host of information, feelings and thoughts on topics including our own families, our personal educational experiences from elementary school on, our courtship and marriage, (Why yes, they ask how we met and ‘courted’. Isn’t it sweet? So no tales of wild nights in dark seedy bars. Not that we did that Mum. Honest. ) Our jobs including areas of dissatisfaction and satisfaction, our children, adoption, community and you know, everything else about us. My challenge for this week is to get a full rough draft for one issue and start on another issue.

Primary issue for Week One of Get that Home-study paper work in: Courtship and Marriage (I just can’t resist the whole courtship thing.)

Each issue has a series of prompts, but for the sake of ease we’ll start with one:

1. Courtship and Marriage
Describe how you met and courted
What attracted  you to each other
Decision to marry, how and why
Changes in your relationship after the honeymoon period
In-laws relationships and similarities/differences between families
Mutual interests as a couple and separate interests                                                                                                                               Strengths you bring to your marriage
Areas of disagreement                                                                                                                                                                                       Problems in your marriage which have been overcome, how they were worked out
How disagreements are handled

Alright. that is it for now. Back soon. Any great thoughts? Insights?

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10 Comments

Filed under Adoption, Homestudy

10 responses to “Home Study Stall

  1. I recently just found your blog, as my family is also in the midst of the adoption process. I love your posts and pictures. We too are in the homestudy paperwork extravaganza. It is hard. The autobiography part is still sitting on our desk while we are obsessing over the other sections that are just so much easier to deal with.

    Anyways, I just wanted to comment and let you know that I am in that boat with you! I like your idea of the public goal setting…I just might have to use that strategy.

  2. Hey there,

    Ugh! The home study paperwork was dreadful. In retrospect, I think we put way too much time, energy, and thought into it. We felt like we had to answer each of the questions fully, with nuance and detail, and with an ear toward any prospective birth parent that might read it.

    End the end, no birth parent read it, and it was essentially used as the foundation for our home study interviews, which were actually quite pleasant.

    I don’t mean to minimize it; it is definitely like a term paper in that it is something that must be done within certain guidelines to “pass.” But heck, I’m betting you were a good student who often could’ve gotten by with studying a little less, and I think that’s the case here too.

    One other thought I hope might be helpful: Though we didn’t appreciate all of the time the autobiographies consumed, it did provide us with opportunities to check in with each other (again) about some of the important events, people, and issues in our lives and how they might influence our future. And in that way, I think it was helpful in prepping us to become better parents through adoption.

    (And I hestitate to tell you that for us, the home study stuff was a walk in the park compared to coming up with our “marketing” materials. So, again, I recommend keeping it in perspective and saving your energy!)

    Best wishes!!!

    • Kristin, Thank you! I can definitely see where reviewing where we stand these issues is a good exercise. In some ways I think already parenting make some of it more difficult. We can write what we think is ideal parenting, but in the midst of parenting a three year old it isn’t always the reality. Which to write?

  3. Betsey

    I have no experience with adoption paperwork, but it reminds me a bit of the million “personal statements” that I have had to fill out for degree programs & fellowship applications. One crutch I used to start was to think of a really important moment in my life for the question and write about that and why it was key. So instead of writing about you & Green and how you met, you could instead tell the story & then you’ll see what’s important, if that makes sense. Or for resolving differences, you could tell a story about one pretty typical resolution.

    good luck!!

  4. Wackademia

    I have but one question… in your story, are you going to tell them about the gold lame (how do you spell that?) shirt and pleather skirt?

  5. Wackademia

    and i give you permission to NOT allow that last comment. especially since they will likely read your blog!

  6. Kristen is 100% spot on. We agonized over that, and quite frankly, it was probably one of the least important parts of the process. Writing the “Dear Birthmother” letter is the real challenge and point of agony. Just thinking about it again gives me a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and makes me feel like I might pass out. You know, like how you feel when watching a Sarah Palin speech.

    • I try not to watch those speeches at all Bobby. I long ago gave up trying to see reason, logic, kindness or a heart in the verbal diarrhea that comes out of her mouth. Might as well be Beck.

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