Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Not So Nervous Day - Individual Interviews

Last week, we both had our individual interviews for our home study. Afterwards we went down to the farm for the weekend to visit with DH's parents so I've just had a chance to write about this big week for us.

First, let me go ahead and say that it is not an interview at all. I know a lot of prospective parents who are very nervous and anxious about the interviews and home visit, so let me assure you that it is nothing like a test or a job interview. In the beginning, we were very apprehensive over the interviews and the home visit too, worried and fearful that we were being judged and tested. I mean, four months ago, I was going over everything I had ever done in my entire life, and fretting about what I would need to disclose and if
I needed to confess that I drank alcohol before turning 21 or would sneak my grandmother's cigarettes.

Now, I had been reading other blogs and listening to podcasts enough to know that this wasn't going to be a test or a job interview. Still, that didn't stop me from having a minor--and I mean very minor compared to normal--moment while I was having my coffee watching Good Morning America. I just got a little nervous, because I knew we would be going over emotional stuff, so I had a good cry on the couch to get it out before leaving.

The talk itself was great, and I use the word talk instead of interview on purpose. Our counselor is so good with us and her job. It just felt like the most natural discussion in the world about how I was feeling about adopting. She was so kind and gentle, and even though she had my bio that I had submitted earlier in front of her for reference, it never felt like she was going down a checklist. We talked for about an hour and half, and the two major themes were to make sure DH and I continue to communicate how we feel and to make sure I was still comfortable with adoption. It was much more of a check-in to make sure I was doing okay and if there was anything she could do for me.

This felt so good compared to our two group classes we had in April, which is when we learned about a year's worth of adoption knowledge in two Saturday's. We've had a lot of time to process since those meetings and come to terms with this world. I can really say that we have grown in these five months. I remember leaving the April group classes and having to call my mother to drive three hours to spend the night because I was so....aahhh!!..was the feeling. DH and I were so emotionally confused that we were even a little angry and hurt that they would just dump all that on us at once. (It's what I call a core dump.) But now, five months later, we can start to see the method to the madness. They hit us head on with a semi-truck and in a way it forced us to deal with the real issues of adoption. And now, we don't freak out like we used to and our eyes are wide open.

So, we are getting so close to having everything done! After this, our next step is to get a physical, which will be interesting because we have private insurance, which means we have no f--king coverage to speak of. Seriously, I think we are going to go down to the county clinic or something.

Then, the next BIG thing is the home visit. Again, not a test. Our counselor assured us that there is nothing to worry about and to think of it as a working meeting in our home. The three major things we are going to do is go over the finances and fees based on our income, review our placement preferences (meaning, what type of a child we think we are capable of parenting), and to finalize our dossier (our profile book for birthmothers). Obviously, DH and I have been thinking about preferences for a while. Which is a funny word to use when you think about it, considering what's going on. But, we do have to thoughtfully think about what we feel we are capable of as parents, what race, how old, what medical conditions, and any special needs.

But that's for another blog, the major point here is that our individual interviews were nothing like a test. You've got to trust your counselor and just be open and honest with them. They are here to help and guide you through this, not judge you and be the one who decides if you are parent. Only you can decide that.

Here is a link to a really good podcast that talks about the interview process. It takes a while to get into the nitty-gritty, so give it some time. Plus, it also talks about how to discuss things like divorce, other children, or arrests, that will come up. I think it plays automatically too, so watch out if you are at work!

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