Thursday, December 1, 2011

Home Visit - Take Two

After all that, we had to reschedule the home visit for two weeks later after Thanksgiving. When it was first canceled, my instinct was to call our counselor and beg her to come out over the weekend or at night. It didn't matter. Eventually I came down off the ledge and put on my adopted mommy armor. I totally co-opted that from another adopted mother's blog I read, and I know I am only a prospective mommy right now, but I think the sooner I put it on the better. Adoption, and TTC really, is a tough and long process with curve balls thrown at you all the time, so get your armor on to help protect you now because all this is going to take strength and courage!

Back to today. It's interesting how we handled it. DH had one breakdown early in the morning and I had two in the afternoon. My second one revolved around me not being able to write neatly on a piece of paper what my personal interests were for my profile. I wasted five pieces of paper trying to write the word "Hummer" for cars I don't like. I kept misspelling the word and writing it with one 'm.' It got nasty. But now, it's regrettable...

Anyway, it's not like we knew we were going to fail or anything. I don't know if I can describe it adequately. It's just very stressful. It's an important day. Maybe like when you get married?? This is it. You are committed to this decision. Everything needs to be perfect. This is a milestone. Someone who is not your friend but already knows a lot about your reproductive and married life is going to come into your house and ask you for paperwork on what type of baby you would prefer and see how much money you made last year. Do I offer her a cup of tea? It is at times a very close relationship, and at times a very odd relationship.

So, our counselor was 20 minutes late. And if you were a fly on the wall, you could tell that me and DH were totally trying to keep it together and not freak out and then set the other person off. So lots of conversations with gritted teeth and all. I was so worried that it was going to get canceled again. But no fear, she arrived and had been stuck in traffic. She was much more calm than I was, but I guess she does this all the time.

First thing, just like the individual visits at the agency...this was not a test or interview at all. No checklist that she was referring to at all. We all sat around the kitchen table. I did offer her something to drink but she declined. We turned in the final paperwork, which consisted of our:
  • Physicals, including HIV and drug tests
  • Financial statement and last years tax return
  • Signed contracts
  • Placement preference (race, age, known illnesses, etc.)
We spent the majority of the time talking about our profile, the day of the birth and going to the hospital, and a new online database where we could enter our profile.  It's kind of a blur right now, but I know it went well. We laughed and talked easily with her. She really is a good counselor and puts us at ease. She did take a tour of our house, and this is where I got awkward. I kept making excuses for unfinished projects. And I kept thinking to myself, "please don't look up at the ceiling in this back room and see the water leak..."

And of course, when it came to our bedroom, super awkward. I hate showing our bedroom, even to family members. That is my chamber. My sanctuary. I sleep there and get dressed in there. Off limits. So, when we got to that door, which was closed, I tried to be all smooth and said "And this...this is just the bedroom..." and then kept moving on. But she lingered. So I quickly opened the door but didn't turn the light on, and was like "see, just the bedroom..." But then she asked about our IKEA wardrobe that she saw, and I knew I was going to have to turn the lights on. And then it was all over. Because on the bed was a stack of my laundry I didn't put away. And on top were my bra and panties...Did she see? Don't know. But man, I turned off the lights so fast and pushed her out of the room. Who knows what she thinks I have in there now.

Oh, there was another awkward moment when I couldn't get our printer/copier machine to work to make a copy of our tax returns. I kept getting up from the table and going to check on it. And then coming back. At one point, we gave the original to her so she could calculate our fees, and I miiiiiiight have snatched it out of her hands in my frantic dash to xerox it.  I was in the other room for like 10 minutes while DH sat with her alone not saying anything. He actually had to come and get me and say, "why don't I take care of this while you go talk to her."

All and all, she was here for about an hour and a half. Despite all of our anxieties, she is a great counselor and never seems to get phased when we are acting crazy. We ended the visit with chatting about what our Christmas plans were, and we confided in her that we were not sure yet what we are going to do because we are trying to survive the holidays with families and babies and all. She completely understood and told us it was very important to set up boundaries. This meant so much to me, because for all of us out there trying to create our families, sometimes we don't want to be around babies. I mean, how do you explain to someone that you are desperate to have a child but can't be around them right now? And for our adoption counselor to understand this part our journey was so fulfilling.

In conclusion....this is almost IT. The only thing we have to do is ad more captions to our photos and then turn in six copies of our profile binders tomorrow at the office and then we will be......

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