Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Homestudy Interviews at Agency

First of all I want to say thank-you for all the lovely comments on my last post.  I really appreciate all your encouragement.

So we had our first homestudy interviews last week Wednesday (the 24th).

(Aside:  Isn't it hilarious when you've only heard someone's voice over the phone, and you form an image in your mind of what they look like, and then...yeah, the social worker looked nothing like we had imagined, lol!) 

So we met her when we got to the agency and sat down across the table from her in the little room that we've been in a number of times before (although never with her).  She was nice.  Told me not to be nervous.  That by this point we're pretty much approved; that if there was concerns they would've already been addressed by this point and we wouldn't have gotten this far; that basically she just needs to get a general picture of us.

She started off by asking us a few questions, how we met, what drew us to each other, etc, that we both answered.  She had our PAPQ's (Prospective Adoptive Parent Questionnaire's) in front of her that we'd each filled out thoroughly.  She had marked random things in them that she wanted to ask us more details about.  She started off with Hubby.

He gives really long, detailed answers to everything in life.  When he's nervous he gets even more long-winded.  Both of us know this and were prepared for it.  I made a very conscious effort to sit back and let him talk without interrupting because it's very easy for me to jump in and that doesn't help anyone.  So she asked him about random things on the PAPQ.  About an hour or so had passed at this point and I started wondering when my turn would come, lol.

Eventually she got to me.  I had been almost totally calm but now I got nervous.  Her first question threw me for a loop - she asked me what had drawn me to Hubby.  I had already answered this question at the beginning!  And I thought I had given a good answer!  I guess she forgot or something?  I stumbled and stuttered something out and then there was a long, awkward pause while I stared at the ceiling.  There were a lot of those moments during my interview!

Her interviewing style was very random.  We never knew where she was headed.  Serious alternating with light-hearted topics, and nothing along the timeline of our lives.  Well, sometimes it felt like we were going along a timeline, then other times, who knows.

I cried twice.  Very annoying.  I was not even in PMS and usually that is only when I cry.  I cried once when she asked how my epilepsy will affect raising children.  I happen to stress about this topic A LOT.  She was very nice about it and encouraging.  I cried again when I talked about my parents' relationship.  Ugh.  What I talked about wasn't even a big deal so I don't know why I cried.  

My interview was wa-a-ay shorter than Hubby's, and ended very abruptly, with "Well, you guys must be tired of answering questions by now.  When can we meet again?"  The whole thing was about 2 1/2 hours long.

One frustrating thing for me about the interviews was that Hubby's interview was the longest, and I stayed quiet and let him talk the entire time.  Then when it was my turn, Hubby answered a lot of the questions for me.  Later that evening I finally told him how I felt about that, and THANKFULLY I was able to speak gently and he was able to take it well, and all is forgiven and good now.  For our next interview (at our home) he says to remind him just before she comes, so that he remembers to let me do my own talking :)  Sweet man that I have!

I am not nearly as nervous now for when she comes to our home.  Of course I wish our renos were finished and that our house was more baby-proof, but from what I've heard, basically the social worker just needs to see that you have a home!

Maybe for our next interviews, we will be asked more about parenting, why we are adopting, etc, since our interviews at the agency seemed to consist mostly of our parents' relationships, with a few other random things thrown in.

Altogether it was not a bad interview.  She was nice and really that's all I can ask for.

4 comments:

  1. Glad that the first interview is over! I'm sure you both did great, despite how much he talked ;) hehe

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  2. Hey Rhonda, it sounds like the interview went well. Having just recently been through the process and now seeing it from the other end, I now know that the interviews are not only about getting information, but also about getting to know you so that they can help find a good match for your family.

    I would be frustrated if my husband was talking for me, so I understand. I was like you in a way where I had difficulty finding words for how I felt about things. Sometimes my husband would jump in, which I think showed the SW that we supported each other.

    I'm not sure if your interviews will be the same as ours, but some of the highlights that you may want to prepare for are: a tour of your house (ours didn't have to be child-ready ... we just had to show that we had room for a baby and that we weren't crack heads or porn addicts!); a private discussion with the SW with each of you following a private checklist (basically your thoughts on sex, drugs, violence, etc. - I'd recommend talking through each of these topics with your hubby before the next visit); your journey through infertility and what lead you to adoption; your feelings on openness and what your ideal open adoption would look like; what your "desired child" is and what you are open to - gender, ethnicity, age, alcohol/drug use by birthmom, etc.

    I'm sure you've aready done this, but I would spend time going through these topics with your husband to make sure you are both on the same page and that there are no surprises from the other during the interviews.

    Best of luck! The meetings are stressful, for sure. After every one, Bob and I would go out for dinner and just eat and not have anything to say. I'd have a headache and felt very shaky ... they always went "well" but there is just something about being evaluated that is not very much fun at all.

    You'll make it through! One step at a time. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this, Alicia!

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  3. Glad things are moving along and sounds like it went well. I had to giggle as we are exactly the same - hubby is a nervous talker and I'm the opposite, stumble over my words, can't find the right ones to say and then end up crying and feeling silly. But, with our panel meeting the BM's social worker was very pleased when hubby took the lead and answered. Good luck with the next step :-)

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