Two weeks ago we officially completed our home study process! This was a huge step in our Embryo Adoption journey. While I’d always heard home studies could be a difficult process, I had no idea what to expect. So I thought I would share a little about our experience with you in case you are curious too.
We used the Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri for our home study. They were one of the organizations I had started researching when we were praying about traditional adoption. I liked that they were faith based and local to Springfield.
After completing our initial application we were assigned a social worker named Tina. She reached out to us and gave us an overview of the process and a list of all the documents needed. To say the least, there was A LOT of paperwork involved. I’ve jokingly said they asked for everything from our marriage license to our cats shot records and in between! But seriously, we do have two outside/shed kittens and we had to take them to get vaccinated to provide shot records!!
Thankfully, I love a good organized checklist and Tina told us what to do every step of the way. I wouldn’t say that I am a naturally organized person, however when I am working towards a goal I love knowing exactly what to do and checking things off. Especially in this situation, infertility and adoption, this gave me a feeling of control when I’ve previously had a very limited amount.
Tina was another huge answer to prayer. I wish everyone in the world worked as hard as Tina! She was always so quick to respond and helpful. I don’t think I ever waited more than an hour for her to reply to my emails. She truly lives out what the bible calls us to do, “work as unto the Lord.” (Col. 3:23). She not only made us feel important and cared for, she also inspired me to be even more efficient in my own work.
Clayton and I both had to write out personal essays overviewing our lives. We answered questions about everything from our childhood upbringing to our to how we handle conflict in our marriage. These answers were then later used in an individual interview we each separately completed. We also had to have several reference forms completed by friends, family, employers and pastoral staff. While we didn’t get to see these forms fully, we did get to hear a little bit of what our references had said in our final review of the home study. It brought me to tears to see the way our family and friends support us and believe in us. It was truly humbling.
Other items on the list included fingerprints for background checks, physical examinations and TB tests, all of our financial/bank statements and information, retirement fund verification, proof of insurance and more.
The final step was a safety audit of our home. I feel like this is the step everyone hears about and worries about. But this was probably one of the easiest parts. Again, we had a list of what was needed. Thankfully since we have Clark, our home already has baby gates, outlet covers, and safety knobs. We just had to double check and make sure everything was in place.
In the end, we were deemed as physically, mentally, emotionally and financially fit and able to add another baby to our family.
We’ve had a few friends ask, “Is it frustrating to have to do all this work when you are already parents?”. The short answer to that is yes. To be honest all of this can be frustrating at times. But we are keeping our eyes on the goal and trusting God as we follow the processes set in place. We know it will all be worth it in the end and we feel God guiding our steps along the way.
So, what’s next? Now we are waiting again. The National Embryo Donation Center will process the results of our home study and then give us access to their embryo database, which means it will be time to select our embabies (embryo babies). We are anxiously awaiting this time and would love your prayers in advance.
We are also having an Adoption Garage Sale Fundraiser this weekend! We’ve been cleaning out our closets and our friends and family members have been donating items too. So if you are local and want to come shop, message me for our address!