First Homestudy Vist … Check

Our social worker came out for the first of three visits on Monday.

So yeah, we cleaned the house up and down, made sure the kids had something to do and gave them a good talking to before she came.

But it wasn’t scary or anything. It was actually a fun experience – although it went long (three hours!). Everyone likes to talk about themselves, and it was really about telling our story. We talked about our home (and did the tour), talked about where the baby would sleep, how we decided to adopt, what we have done for jobs, our church community and many other little threads that make up our lives.

And of course we like to talk about those things. It’s kind of therapeutic, but also helpful to step back and see the big picture sometimes. After all, that’s why we’re doing the blog, right?

One of the topics we did cover that was more of an education for us than a study for the social worker was attachment. The rules are much different with an adopted child, so there are all sorts of things you need to take into consideration when bringing an adopted child home.

Consider this. The baby will probably cry a lot for the first day or two. Ouch. It’s best not to let anyone hold or feed the baby for the first three months. Sorry grandparents. We should not go to any crowded places like the store, the mall, church – for at least the first couple of months. Cabin fever. We should keep stimulation to a minimum and slowly reintroduce it. Back off kids.

Nothing is overwhelming in this. But it has surprised me how much we have to learn. You learn a lot with your biological kids, but so much is intuition, trial and error, and modeling what you’ve seen with other good parenting. These instincts and learnings help, but with adoption many of the rules are different and there are many special considerations.

We’re just soaking all of this up like a sponge. It’s such a fun journey!

Jesse

4 Comments

  1. Isn’t it almost backwards trying to think how to NOT hug your child as much b/c touch is foreign and possibly upsetting and even paintul to them? Cabin fever, yup. Not looking forward to that one. It’ll be rough and tough and stuff, but what small price to pay.

  2. Wait until you see the final written home study, you’ll be amazed when you read it! It was a very emotional moment for us because it confirmed that it was the way God intended us to create our family.

    I remember getting hung up on all the attaching and bonding stuff. Just keep in mind that some of those recommendations are pretty extreme. Just follow your heart and you will do just fine. Most of all, follow her lead…she’ll guide you on what she needs. My guess is that she will adjust to the kids pretty well. Joey has been our lifeline with Abby’s adjustment. One month staying close to home… maybe, but three months is a bit of a stretch, especially with three older sibs. We had both kids out and meeting people after a month of being home. They both did just fine. We just made sure that we did the holding until they knew we were Mom and Dad.

    Keep embracing this and writting…you’ll love looking back on it.

  3. Thanks for the comments and advice. We talked to another adoptive mom that STRONGLY recommended we follow the three month rule. She didn’t with the first adopted child and it worked out okay, but she had some issues later on down the road with her second adopted child. It’s worth the investment if it will help her adjustment. Good to know that we have this orientation and training.

  4. I am learning so much from your journey (and the scott’s) about adoption. I hadn’t thought about the attachment thing in the way you described – staying home, not letting anyone else hold or feed baby. It all makes sense, but not something I would ahve thought about.

    congrats on passing the first home study!

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