Today we had our first of two home study visits. The visit was scheduled for 11am and all of the kids were required to be present, so we pulled them all out of school to come talk about baby Samuel. This is our fourth home study in 7 years and we counted and between home studies and post placement reports, this agency has been in our home nearly 20 times. Soooo.... we were not nervous at all since it is clearly not our first rodeo. Bryan and I chuckled about our first home study for Caleb's adoption. I cleaned the silverware organizer in the drawer and made Bryan vacuum the walls of our little rent house. We scrubbed grout and planted flowers. Lord have mercy. Now I always make sure the house is picked up but certainly don't obsess like I used to. We know what is important-- showing that we have a happy, healthy home and hearts ready to care for another child. Our kids act like, well, kids while they are here. I think they had at least one fight over toys and Hannah threw a small fit in the floor. What can I say, we like to keep it real.
Once the social workers got here they were immediately apologetic that they have to come at all. We appreciate that they realize we have experience with adoption but also respect the process and the state laws that regulate what they are expected to do as a home study agency. The social workers sat at the kitchen table while the kids ate lunch. They told them about seeing turtles at the park yesterday, and Joshua filled them in on the dead turtle who "had a SKELETON and his legs were stuck like THIS" (insert awkward leg pose demonstration by Joshua). Ha! We chatted for about 45 minutes and they took the obligatory tour of the house, led by Joshua. In his room he showed them his Frozen alarm clock and quipped, "I never even hear it go off and sing 'Let It Go.' I'm a pretty good sleeper."
After the visit was over we took the kids back to school for a couple hours. We have one more required visit next week that just involves Bryan and me. I don't even know what we have left to talk about at this point. We are hopeful that the home study will be finalized quickly. Lucky for our agency, they have our previous China home study on file that they can literally copy/paste and just update various sections.
Once the home study is done, we will submit our I-800A application to USCIS (Immigration). This step gets us provisional approval from the US government to bring Samuel home. We will be requesting a medical expedite for this process. It usually takes 45-60 days and we are hoping to have our approval in just a matter of days or weeks. It will all depend on which USCIS officer is assigned to our case.
We are glad to cross one more thing off the list today and will keep working towards completing our dossier as soon as possible! We are hurrying, sweet Samuel!