Cancer Ever After

Musings on Infertility, Adoption, Cancer and Widowhood.

Feeling Criminal

As we began our home study process, I had to fill out about ten pages of detailed questions on myself, my husband, and our family. Our home study counselor had apologized in advance for the invasiveness of the process that we were about to begin. I reassured her that since I’ve undergone fertility treatments and delivered my girls with a team of 26 people in the room, I already knew the meaning of invasive. This couldn’t possibly be as bad!

And while the process does not involve me strapped naked to a table, surrounded by a ridiculous number of people in scrubs, it is still every bit as invasive as she said. We’ve been fingerprinted, we’ve had blood drawn, we’ve had to have doctors certify our fitness to be a parents and our likelihood to “enjoy a normal lifespan.” I’ve had to answer pages of questions about myself, my family, my finances.

While I was at the doctor’s office, my doctor (whose close friend had adopted) mentioned that she wished the process wasn’t so involved or so invasive because she feels like more people would adopt. She’s undoubtedly correct.

I’m beginning to see that this home study weeds out the faint of heart.

Yet I can see the side of the regulators and adoptive agencies, too. There is no real way to know someone’s ability to be a parent, but everyone owes it to the child to make sure that you know the parents really want this and are willing to work for it. I’m sure parenting a child we’ve adopted will bring its own unique set of challenges, and if we can’t get through this home study process, are we ready to face those challenges?

It was funny, though, when my boss received her survey from the home study agency. She brought the six pages of questions over to me and said, “What the hell am I supposed to do with this? How would I know the answers?” I was astonished by the questions they were asking my employer. She was being asked about my parenting skills when she’s seen me with my children a whopping one time. Luckily, she filled it out and gave me great reviews! Tim’s employer pretty much reacted the same way.

In addition to grilling our employers, the agency is grilling our friends and family and contacting the FBI and KBI. That’s right, folks, we’re getting a full FBI background check done (as if going to a police station and getting fingerprinted weren’t enough)! I can’t decide if this process makes me feel a little like a criminal or more like a secret agent getting cleared for duty.

Let’s go with secret agent. I’m the new 007.


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