First home study visit? Check.

Yesterday was a BIG day in the Gressman family household. After being up off and on since 2am with our youngest child violently throwing up, and going into work exhausted, getting home just in time to put myself and the house together, We completed our first home study visit!!!

Was it successful? I have no idea.

Did it go well? I think so.

Was it informative? overwhelmingly so.

So what exactly happens at this home study visit, you ask? This is a question everyone in the adoption world contemplates. I was super nervous about the whole thing, and often thought about what it might be like. So here’s how I imagined it would go, versus what actually happened:

Imagined: A lady walks into our home, nose in the air, hair in a tight slicked back bun. She is dressed in a black pencil skirt business type suit, librarian style glasses, a clip board in one hand, and a white cleaning glove on the other. She would use this white glove to wipe her finger on every shelf and ledge to check for dust. She would walk around our home looking about in a judgmental manner, checking in drawers, under beds, cabinets, and swiping her finger, all the while busily taking notes and making noises to show her disapproval.

Reality: A super nice, down to earth woman came into our home, and treated us like old friends. She engaged in conversation with the girls and sat down to explain the HUGE list of things she would need from us. She wanted to hear our story, and made us feel like her only job was to help us. I was so nervous that I confidently claimed to have been born in Florida, and was fully satisfied in this answer until my sweet hubby corrected my mistake. When she asked what state we were wed, I simply looked at him, and he answered for us  =) I told you I was nervous.

The girls showed her around the house and then she asked to speak with Riley. She had told us weeks ago that she would be interviewing Riley, since she was over 5 years old, so we were able to brainwash, i mean, prepare Riley to answer questions. 😉 We had no idea what she would ask, and even if we did, every parent knows that your child is sure to say anything but what you would want them to. Riley was a little nervous, but she answered everything , using as little words as possible.  Here is how her interview went: (we were allowed to sit in)

“Riley, what do you think about adopting a sister?”     “good”.

“What do you like to do with your mom and Dad?”   “go to Disney”

“What do you like to do with your friends at school?”  “play”

“what do you like to do at school?”  “Work”

“What would you do to help your new sibling?”  “reach things up high for them”

The lady asked for more details on each of these not so elaborate answers, and Riley would maybe give her another word or two =)

We have a full month until we see her again. Barely enough time to gather all the paperwork needed, including copies of everything imaginable… birth certificates, passports, marriage certificate, social security, diplomas, drivers licenses, medical reports, 20 page biographies, background checks, fingerprinting, references and reference letters,  ect… AND to raise the funds we need to pay her for the home study portion. $1800.

Thank you to those who have already started praying for us, and those who have already donated funds. We have raised $350!! $1450 more needed to pay for the home study portion of the adoption.

One more step.IMG_5139my table has turned into an adoption office =)

One thought on “First home study visit? Check.

  1. Kelly Wilson

    Hi Hillary,
    I know a lot of your story; I am friends with Adrian Gibbs.. We just come home from China with our daughter in September. We waited the NSN route. We were told it would take 14 months and each month it got longer and longer! In the meantime we adopted out son Zane (now 5) locally. Anyway, if you need any help, support, info I’d love to be a resource for you. There is also a wonderful local group for families with children from China. Also I want to make sure you are aware while the finances are daunting you do get a tax credit of over $12k once the adoption is done. A huge help! It is now permanent tax credit as of the first of the year so it will be there for you. Also I put together a cookbook which made me more than $4k. I can tell you about it if you’d like. I am so excited that you are proceeding after the heartbreak with Belle but God put you on the path for a reason. Please let me know if I can help.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *