Thursday, May 19, 2011

Homestudy Appointment #4

Here's where we are right now.  Scott & I have met our social worker, Kim, at her office 3 times to spend 1 1/2 hours talking about ourselves.    She asked the questions and we rambled, probably giving her more answers than she really needed.  The questions ranged from, "Who was the first one to bring up adoption?" to "What are the strengths and weaknesses of your marriage?" to "Describe your home growing up..." to What does your usual weekly schedule look like?"  That last one took a while to answer...which schedule is our usual one?  Soccer, beginning of school, kick-off of ministries fall schedule?  End of school field trips & programs, track & rugby, get-ready-for-a-missions trip spring schedule?  Or the school's out, sleep in, camping and summer camp schedule? 

This past Monday was the BIG homestudy meeting, the one where Kim came to us, at our house, to meet the kids and interview them.  Which meant having a clean house and well-mannered kids all at the same time.  Sometimes it seems like that happens as often as Haley's Comet comes around!  Now, don't get me wrong, my house is clean....sometimes, and my kids are well-mannered....often - but getting those things to all happen simultaneously???? Oh my goodness....give Momma an Excedrin.  And did I mention that this was all supposed to happen on my 19th Anniversary?  The whole time I was cleaning Monday, I found myself imagining Kim's usual homestudy appointments.  A young couple, fresh with the glow of a new marriage, a home with every drawer neatly organized (I actually remember saying out loud to Scott once during our first year of marriage that this keeping a home thing was pretty easy...I always had everything done and found myself looking for projects....glad I didn't say that out loud to my mother or other older, wiser women!), and a beautifully decorated nursery just waiting for the anticipated baby, maybe a toddler playing quietly in the other room.  Well, Kim, welcome to the Florida home, the new face of adoption!

It took some figuring to get a time when all the kids could be here during her work day and not miss their practices and events.  We figured it out and it went like this.... I picked Trevor and Elena up from school at 3 and 3:15 respectively.  Kim met us at our house at 4:30....Scott, Trev, Laney, Ging, me and the overly-friendly dog.  From the moment she walked in, everything suddently looked to me like a threat to a new little person fresh from an environment completely other than mine.  Would the dog freak him/her out?  Is the house perpetually too loud??  Will they have to spend too much time in a carseat as I pick everyone else up from school, track, soccer, rugby, etc?  With a deep breath I tried to remind myself that whatever I have to offer today is enough to be worth offering.....Jesus can do whatever He wants with it.  I introduced Kim to the kids who were home and she started the individual interviews with Trev on the patio.  Elena went second, and then Ginger, kinda, she just smiled and hugged her.  By that time my friend Darcy had dropped Izzie & Chloe off from their after school event and we sent them to the back yard one at a time to meet with Kim.  Scott & Trevor headed out the door to deliver Trev to rugby practice. 

During a lull, Kim joined me at the kitchen table.  We chit-chatted and I put out a cheese and cracker plate.  After we had been talking for a bit I realized that the sweet baby on my lap had been stuffing her mouth with cheese and then ejecting the well-chewed pile back onto the serving plate.  That explains why Kim didn't seem hungry.  While I was correcting that, Laney came through the kitchen riding the dog....Laney was loving it, a look of pride on her face that conveyed her thought that surely Kim would appreciate this fine show of animal dominance and grant us a child. The dog's body language screamed humiliation and like the last thing she wanted was another human master. 

The phone rang, I answered it because the caller id said it was Riley....He wanted to stay at track practice longer than the earlier agreed upon time of 5.  Should have been obvious, but I go brain-dead when I'm faced with snap decisions and I'm being observed...after much hemming and hawing on my part, he finally decided to come home.  Which was good, because he was the only kid left to be interviewed, we were waiting for him, my brain just couldn't process those heady details right then. 

While we waited I gave Kim a tour of the house....my gamble paid off, she didn't open closets, so my house looked really clean and organized.  The evidence of reality tumbled out later when we were getting ready for bed!  At the end of our little tour, Scott reappeared.  He was there when she asked in which room we thought we would put another child/children.  We've got a couple options, depending on the age/gender/number of kids God picks for us....ask the boys to share a room again, move I & C downstairs to one of their rooms and spread the littlies out among the two bedrooms nearest us.....or triple stack in the two upstairs rooms - did you know they have triple bunk beds???!!  They do, we're learning all kinds of crazy, big family, coping strategies.  It was at this point that Scott said, "So Kim, how many to you think we could fit in this house?"  My sweet, baby-loving husband.  He would bring home all 5 million Ethiopian orphans if it were possible.

Well, we laughed a lot and as Kim left she told us that we have really nice kids who really want to adopt a baby or two from Ethiopia.  I think she saw that we love each other, imperfectly, but we do.  And I think she saw that instead of the fullness of our home being a liability it's the very thing that makes it soft and squishy and welcoming to a new little Florida person.  For all the things we may not have to offer, we've got an abundance of laps to snuggle this baby, many arms to carry this baby, lots of voices to sing lullabies and a passel of feet to run to the rescue..... We've got an address, a permanent home to offer.  We've got a name, a family to give.  And we've got a Saviour to sing songs about and pray to together.  I think that's enough. Our house is full, sure, but it's full of all the right things.

5 comments:

  1. Most of it made me laugh. You are very funny, Lori Covered-With-Flowers (Florida). But the last paragraph was so beautiful, it made me tear up. What a good way to end my workday in the office - reading your blog. Thank you for the gift of it. I loved it. And I love you.

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  2. At some point in this journey I think you will have turned this blog into a book. I hope I can be first in line to purchase it.

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  3. Funny. Enjoy your time right now.

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  4. Thank you Lori for keeping us all up to date on everything! And with such flair! I'm so sure that Kim saw and heard exactly what she needed to, that your family is just what this little baby or babies will need in their life! So excited for you!! What a journey! God is so good!

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  5. You...the whole lot of you... are such a wonderfully-packaged gift...to each other, to us who know you, to your new little someone(s), to the whole world. Shining like stars.

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