Ten Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Home Study

5. Get a physical examination. Perfect health is not required, just desired. Life-threatening illness decreases but does not eliminate your adoption odds.

6. Prepare yourself for private questions. My favorite: What was the most difficult problem you and your spouse ever had to face, and how did you resolve it? This question made me uncomfortable. It isn't easy to talk about private subjects with someone you've just met. During the course of your home study, you may often feel invaded. My advice is to keep your eyes on the prize: You want to form a family. Remember too that after you have your children, they will ask even more personal questions as they grow up!

7. Make the appointment.
Grab the calendar, pick up the phone; get it over with. And while you still have the phone in your hand ...

8. Call a friend.
Share your joy, excitement and fears. Then ask her to be a reference for you; the agency will want a list of people to vouch for your good character. Before you put the receiver down, take the time to call a local support group for adoptive families. If you know people who have adopted, ask them for leads. If not, contact a county or state social service agency for referrals.


9. Clean up.
Your home does not have to sparkle, but you will feel better if you're not tripping over dirty laundry while giving your social worker the grand tour.

10. Now, relax.
You've already done the hard part: deciding that adoption is right for you. And if you still feel unsure, that's okay too. A home study is designed to clarify your issues, and your social worker can help resolve them. Settle comfortably into your family choice, and try to enjoy the remaining time before your new addition arrives. You think life is hectic now!?

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