Because of so many of you, we are well into the adoption process. One of the most important aspects of the application, is a completed homestudy. Those two words should terrify most normal people. Either you are too messy or too clean, your house is too small or too big, your kids are well behaved or tasmanian devils, there really is no in between. What I was lamenting over for weeks is actually a very different process than I expected. I fully believed that there would be a old seasoned social worker lifting up our bed to see if we had vacumed in the last 5 years. That’s just who I am, always running with an idea, often to my own detriment.
The homestudy process is actually quite enjoyable. It consists of three 2 hour sessions. The first two are basically a formal interview process where Calli and I talk about who we are and how we became this way. The final session is a visit to our home so the social worker can observe how we live life.
In a short period of time I have realized that no matter what I had previously thought, there is no way we could put on a perfect front. And why should we? Our family is terribly imperfect and we work because we recognize that. We are in a constant state of giving and receiving grace. That grace allows us to love each other without expectation of perfection. And all of this revelation after just the first meeting! Let’s just hope she doesn’t look under our bed.
How will they react? This phrase continues to echo in my mind. As a people pleaser and extrovert, I am constantly thinking about others. Sadly, that often means, what do others think of me? Do they like me or just tolerate me? Am I valued or a nuisance? When you become a parent, many of those insecurities are innately transferred to your children. The desire to protect them from judgement is a desire as natural as your love for them. This relationship can surely be attributed to the physical connection between a parent and a child. Shared DNA, allows us to naturally understand some of the hardest moments in a young life. But none of that explains or quiets my thoughts. I continually come back to the question, “how will they react?”
It is a certainty that our child will be different. But we live in a world where we can move past that right? What if our child looks different, but also acts different? What if he is unhealthy? What if he is missing a limb? What if he has a neurological dis-order? What if he has HIV?
Would you let your kids play with him? If I were on the opposite side would I let my kids play with him? These are questions that we remedy quickly in the security of our normal life. Sure, we say enthusiastically, but remove comfort and that reality looks very different as we all know.
None of this is meant as an accusation. These are things that I am thinking of as this child’s father. These are things I am terrified of. How do I provide a nurturing and safe environment for my children, regardless of what they look like or how they act?
We have been told that our child will have some type of disability. This is a certainty not a maybe. As we enter the home study, we strive to prepare our own hearts but also the environment around our child. My heart burns to meet our child. To raise him in a culture of love, honor and commitment, void of judgement and lacking pain. I am scared because I know the reality is those things are all present, even in the goodness of life.