Thursday, May 8, 2014

Home Visit

I have been dreading this post for a while. I have spoken to my friends and co workers about it. Hopefully you will all say the same things. I really need some encouragement. I usually try to keep my posts short, but it was impossible this time.

We had the third interview for the home study. This was the home visit. When we had our last interview I felt mostly comfortable with the SW. She said that we were a cute couple and that unless we had some major issue in our home she was going to approve us. I made a joke about how I am a teacher and I have "teacher piles" in my home. She said it was fine.

During the course of our interviews we have always given her our best effort and our best impression. We wanted her to know that we are stable. We have been together for about 20 years. We have lived in our house for 10 years. We both have had the same job for about 10 years. I thought that she would have been really impressed. She made comments about how we can't get stuck in our ways bc a child will totally change it all. I understand that she is trying to prepare us, but it is just hard to constantly have someone criticize you.

I cleaned my house, but I decided that I wanted to show her that I was not OCD, not perfect, and that I was a real person who could handle having a messy child in my home.  I cleaned the bathrooms, kitchen, did the dishes, vacuumed, swept, etc. I left my teacher piles stacked neatly as well as a few other items.

When she came into my home, she walked in and sat down at the dining room table. I had cleaned it all off except for a small basket of vitamins. She noticed them and made a comment about how it was unsafe for a child. I was shocked bc I had explicitly asked in the past about the need to have the nursery set up and they said no.

She said that the state wants to see a play area. That is why she had such an issue with our living room. I  finally told her that we have had pets in the past. When we had the pet, the downstairs looked totally different bc we had to make space for his needs. We also let the pet run around supervised so we could not have things on the floor. I also said that when our friends come over with kids, we move stuff off the cofffe table etc.

She went on to complain about tons of stupid small items, like my teacher piles and the basket of paper my dh keeps by the table for recycling. She told me to throw them out. . It would have been one thing to just say that once the child is here, make sure you have ample play space. She was very rude and insulting to me. She spoke to me like I am an idiot.

She asked if my house was child proofed. I said of course not.  She asked us about our child care plans. I told her that after 7 years, I am not going to put myself through that. She got upset and said that we were being negative and that we need to expect that this could happen at any moment. I told her that I am going to evolve with this situation as it unfolds. She asked us how we would keep the child safe from the internet. She asked us so many what if questions, I started to get really annoyed, but I had to hide it.

She eventually said that my house was too small and we have outgrown it. I was shocked. My house its not large, but it is not tiny.  We have three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. It is larger than the house I grew up in except I don't have a basement.  I am not Donna Reed, but I am not going to show up on hoarders either.

I told her that we were saving to buy a house but then we had to shift our focus to saving for an adoption. I was so insulted bc of course I would love to have a larger house, but I thought I was being responsible with my money. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

So after she left, I was crushed. I cried about it bc I felt that I could not do this. I felt so inadequate and so defeated.

It has been a few weeks and I am still upset. I know that I am so close to getting my home study approved. I have to just do it.  I think these are the final things left to do: a will, legal guardian, fire extinguisher, child care plan. After that I need to reevaluate if I want to continue with this agency or not.


  1. That is awful!! I'm no adoption expert, but that sounds so much worse than any home visit I've ever heard about. That's pretty silly if you ask me, expecting that your house be childproof already - I think it's reasonable to ask "How will you childproof your house? How will you make room for a child?" but that's different than being 100% ready. I'm surprised she said your house was too small! That seems really out of line. I'm really sorry you had to go through that and hope you get comfort from your husband and God. Wishing you lots of encouragement and peace!

  2. Ugh, how frustrating! It sounds like she was almost thinking you were doing foster care which is a much more rigorous home study than adoption. Praying for you.

  3. This makes me so upset! I can't believe she acted that way!!! It was so out of line. The home visit is supposed to be a quick look-through of your home and that's it. No verbal critiques, no pointing out minor messes or not-yet child-proofed doors, just checking for major safety issues (like non-working smoke detectors or dangerous balconies). UGHHHH!!!!! I would seriously considering calling that agency and telling them how negative your experience was. Hopefully they'll remedy the situation right away! And if not, if they get defensive, it's time for you to find another agency. We did our home study with one agency and then easily transfered it over to another agency, the one we're now working with to match. There was hardly an issue, just a little bit of extra paperwork we needed to fill out.

    I am SO sorry. That sounds like it was such a difficult experience. You and your husband should never be treated that way. Hugs!!!

    1. Thank you for letting me know that you were able to transfer after the home study. She sat in my house for two hours.

  4. Oh no! That is awful! I am so sorry! I have never heard of a social worker acting like that. She sounds like she has a chip on her shoulder about something. I agree with Stephanie, it was totally out of line!!! I used to participate in home studies as a sw practicum student- standards were never ever like what your sw suggests.

  5. I think what that sw did was very uncalled for. Gosh, our sw finished her paperwork, asked more questions and then we gave her a quick walk through of the house. I let her look in my office but because my files are private, she couldn't go in and look around. I didn't have them locked up (I do have a locked cabinet). She looked through the basement and met our cats. The other agency we worked with did the same thing...they didn't criticize or anything. I would definitely think about another agency...because when you do get a baby this sw is the one who might do the after visits and she could really be a stickler. You won't need that especially with the stress of a new baby. Btw: I have friends who adopted and no one has ever had anyone come in and do what she did. I hope you are feeling better.

  6. I am so so sorry this was so awful and violating. She was totally out of line and I would call her supervisor and ask some questions about what the home visit is supposed to be. We have our tomorrow so I will get a gauge for what they are like. Our agency only does one home visit, wonder why you have had 3? I would have cried, too. I hope this homestudy is done very soon for you!!!

  7. I don't know what home visits are supposed to be like, but yours sounds awful. :( From what you wrote it's like the sw was enjoying the power she had over you (to approve you or not) a little too much. I'm sorry it didn't go well. :(

  8. That lady is just. Plain. Terrible!!!!!!!!! How does she keep her job????? I am so mad for you!! We never had to child proof or set up anything for a nursery or go over any "what if's" to the extremes this lady was making you go to. No. This is not the way the homestudy should go. At all!! Maybe people are nicer in KS or NE, but no person should act like this. I would see what her report entails (maybe she will be kinder (I will pray!)) or definitely seek out another caseworker. She is ridiculous!!!

  9. Oh my goodness, this woman does sound terrible. I used to work for foster care and did home studies for home visits (with bio families not with foster families) and they sound way to nit picky. If you have a 3 bedroom house you have ample room for a child. They really should not be looking for anything more than blatant safety concerns. A few piles of schoolwork that you are working on and recycling are NOT safety concerns. My house is the size of a shoe box and I have managed to fit two kids and a huge dog in it and everyone is safe. For a family you make it work. It is one thing for them to point out safety concerns and make some suggestions, as anyone might do for a new parent, but it does sound ridiculous...especially if you end up getting a newborn. You don't have to childproof before a child is mobile. I would definitely consider carefully addressing it with a supervisor. I have had a long career in human services and I know that if someone who worked for me was talking that way to people I would want to know about it. And if you can switch to another agency I would also consider that as well. You might have a very different experience. Hang in there, this will all work out exactly when it is supposed to!

  10. I'm so sorry you went through that, how could she do that, sounds like she was happy to hold her "power' over your head, sounds like a bully. I hope you can lodge a complain about her


Thank you for stopping by. I love getting comments. You may also send me a private message if needed. I had to turn the word verification back on due to way too much spam.