Whew! What a day. The official "home visit" portion of the home study took place this morning. You know, where the social worker visits your home, opens each closet door to make sure you're not concealing anything illegal, confirms that you do, indeed, have a fire extinguisher... it can be a little intimidating.
In all actuality, it went great. Red-faced, I opened our junk closet doors and just as quickly, she gave me a warm smile, promising me that she's not doing a cleaning inspection. She calmed my nerves, and easy conversation made our house tour much like showing a guest around during a dinner party (albeit a thorough tour, but you get the gist).
All was calm until we grew closer to "the" interview. You know, the one where my 4-year-old daughter is interviewed. The one where I'm reminded that 4-year-olds can say whatever, whenever. That anything and everything you might have uttered can be reiterated at the most inopportune times. And that our daughter happens to be one who is, shall we say, quite chatty with those she comes in contact.
Nothing was dramatic. And truly, all went well. But for laughs, let me showcase a few conversations that were had:
Social worker: "Do you want a baby brother?"
Our daughter: "No." (pause) "I want 2 brothers and 2 sisters."
Social worker: "I know you're going to be a great helper when he comes home."
Our daughter: "But I can't change him or give him a bath. He's a boy and I'm a girl and I can't see his privates."
Social worker: "You know, his skin will be a different color than yours. It's going to be brown."
Our daughter: "I'm brown. Brown as a biscuit. That's what Mommy and Daddy say."
Social worker (after discussing getting in trouble): "So when you get in trouble, what happens?"
Our daughter: "I go to the stairs. Or my room. It depends on what's closest when I get in trouble."
The visit wasn't complete without her coloring a picture for the social worker to take home (I'm just sure she framed it - we're talking masterpiece people) and her attempting to play "beauty shop" with me while I tried speaking in a serious tone about our commitment to bringing our son home. Because you know, I can be taken seriously when a 4-year-old is climbing on my back, combing my hair, and attempting to put it in pig tails.
We also spoke at length about his arrival home, and what that may entail. I'll have to save that for another post, as I'm trying to keep this one light-hearted.
A sweet moment for me took place as I picked her up from school this afternoon. I walked in to find her rocking her baby doll to sleep:
We talked about how she was rocking her 'brother.' Love that girl, and I love her heart. She's going to be such a good big sister to him.
So what's next for us? I'm breathing a big sigh of relief because once the home study is approved and notarized, we just have one more form to get before our dossier can be on its way. Woo hoo! Unfortunately, that little sheet of paper is perhaps the most important one, and it can take some time to get. We submit an I-600A application, go to get fingerprinted federally, and upon approval receive the coveted I-171H form from the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Servies).
I can't believe we officially started this process a little over a month ago. My, how time flies! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They are felt and oh-so-needed during this process.