May 12, 2016

Home Study

Our home study is complete!  What a relief.  I don't think I realized how stressful getting your own home ready for an inspection could be.  It took us weeks to get ready.  Some of the notable thing we did (that you probably have thought about doing once or twice but won't ever actually do):

  1. Replace your smoke detectors with combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Anything that is heavy that a kid might climb and get crushed by (ie, bookcases); bolt those suckers to the wall!
  3. Go through all your stuff and organize it.  If it's hazardous if swallowed, lock it up, but seriously a few more keys for your keychain!  One thing I learned, don't put the toilet paper storage locked behind a keyed lock... you'll be miserable!  
  4. Now that you did that for your whole house, go do it for your garage (note to self, this will take much, much longer than you expected)
  5. That extra gasoline for your lawn mower - get rid of it!  (unless you happen to have a ventilated storage container that locks, then you could put it in there).  Also, I don't reccomend trying to dump it into your cars, you will make a big mess.
  6. Get a home phone line from your friendly internet provider, and a home phone, with an answering machine.... You might already have this, we didn't.  Next be super surprised at how often your new phone rings considering no one in the whole wide world knows your number.
  7. Lock up any peroxide based hair color and/or bleach you might have, and your nail polish remover (you don't have lots of hair color?  I have a TON, I'm a hairdresser after all.....)
  8. Do you use those cute laundry or dish soap packets that look like candy and kids love to eat them - STOP USING THEM!!!  (really though, even if you aren't doing foster care you need to stop using those - tons of kids eat them and end up in the ER)
  9. Fireplace?  Get a screen so the kids don't burn themselves (or in our case, just extinguish the pilot light and never use it).
  10. Let's talk emergency numbers - the police, fire, hospital, poison control center etc.  Look those up!  Then get on Etsy and find a cute word template to type them all out on.  Laminate them and stick one in each car and one near your new land line.  While you're at it put some first aid kits in your car, and with your medicine cabinet at home.

(As you can see Zeb did all the hard work!!). On top of these awesome things we decided to combine our office and guest rooms together to free up a kids room.  It was really a lot of fun to get that set up!  

The home study lasted about 3 -3 1/2 hours and all but 20-30 minutes of it was an interview of us as individuals and as a couple.  We gave them information about our vaccines, our cat's vaccines, our finances, our educational background.  We also discussed how our families of origin handled conflict while we were growing up and how we handle it now.  Also, what causes us conflict in our marriage.  Then we discussed how we were disciplined while growing up and what our plans are for disciplining our future and foster children.  We talked about any times we had sought counseling, what it was for and if we found it helpful in anyway.  Then we talked about any instances of abuse we had experienced or seen.  It sounds super exhausting, and it was!  But truthfully it was all fairly surface level.  We didn't really have to bear our entire heart and soul, and we really liked our licensor.  
Next she will write up a report about our visit and hand it off to.... I can't remember, DCFS (department of child and family services) I think.  They will assign us a RFC (resource family Consultant) which should happen within the month and all the needed steps will be complete!  It has been very busy to get to this point but honestly not too stressful or time consuming.  But we are so greatful to have the stress of the home study over and done with.