Foster Care Home Study (Part 2, finally!)

Well, I planned to continue this entry nearly five months ago, but life happened, as it is so wont to do. So, here, at last is the second part of our home study which was done back in June…

After Greg, the DHS (Department of Human Services) licensing worker, finished interviewing us all, it was time to walk through the house.  I had planned for this day for months.  Being a bit anal, every room in the house was cleaned and organized- from the basement workroom to the freshly vacuumed attic with it’s neat rows of carefully labeled boxes. The bathrooms were scrubbed, the fingerprints were scoured from the railings, the fireplace doors gleamed, the pictures were carefully straightened on the walls.  All of the drawers and cabinets were cleaned and organized.  (This was all in addition to the miracle of having all of the laundry and dishes done at the same time!) The house looked  amazing and was ready for a thorough inspection.

We began on the main floor.  Greg took a cursory look around.  I asked if he’d like to see the garage.  He shrugged and said yes, looking in through the doorway for about two seconds.  I don’t think he could see much beyond Moby, our massive twelve passenger van, anyway.

Then, we went down the basement.  The kids, of course, trooped right along, watching the proceedings with great interest.  He needed to confirm that our hot water wouldn’t go above 120 degrees.  Since, our water heater has a digital display that shows the set temperature, I took him into the workroom to see it.  When I asked if he wanted to see the furnace room, he acquiesced, though I don’t think he felt a compelling curiosity.  Then, I proudly showed him the playhouse under the stairs, and explained that this is where we go during tornado warnings.  He was suitably impressed.

Next we went up two flights of stairs to check out the bedrooms.  To be certified in foster care in Michigan you need to have at least forty square feet of bedroom space per person.  So, he brought along a measuring tape to check this.  Since, I designed the house it was easy enough to tell him the dimensions of all the rooms. Katie, who was three at the time, dragged him into her room to show off her pink walls and princess bed.  Apparently, she had conquered the shyness she felt during her interview.  He oohed and aahhed appropriately.   I invited him to look in our closet and bathroom, which he did quickly.  I asked if he’d like to see the attic, he declined. 

That was pretty much it. Home study over.   I felt a little let down after all of that unnecessary preparation.  An experience that I had expected to be highly invasive, turned out not to be so bad.  Greg didn’t look in any cabinets, cupboards, under beds or behind doors.  The labels on my refrigerator shelves remained un-read.   There was no careful perusal of the book shelves or inventorying of the pantry cabinets. If anything, I got the impression that he was reluctant to intrude.

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