Home Study Complete! (Part 1)

All Done with our Home Study!  I didn’t realize that I was nervous about our foster care home study until Matt got home from work. At the sight of a car in the driveway, I felt a sudden pit in my stomach and knew that it was time to pray. We gathered the family on the porch and said a quick prayer that things would go smoothly and God’s will be done.

Greg, the licensing worker, arrived about five minutes later. By then, all nerves were soothed and peace prevailed, well as much peace as there ever is with five kids running hither and yon. After a few awkward moments of pleasantries, we sat at the dining table. Greg went through our three questionnaires. He said they were very thorough, usually it takes about a half hour to go over each one, but he asked me one question (what was my college major) and that was it. He had three questions for Matt (how often did he see various siblings) and then it was time to interview the kids.

He had said that he had to interview all the children. I wasn’t sure if this was going to involve a parent being present or not. Fortunately, it wasn’t even an issue. We all sat right at the table and he asked away. He decided to forgo interviewing our sixteen month old, Elena, apparently her vocabulary (no-no, owwie, Mama, shoe, uh-oh…) wasn’t sufficient.

Katie(3) was up next. He asked her what her name is. She wouldn’t answer. He asked her how old she is. She wouldn’t answer. He asked her what she likes to do for fun. She wouldn’t answer. I told her she could have a cookie if she answered. She said she liked to color and play with her dollies. I later found out the boys had been coaching her on what to say. “If he asks if your brothers are mean to you, then you say, ‘No, they always are nice and play with me.’”

He asked the boys basic things, name, age, school, then popped out, “What is foster care?” Now I thought that was a doozie since they asked us that the first day of PRIDE training and most of the adults couldn’t answer it.

He went on to ask: What do you do well? What do you think that you could do better? How do you think that foster care would affect your family? How would you treat a foster child? What kind of foster children do you think wouldn’t fit into your family? (Jimmy said “girls.”) What do your parents do for punishment? What do they do for rewards? What does your family do for fun? What do you like about your parents? What do you wish they did differently? What are some rules in your house?

I found the kids answers very illuminating. They didn't respond in ways I would have thought.  Maybe I should interview them once in a while. Interviews completed, it was time to do a walkthrough of the house.

To be continued tomorrow…

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