I am minimally employed these days — for PAY, that is. One of the things I am still qualified to do is home studies for families who want to adopt. This is underpaid work for the number of hours it requires, but it can be very rewarding in other ways. Part of the job is collecting background and other information to determine if the individual or couple is qualified (under the rules and regulations) to adopt, but part of the job is educating about adoption. It is particularly satisfying to me when I’ve helped prospective adoptive parents see the advantages of open adoption and/or the potential challenges and opportunities in adopting trans-racially.
Recently, I did the home study for a young white couple interested in adopting an African-American female infant. Their daughter was born in early December 2012. Journey accompanied me to their home to do the first post-placement visit.
There is something very special about being able to share the adoption process with my daughter who was, herself, once in the position of baby Sophia. Journey got to witness how adoption is, indeed, a creature of law with specific requirements rather than the usual way of family formation. But, at the same time, it is as joyful — if not more so — as bringing home the baby one gave birth to. My hope is that experiencing the process through another family helps Journey understand her own entry into our family.
For the adoptive family, Journey and I bring a glimpse of what the future holds. I hope we are a reassuring “vision.”
For now, for Journey, the best part of visiting a new adoptive family is seeing and holding the baby…