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Grew in my Heart: Through Adoption
Hi! I'm Sarah, mom of two beautiful boys, Isaac and Ezra. I am married the most amazing man, Joe. I am an adoption advocate, an adoptive mom and was featured on season 2 of Oxygen's, "I'm Having Their Baby" which tells the story of our first failed adoption match. In this series, I will focus on the trials and tribulations of adoption as well as all the amazing experiences we've had in the process. I had a million questions and never knew how to find the answers, so it was all live and learn. I hope to share my experience with you, whether you are considering adoption for yourself or you know someone who is, I want to make the once taboo subject something people aren't afraid to talk about. Adoption can be a roller coaster of fun and fear, come along for the ride on ours.
What is a Home Study?

What is a Home Study?

Sarah Baker | May 14, 2013 | 01:09 PM

Every state and even by county, the home study process differs slightly. For us, it was a multi-part and several month long process that terrified us. Basically this detailed report will tell an agency, a judge and birth parents if we were found to be fit for parenting. Being we already have a son, wow, the pressure really felt "on". Things involved in the adoption home study were:

• FBI and BCI background checks.

• Training classes through the county, which we were lucky enough to be approved to take them online.

• A house evaluation. This included a tour of our home to check for fire safety, chemical safety, sanitary conditions, adequate bedrooms, etc.

• A fire inspection. This included checking smoke detectors, having an evacuation plan and emergency phone numbers posted. Our fire inspector was also pleased to see we had multiple fire extinguishers in the house.

• References from friends with a form for them to fill out about us.

• A very long packet to fill out answering in great detail everything about us as a family. Job history, relationships, income, home size, childhood, views on discipline, religion, conflict resolution, etc.

It took a while for everything to be completed for the home study, but they were really nice about it and the social worker assigned to us was helpful in answering our questions and putting our fears at ease. While waiting on the home study to be approved, I wanted to get started on the fun stuff; making our profile book and one page bio that the agency would use to show the pregnant mothers considering adoption.

We were so eager to move forward with the adoption and the home study felt like a huge and daunting milestone. But, keep in mind, that the back ground checks, the certification courses and the inspections are not to STOP you from getting a child, but to protect that child. The social workers are helpful and kind people who have these little precious children's best interests in mind and giving them a loving and safe home is in their best interest. You don't have to be wealthy, just capable. You don't have to be an OCD clean freak, just sanitary and safe. You don't have to be perfect, just a capable parent.

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