When beginning the adoption process, there are so many steps that may seem overwhelming. The mounds of paperwork and the background checks can offer little reprieve, but it was the home study interview that had us on edge weeks before it was even scheduled to take place.

I was cleaning every corner of my house the week before and had even asked my mom to come help make sure I hadn’t overlooked anything. Safety precautions were being taken to baby-proof everything. And our nerves were shot from worrying about the questions they would ask us during the interview and wondering if our answers would meet their grand expectations.

Driving to our home the day our home study was scheduled, I remember getting a call from my husband stating that our adoption social worker had arrived early. When I finally pulled into our garage and managed to calm myself enough to appear composed, I walked into the house to see that they were already doing our walk-through to inspect our home. The situation didn’t ease my anxiety levels at first, but it was when our social worker finished her tour and sat down on our living room sofa that I saw her heart for helping families like us.

Her job was not to come and induce fear as we began our adoption process. But rather, she calmed our anxieties with her excitement for our family and the assurance of being a support that we could count on when we would need it. And so, our interview began with comforting words, relaxed conversation, and questions that allowed us to share our hearts.

Most of the questions she asked were easy and natural to discuss. We talked openly about our family and our desire for adoption. Our social worker examined our past, present, and future as if writing a biography on our life. It felt like no detail was too small and no emotion out of reach as we shared who we are with her.

There were also a few questions that caught us off-guard during our interview. Here are three of the most surprising:

  • My husband’s background check had identified a time when he was pulled over and given a ticket for not wearing his seatbelt. Our social worker dug deeper into his indiscretion to ensure that he was a safe driver, a non-trouble-causing citizen, and had learned his lesson.
  • We were asked to give a full account of every financial asset, debt, and property we had. This question was answered on our application, but our social worker used this to lead into asking us about the financial responsibilities of an adoption and if we would be able to meet those needs.
  • At the time of our home study, our daughter was 3 years old. During the interview, the social worker asked for a room where she could interview our daughter by herself. We were surprised that a 3-year-old would be interviewed and have anything to add to our home study, but as we stood by the closed door listening intently to our daughter describe her desire for a baby sister and express her deep love for her mommy and daddy, I knew her interview would be the best of all.

I cannot tell you every question we were asked during our home study interview. However, I can assure you that we were way too anxious for what would be the start of a sweet relationship with the lady who offered her guidance and support as we embarked on a new journey. If you’re wondering, there were a few things in our house that we needed to address before she came back for her next house call, but in no way did that hinder our approval. We understand that adoption is a great responsibility, and the job of an adoption social worker is to prepare families and homes to the best of their ability to welcome in a new family member. This we do not take lightly and is why we were so relieved after we completed our home study and had a new encourager on our journey.

Interested in learning more about the home study for adoption? Check out American Adoptions’ guide to the home study here, or visit 1800homestudy.com.

Jill is a 32-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 5-year-old and 1-year-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.