What a difference experience makes. This week, we met with our social worker for the second time. The first time she came to our home, several weeks ago, we were merely becoming acquainted and reviewing the paperwork process, just like we did during our initial meeting with the social worker who helped us prepare for Teddy two-and-a-half years ago.
But the second meeting, the one where Mike and I are interviewed individually, that first time around was nerve-wracking. I thought about it all the time in the days leading up to it, wondering what she’d ask. This time? I wasn’t worried at all. The first time, I’m pretty sure I thought a lot about my outfit, wanting to look well put together, but not like I was trying too hard. This time, well, no one would accuse me of trying too hard… Capri jeans and a t-shirt is the outfit of choice for this SAHM, and I saw no need to change. The first time, I made cookies, although that was less to impress and more because I almost always make cookies when people come over. I needn’t have bothered, though, and I didn’t this time: social workers as a general rule don’t dine with their clients, not even for dessert. Both social workers have only ever consumed water while chatting with us.
Last time, I was aghast that Mike might want to drink a beer. This time, didn’t bat an eye, and I even joked that we keep red solo cups in the cupboard so we can sip an adult beverage while Teddy runs around the pool on our roof, where glass is prohibited.
While sharing our story the first time, I obsessed throughout the interview, worried that I was saying the wrong thing, that I was answering as eloquently as I would have liked, that I was presenting myself accurately. During the interview this time, I was so much more laid back. She had the report from our first home study, so she was simply jotting notes on those pages, confirming that what we’d said the first time was still true. “You still have one brother?” She asked, smiling. She did have a few additional questions, concerning our lives since becoming parents.
During the first go-round, we had a third interview, when we were interviewed together, to discuss our feelings about adoption and any worries about parenting a child of a different race. Since our feelings haven’t changed, our social worker informed us the third interview wouldn’t be necessary.
So our part is finished. Now we wait for our social worker to complete the report, have the agency approve it, and call our references. We will be on the waitlist to adopt a sibling for Teddy by Sept. 1!