Before Jacob and I moved to Louisiana, I was a social worker for the State of Tennessee as a child abuse investigator. As part of my job, sometimes it was necessary to remove children from the care of their biological parents. When this happened, every attempt was made to find a relative placement to prevent them from coming into state custody. In these situations, I had to do a very basic home study, making sure there were no immediate threats. This was usually accomplished pretty quickly...a simple background check from the sheriff's office, a walk through of the house making sure there were no firearms loaded and sitting out on the coffee table or live wires hanging from the walls. The best home study ever was when I did one for the cab of an 18 wheeler. Yes, you read that right....the cab and bed area of a semi-truck. Whatever...
Back to this week...our home study was much more intense. It was not quick. There was a home inspection and hours upon hours of talking about lots of things.
At the beginning of the week, I just knew I was going to scrub the baseboards, tops of ceiling fans, reorganize the food pantry (hiding the canned foods and stocking up on organic veggies), and collect all of the dust bunnies under the couch. None of these things happened. In the end because of being exhausted, a little wired from too much coffee, and mostly realizing that she wanted to see the home our son will live in...not a house on display...I cleaned it just like I do every
The home inspection went well. She flushed our toilets, turned on our water, looked in our cabinets (to make sure there were no cleaning supplies within a child's reach), looked in the fridge and pantry, and checked out all the bedrooms. I was really glad I hadn't wasted time getting the dust bunnies under the couch because she didn't even look there!
That was only a tidbit of the study, though. We mostly talked. Our home study social worker, Ashley, is awesome. Truly great. I mean the, she-sat-down-and-had-popcorn-and-lemonade-with-my-kids kind of great. She basically wanted to know every tiny detail of our life story, what our relationships were like with our family and friends, and our parenting styles. She laughed with us and she cried with me. I talked her head off and she listened. She knew where we were coming from as parents and why we were taking our family in the direction of adoption. She helped us work through and prepare a little for some issues we may face down the road, after our adoption is complete. She even gave me a gentle, understanding smile when one of my adorable children had a meltdown in front of her and laughed because I hadn't gotten around to sweeping up the massive amount of Cheerios one precious little boy (who shall remain nameless) had scattered all over the floor during breakfast as they crunched under cute shoes.
I admit, though, that I had worried and stressed leading up to this. Not because we had anything to hide or because I didn't think we'd do well on it, but because I have this problem called "control". And I like to be in it. When something is out of my hands, it drives me nuts. I'm working on, though, y'all...slowly, but surely. We're actually doing a study in our Sunday school class right now...Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Have you read it? It will speak to the very core of your being as it teaches you about the awesomeness of our God. Go get it, please :) Anyway, earlier this week, one quote (talking about stress and worry) really stuck out to me as I was reading in preparation for Sunday:
"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional."
Wow. Yep. That pretty much summed it up for me. Why was I worrying - beyond the answer of "we have nothing to hide"? I do not have to worry! I do not have to stress!! As I sat down for a minute of silence just before she arrived for our Friday morning interview, I read this verse from Colossians 1:17, "He (God) is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
So, again, why was I worried and stressed about our home study when it was God who led us to have our home studied? God is control of this. He is holding this whole adoption journey together - dust bunnies under my couch and all. It is for His glory that He has brought my family to this place. It is God who is doing all of these great things. It's a long, hard, tedious journey but God is going before us every single step of the way. He's never asked me to do something and then left me on my own to figure it out. Why did I worry so much over this?
My brain may still be a little foggy and trying to sort through just exactly what all Ashley talked to us about, but I'm not worried about it. I know we'll pass with an A+ and the rest of our process will be completed and some day, I will tuck my little boy into his bed in our home.