i can't really remember the contents of the last post, but given that it was written in july, i know a lot has happened since then. several trips to see friends and family, the arrival of huntin' season, the start of my last semester of school, and the completion of our adoption application. not many days after the application was turned in, the social worker called to arrange a date for the homestudy. that date is november 4. yep - just a few days away.
in case you're not familiar w/adoption lingo, the homestudy is the first in-home visit completed by the agency's social worker. she comes and spends at least 3 hours (our first one before riley was about 5 hours) in your home....she'll talk to josh and me together and then to each of us individually. a great deal of the discussions will be related to the answers we provided on the application - our backgrounds, our relationships, our expectations for our children, etc. then she'll eventually walk through the inside and around the outside of our home, inspecting the safety level of our home environment.
this last thing is generally the part that leads those in the world of adoption to term the homestudy "the white glove test." the agency says, "we just have to make sure your home is safe for a child. that you're fit to be parents." what the adoptive couple hears is, "we have to be on our bestest best behavior. our house has to look its bestest best ever."
so last time, we cleaned and sorted and bought all the necessary baby-proofing instruments. we worried and sifted and paced. i tried to ward off the nervousness by justifying the deep cleaning that was goin on as a necessary mid-summer cleaning spell. hours and hours were spent tryin to make our little rent house and our lives seem a little more put together than they actually were.
i vacuumed under the couch cushions.
that's a serious extension of normal cleaning around here.
this time around, i can almost guarantee the vacuum cleaner will make one sweep over the carpets and go back to the closet.
b/c this thing happens when you have a kid....and then want another one. at least it did for me. lots of things shifted and turned upside down and inside out when riley came home almost three years ago. i don't quite have the energy to prop up the veneer of all-is-well-all-the-time. there's no pause button on life right now. josh is working off-duty night shifts, and i'm workin when i can...so we can afford this next adoption. huntin season is in full-swing, and i spend my early mornings and nap times workin on school. in the meantime, riley sings at the top of her lungs hours each day...when she isn't singing, she's normally playing w/her cats (either real or imaginary) and often eager for mama to engage in her world of play. it doesn't stop....life doesn't stop. don't get me wrong - i'm not complaining or wishin for a different pace. i'm sayin that life is better now.
life as a mother is good.
it's fuller and messier. it forces patience and an ongoing realignment of heart and mind.
we're having to sacrifice and work toward this adoption in ways we didn't have to the first time around. it's hard, but it's a bearable kinda hard. it's a worth-it-kinda-hard.
so our homestudy is monday morning, and b/c life is fuller and messier, harder in some ways, and better in lots of ways....i'll clean as i can this weekend and hope this social worker is okay w/couch cushions that have been flipped over to hide the toddler-wear. in the meantime, we'll work and play and dress our girl up as minnie mouse this evenin and let her eat more candy than she needs.
p.s. due to josh comin home from a night shift and riley waking up right at the same time, it's taken me 2 hours to write this. i don't have time to proof it for confusion. sorry!