So what is a home study?

The outpouring of love and support after our adoption announcement last week has been incredible. We feel so blessed to have so many supportive people in our lives and we know our child will be so loved by so many people. THANK YOU!

Throughout this week, we’ve been asked many times about where we are in the adoption process and how long it will take. We like to note that adoptive families cannot put a specific timeframe on the adoption process because the journey is always changing (sometimes on a daily basis); however, we are currently on a fast track to complete our home study very soon! You can follow our timeline in the sidebar of this blog site or under the “Adoption” tab.

It’s not easy for us to share that the entire process (from start to finish) will take about 1.5-2 years because we’ve been wanting a family for a while now, but the good news is that we are well on our way to having a completed Home Study. Which means the next phase for us is waiting to be matched with our child(ren)!!!! We’ve noted in our home study we’d be willing to adopt twins or siblings. We know the wait will be worth it. Talk about letting go and letting God!

What is a home study?

A home study is both a process and a document. It is one of the most time-consuming and important phases in the entire adoption process. Before our placing agency can match us with a child, a social worker in Wisconsin needs to prepare a written report about our family. That report is called the Home Study. The average timeframe for the home study phase is between 2-5 months. We are on track to have our completed Home Study submitted in under 2 months, and we anticipate an accepted Home Study right around that 2-month mark (end of October 2018). We’ve been busting our butts getting this step completed. Theoretically, the faster we complete this step the closer we are to getting matched with our child.

The best way that we can describe the home study process is to think of it as our social worker verifying our physical, financial, mental, and emotional fitness. Are we physically, financially, mentally, and emotionally ready to bring a child into our lives? Don’t you think all parents should have to go through that before having children? 😉 The exact level of detail that is needed varies by agency, country, and adoption path (foster-to-adopt, domestic infant adoption, or international adoption). We were provided a checklist from our home study agency with 34+ items that we had to complete and a folder full of documents. A daunting task, but we have successfully completed all the necessary items. Some of those items included: 5 law enforcement and governmental background checks, questionnaires from references, psych evaluations from a licensed psychiatrist, medical evaluations (including blood work and a chest x-ray), financial statements (including documenting our net worth and showing several year’s tax statements). Each of us filled out a 25-page personal questionnaire containing intimate questions about our marriage, parents, childhood, high school years, and our relationship with family. We have completed more than 20 hours (in-person and online) of adoptive parent and transracial parenting training. Actually, just this past week we spent two full days in an adoptive parent training seminar where we discussed the gains and losses of the adoption triad (child, birth parents, adoptive parents) and what it means to be a “conspicuous” family. We will touch more on grief, loss, and transracial parenting in future blog posts. Subjects that have been weighing heavily on our hearts lately.

Adoption home study

What do we have left to complete?

Since we have completed all the paperwork for this part of the process, we have started the home visits with our social worker at our home. We have had one visit already and will have the remaining two visits over the next few weeks. Our social worker will determine that our home is safe and suitable for children by checking things like smoke detectors and potential safety hazards. Most importantly, this is our chance for the social worker to get to know us, our personalities, our beliefs, our values, and our family life. It’s also our chance to get to know our social worker and develop a relationship with her.

At the conclusion of our home study interviews, our social worker will write a 10-15 page report describing our family and including information required by our state of residence, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Korean government. The home study report will also identify the age, gender, and health of the child we are approved to adopt.

This is a HUGE milestone in the adoption timeline because once Korea approves our Home Study then they will begin looking for the perfect baby for us!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we finish up this important step in the adoption process.

P.S. If you and your family have been thinking about adoption and are at the point of wanting to adopt, but have no idea where to even start…please reach out to us! We’re here for you. We understand (trust us!) how scary and crazy difficult it is to make the decision to adopt. The international adoption community can be a wonderful place, but it can also be a very intimidating and sometimes negative one. We’d be happy to share our process and how we’ve faced some of the challenges of international adoption with the courage we have by faith.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).

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    • Dawn
    • September 26, 2018

    Hi Chris and Bri,

    This is wonderful news! I am so excited for you both (and for us!) … can’t wait to meet our Grandchild/ren !!! 😉

    Thinking and praying for speed and closure of one step so you can navigate to the next the hurdle.

    Love you guys!
    Dawn and Dad

      • Bri Lambrecht
      • October 5, 2018

      Thank you, Dawn! Extra prayers needed as we navigate a very frustrating and unexpected roadblock in our home study phase–an agency closure. The past few weeks have been very difficult not knowing what our future looks like. I’m sure Lothair can fill you in.

      Once we have more of a plan moving forward we’ll blog about it.

      Love you!

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