By noon I was wondering how we'd ever be ready for our home study meeting. We had 24 hours left to prepare and 48 or more hours of preparation left to accomplish. I wasn't handling the stress anymore. I felt feverish, overwhelmed, and as if all motivation was gone. My sweet husband sent me to nap and took the kids to town for lunch. I thought about my grandma and cried myself to sleep in my silent house.
I could have slept until Friday. Instead, I awoke two hours later in much the same mood but feeling physically strengthened. And I moved on to work on our bedroom. In that moment, sitting on my floor in a pile of storage to be sorted, not a single part of me cared about the outcome of our meeting. By now, the kids had been through ten days of constant activities and were also sad about grandma. No one was getting along, and Amos and I were both scraping the bottom of our patience reserves. I wanted to cancel the meeting altogether, even if that meant abandoning our entire adoption plan. I voiced these thoughts as I continued moving through the motions of organizing, cleaning, and typing answers. At 2 AM, I typed the final period of the final answer to the final question. The to-do list wasn't finished, but I was.
I read recently that stress is one of the enemy's greatest weapons, and last Thursday he used it well. It was truly only by Jesus' hand that I managed to limp through the day, and only by the grace of God that I awoke Friday morning feeling rested and content with my cluttered house.
My most recent foster system lesson: #3 is
Don't stress over your home study!
A home study feels like the be all and end all of foster licensing. In reality, it is only a part of what is necessary for licensing. Our social worker and her supervisor (who teaches our class) will also have a say in the decision. I'm wondering, now, if their opinions will matter more than the home study. We were told on the first night of class that the entire nine weeks would be like a very long interview. At the time, I thought it was a metaphor, but I'm learning how true that really is. The social workers observe us from the first contact we make. They see what our priorities are, how organized we are, how respectful, cooperative, and willing. It is the social workers who get to know us. The home study is simply a double check of what the social worker has already seen, a verification that there isn't a red flag that may have been missed.
Amos and I were far more concerned with the condition of our home than Children's Division was. I think that is probably the case with most responsible families.