The Toughest Part
Still, the home study process requires so much personal reflection that it can be a challenge even if it doesn't necessarily give you jitters. "The hardest part for both of us was writing the autobiography portion," says Fran Barnes, 38, who lives in Pittsford, New York, with her husband, Jason, 38, their seven-year-old identical twin sons, Eli and Zachary, and daughter Zoe, three, whom they adopted from Chongqing, China, when she was nine months old. "Figuring out our values, parenting style, the way we were parented as children -- there are many issues the autobiography brings up that most people who decide to have a child never consider, or at least never put into words."
"I think the hardest part was answering questions that were based upon what 'might' happen for an adopted child and how we would react to the situation," says Hoffman. "As a parent, you really need to take each moment and situation and child's unique personality into consideration before you can take actions and help solve issues."
Hoffman wasn't worried about the outcome of the study, however. "We were just hoping that our true personalities would show through the answers and our interviews," she says. "That our intentions were true and from our heart, that we were ready and had already worked through our reasons as to why we wanted to adopt."
For Barbara, the study itself wasn't a problem, but she was a little annoyed that non-adoptive parents weren't forced to prove themselves the same way. "That was what I had the hardest time getting past," she says. "If it's such a good idea, why doesn't everyone have to do it?"