Parents’ Best Advice
Adoptive parents' most important advice as you go into the study is to be honest—with yourself, your spouse or partner, and the social worker.
"Be really clear about what kind of situation is going to work for your family," says Barbara. "It's easy to say I know I should be comfortable with a child of another race, or an older child. But it's not the time to be politically correct. There are no 'shoulds.' If it's not a situation that's going to be comfortable for you, it's OK to say so."
And remember, though it seems like a big deal while you're in the middle of it, the home study is only a very small part of an overwhelming, life-altering experience. "Don't be afraid of the home study process," says Barnes. "It's just a stepping stone that helps you get to your end goal of becoming an adoptive parent. Adopting our daughter was one of the most amazing things we have done."
"Hang in there," says Blount. "Nothing makes you feel nuttier, yet nothing is more rewarding."