Friday, January 28, 2011

The dreaded Home Study Autobiography.

I wish I could have found this on someones blog when I was doing my pre-adoption research...

An autobiography helps us to know you better as a person by reading about your life experiences. These questions need to be answered individually (no cutting and pasting)! Please follow the outline EXACTLY as the autobiography is integrated into your home study by our typist. The average length is 6-9 typed pages (please use at least a size 10 font). If your autobiography does not adequately address all of the questions, it will be returned for additional information or thoughts (which will delay your home study process).

Motivation for Adoption:

1. Describe why you have chosen to adopt at this time and when did your interest in adoption begin?

2. Describe why you think you and your spouse would be great adoptive parent(s).

3. What do you respect about your spouse's attitude about adoption?

4. What is your extended family and friends' attitude towards adoption?

Adoption Readiness:

1. What has been your experience with adoption?

2. What worries you about participating in an adoption?

3. Describe what you have done to prepare yourself for adoption and what do you plan to continue doing to educate yourself about adoption issues.

4. At this point, how knowledgeable do you feel about adoption issues adoptees face while growing up, such as: identity issues and/or grief and loss, etc.?

5. What are your plans for discussing adoption with your child?

Adoption Views (International only):

1. Why did you choose an international adoption and why did you choose this particular country?

2. What are your views towards helping your child deal with issues related to loss of birth family, feelings of abandonment and the orphanage experience?

3. What is your awareness of the issues your child may face by being adopted across racial/cultural line and what are your plans for embracing these differences within your family?

4. How do you think your extended family, friends, and community will embrace a child of another culture?

5. What is your understanding of international adoptions, potential risks and delays, and possible problems the child may have in adapting to their new environment?


1. What are your parent's names? Briefly describe your parents' personalities, their role within the family and their relationship with each other.

2. Describe your relationship with them growing up and now. If either is deceased, how old were they at the time of their death and what was the cause of death?

3. If your parents are divorced (or widowed) and have remarried, describe your parent's spouse and your relationship with them.

4. Describe your relationship with each of your siblings.

Growing Up:

1. Describe the family in which you grew up within. How were you disciplined? How was affection shown? Did you feel valued in your family?

2. What were your family values? What kind of activities did you do as a child? Did your family take yearly vacations, etc.? If there were any dysfunctions (exp. alcoholism, abuse, etc.), describe how you have coped with these issues.

3. Based on your family life experience, would you raise your children the way you were raised?

Major Life Events:

1. What major life changing experiences have you faced? How have these events shaped your life?

2. What major losses have your experienced in life and how have you dealt with these losses?

3. What situations in life cause you the most stress or frustration and how do you cope with these feelings?

4. Discuss any history of therapy, medical issues and/or history of drug or alcohol abuse.

5. Describe any involvement you have had with the law, even if it did not result in an arrest or a conviction (Note: the FBI checks show ALL arrests).

Education and Employment:

1. Describe your education experiences. Focus on high school and advanced educational training. Example: What subjects did you most and least enjoy? What were your average grades? What extracurricular activities were you involved in? What was your social life like?

2. Give a brief professional career history since your highest schooling.

3. Describe your current job title and duties. Do you enjoy your work? Do you plan on a career change?

Previous Marriage/Annulment or Significant Relationships·:

I. How long did you know your previous spouse before marriage and why did you get married?

2. What did each of you contribute towards the final termination of the marriage?

3. What did you learn about yourself from the relationship?

4. If this marriage produced children, describe the custody arrangements.

5. *If you were involved in a significant relationship that resulted in the birth of a child, please describe that relationship with regards to the above questions.

Present Marriage/Singles·:

1. Describe when and how you met your spouse. How long did you date before marriage? Give a brief summary of your courtship.

2. Describe your spouse's personality. What do you most admire and what would you like to change?

3. Describe how your spouse gives and receives affection?

4. Describe your roles within the marriage (traditional, unconventional, etc.). What are the strengths in your relationship?

5. Describe how decisions are made in your relationship and how do you handle differences in opinion?

6. How are the finances handled within your marriage?

7. *If you are single please address your singleness, your support system offamily and friends, the prospects of marriage in the future and how do you feel single parenthood will affect your child?

Impact of lnfertility: (If applicable)

1. How has your infertility affected your life?

2. Do you feel you have dealt with your infertility adequately, in order to embrace an adopted child?


1. Describe what experiences you have had caring for children (if you do not have children currently).

2. If you have children from this marriage or a previous relationship, describe their personality and your relationship with them. What grade are they in and what activities are they involved in? What are your children's feelings towards having a new sibling?

Child Care:

1. How long do you plan to take off from work?

2. What are your plans for childcare (if any)?


1. What expectations do you have for your child in life (behavior, school, career, relationships, goals, etc.)?

2. What do you think are the obligations of a parent to their child?


1. What do you feel is the purpose of discipline?

2. What forms of discipline have you used with a child or that you plan to use?

Life Activities Religion:

1. What life activities are you involved in? (e.g., leisure, hobbies, social and community activities, etc.)

2. What activities do you enjoy with your family (spouse/children)?

3. Do you practice a particular religious faith? If so, please describe your religious beliefs and activities?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I love fall! Sorry for the late post.

Oh how I love these kids! They are just so full of life.

Sometimes things just fall into place....

So we have decided on the 2 agencies we will be using for this adoption. We spoke with both agencies and got a good understanding on the cost then we implemented an aggressive budget to try and understand where the money would come from to pay for this. I will say we have been on the budget for about a month now and were able to save about $1400 this month. However about 2 weeks ago my husband came home and told me that he might have a temporary position at his company that would last about 9 months. If I get the job it pays well enough to cover the majority of the adoption cost. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 3 years now and never once has there been a temporary job come available. In addition to this, last summer my in-laws finally sold their house (6 hours away) and moved in down the street. They said they are more than happy to help out with caring for the kids during this time. Seriously does it come together better than this!

We still have not officially signed the papers as we still need to save some money or I at least need to get this job before we can start.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Technology

Oh Joe would be proud!! Im now using my mobile device to blog!

I love this!

The Reluctant Spouse...

Joe and I started trying to conceive in May of 2010. After about 6 months with no success I decided that time was of the essence and we needed to see a fertility specialist. Joe agreed and we went in for all of the preliminary test. Everything came out fine except for the fact that I'm old. At 39 my chances of conceiving naturally each month are about 5% and about 10% if we pursued IUI with drugs. I asked Joe one night what we were going to do if this didn't work? He responded that we were going to adopt, we were adding on to our family. That was all it took to light my fire back up and I was researching adoption again with no care or concern for the fertility route. For me, my heart was in Russia all along but when you marry someone you have to respect their thoughts and feelings and having another baby was kind of our compromise. We could add on to the family without the financial burden and health risk involved in international adoption.

So with that being said, we were out one evening with a friend and he indicated that whenever him and his wife couldn't agree on something they did rock/paper/scissors. So I turned to Joe and said, I win we go to Russian, you win we don't. He agreed and lost 2/3! Guess we are going to Russia! Well the next morning I explained to him that R/P/S does not decide our life. He turned to me and said "we are going to Russia, we want to add to our family so lets go get our daughter!" Over the next 2 weeks I gave him several opportunities to get out of it but he never once reneged. We have an appointment set up with our home study agency on Saturday and we've set up a savings account to save the money. I feel an overwhelming since of peace right now. I truly have the greatest husband in the world. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I'll bet our little daughter ends up being a "daddy's girl"!