We received the rough draft of our homestudy the other week and after making our own corrections we sent it to our umbrella agency and facilitation team members both here and overseas. The marked up rough draft has been sent back to our social worker. We are waiting on at least one more form from one background check from one of the many states where we’ve lived, and then I think the next step is for our homestudy to be sent to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services. It is a big next step, our family sponsorship program page which has been at “homestudy in progress” for the past many months will update to say “waiting USCIS approval” and from there it’s a hop, skip, and very long jump to traveling overseas to meet our hopeful daughter.
Our progress compared to other families adopting from Angelina’s country has been slow. Already two families who began adopting after us have already met their children and brought them home. The delay with our homestudy is mainly due to our agency wavering half-way through the process as they tried to determine whether they would even complete homestuydies for Angelina’s country.
It was such a relief to see the 19 page rough draft and more than a little strange to read details about your own childhood, marriage, and parenting styles knowing that many strangers in a different culture were going to read it and the story of at least one life could be drastically changed based on the impressions this report gave. 19 pages all about you, your spouse, and your kids. No pressure.
But what is most important about our homestudy is who else it talks about. Our social worker stuck to the truth and did not waver from proclaiming the Gospel in this scrap of bureaucracy. (I believe the homestudy is a confidential document at the moment so I won’t copy and paste her words, but I will convey the general meaning.) Instead of taking the more politically correct route of saying something vague like we “value religion” or thought “God was important”, she speaks of Christ’s work and how His life, death and resurrection gives us hope for this fallen life, hope of things to come, hope for our children who may never “achieve” by our society’s standards.
Over and over again throughout this document you find the Gospel proclaimed. The reality of living in a broken world, the loss involved in adoption, the repercussions that abuse and neglect may have on our family as a whole is all taken into account, but she does not end there, she continues sharing our conviction that God has given us so much. He has given us new life, peace, and salvation. And now He has given us a way to share this Gospel, a living breathing hope, with one whom the Bible would call “the least of these” and who certainly lives in a society who does not see their worth. He has given us Jesus.
From the start my husband and I knew that adoption is one way the Gospel can be seen in action; we knew that bringing a child into the family of Christ was our highest goal, but I had only thought of Angelina and how our actions and words would affect her life. I had not thought of all the people involved in her case, all the people who would wonder why strangers from across the world would make these sacrifices for someone else’ child. All those people will read our homestudy and see the hope we carry within us, the reason we love. We love because he first loved us, we were someone else’ child but are now adopted, loved children of the most high God. It is a growing, powerful love that began long before us and will continue long after we have been forgotten and as it builds it also spreads changing life after life after life.
This homestudy was a long time coming but it’s safe to say it was worth the wait.