Last Saturday we met with our social worker during our first home study visit. I woke up early that morning, full of anticipation. I swept the floors, took out the trash, sent my husband into town to buy fresh pastries, and instructed the kitties to be on their best behavior. An hour later, our social worker pulled into our driveway. Ryan and I both breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that she was driving a red Prius. Somehow, we figured that meant that she would "get" us. And she did. We were both pleasantly surprised by how easy and comfortable the three hour visit felt.
Now that doesn't mean that she didn't ask us difficult questions. In fact, she reminded us over and over and over that there are huge risks involved in adopting an older child, let alone a child of a different race and culture. But it felt good to talk openly about these risks with someone who has watched countless others walk down a similar path. She reminded us that we're not alone on this journey, and that what we're embarking on is not crazy. At the end of the visit, we made plans to meet again in two weeks and sent our social worker on her way with a bag full of uneaten pastries. The kitties quickly found their usual spots and curled up for their afternoon naps as I looked around our empty house, suddenly feeling absolutely full of hope.