Our domestic home study could not have gone better! It is going very smoothly, at least so far. All of our references have come back. All of our clearances have come back, except for the Child Abuse and Neglect Findings, which we hope to get in tomorrow. Technically, Dru is unable to use the ones from lifeline, but since she did see them, she is not concerned at all.
She hopes to finalize everything tomorrow so that we can send everything in to the attorney! I also just found out that the birth mom does not see the home study, she sees the profiles and the application that we filled out. The attorney and the judge need to see the home study in the event that we are the chosen family for this, so the home study could even take until Tuesday and still be just fine for this situation (that is the later end of when we hope to finalize it).
Dru said she has no concerns about our family in approving us for a sibling group of up to 5 children, up to 10 years old. She is also putting language in the home study stating that if the siblings are not available at the same time, it would still be acceptable, as that is the situation with these children IF all 5 of them actually become available.
Now that the craziness of both of the home studies are behind us, we are trying to get back to 'real life' kinds of things...like painting egg carton caterpillars this afternoon - pictures to follow soon.
There is certainly a weight that is relieved and a peace that has settled in now that the home study is done, at least on my end. There is one more form that we may not be able to get from lifeline that states we are in good standings with them and had initially pursued an international home study for Colombia, which is complete and approved, and awaiting finalization. We have learned it is a very strange thing for an adoption agency to refuse to release the information for a home study the way that lifeline has. They have a lot of policies that have made it difficult to make this switch/change. It is the one reason that I would hesitate to recommend them to other families. I would definitely recommend Dru Groves to others as she is willing to release whatever information would be helpful to any other agency, or for a private use of her home study. She is also available for any issues that come up during or after the adoption and for the post placement assessments and any issues that come up with the children after they are placed.