Yesterday I went with Sam and some people from his work to the troop send off. Their were about 25-30 people from his work where we were standing (when you consider that he works in Perry, which is 30 minutes away from Stillwater, that's pretty good). I'm thankful that he works for a company that allows it's employees to attend events such as this. The reason these guys (and a couple of ladies) wanted to come over was partly to thank the people leaving for deployment and partly to support their boss, April, because her husband was on one of the buses. I know this is selfish, but I'm glad my husband isn't in the armed forces. I couldn't imagine watching a bus drive by knowing that he was on it and I wouldn't see him again for 400 days. I am forever grateful to the men and women who make this sacrifice, both those being deployed and the families they leave behind. Thank you just isn't enough.
Last night was our initial home visit. There isn't much to report on it other than we both felt it went well. The only things she suggested before the home study are to put child locks on cabinets with cleaning supplies, post emergency numbers on the fridge, and draw up our fire evacuation plan (seriously, what kid-less house has those things already in place? Oh, and thanks, Dad, for all the smoke detectors and fire extinguishers over the years, they came in handy last night :). We have to put a sticker at the children's eye level on the glass doors so the kids know they are there, but she marked that we are ok right now because Bella leaves nose prints at that level (yes, she said that... so much for cleaning the doors earlier in the day). She also left us with more papers including the cards for fingerprints, medical examination report, financial assessment, health history assessment, family/parent questionnaire. The family/parent questionnaire is nine pages long and includes questions such as "Tell us something about your childhood and the people who reared you." "I married my spouse because..." "I know I can irritate my spouse when..." and "The best/worst time of day at our house is..." Wow, I feel like we are preparing for a test. Sam said that I get to do most of the talking at the home study since I know the "teacher response." Our caseworker, Maggie, said that after the two home studies are completed they will have 30-40 typed pages of information on us, I told her we probably won't have that many since we really aren't that interesting. We also talked some about the Life Book that we have to make. I have a question to those of you who have been through the adoption process, did you make the book geared towards the children or the caseworker? She said that either way is OK, I just can't decide which one to do. For those of you who don't know, the Life Book is a 3-5 page photo scrapbook about us that can include our family, pets, home, vacations, close friends, anything we want the kids and their caseworker to see. Please pray that this process moves quickly, Maggie said it could take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years .