So the social worker from Catholic Social Services came over last night for the in-home interview. Peter and I took off work early so we could make the 4pm meeting time she wanted and, because God has a sense of humor, she didn't arrive until 5pm because of the traffic leaving the City. You have to love the Blue Route... So, we spent the hour watching the History Channel (wait... I watched the HC, Peter took a nap in my lap.) She was with us until nearly 7pm.
The first part of the interview was some background about us. Basically, a review of the first application. She asked about our jobs. She asked if we had a preference for ages/races (we don't). She explained about how some of their kids come into care and the work surrounding it. (Meetings 2x/month plus visits from the assigned case worker 2x/month, doctor visits, school enrollment, etc.) One of the big perks is that they will pay for Catholic school entirely. And, if for some reason, that didn't work out, we have the highest rated elementary school in the district within walking distance. On the bad side, they don't permit homeschooling, which is sad because that is the route we've wanted to take for a long time. But, at least both the public elementary and our church's school are top rated. That's something.
She explained the process and what comes next (formal application, 3 background checks, financial check, and 6 training classes). The next trainings are in March, so I have to email today and get the dates. Otherwise, the next are in May, which wouldn't work if I am indeed pregnant and need the cerclage at the end of April. So, better to do it now.
She did a tour of the house and made notes about things. Our first floor linen cabinet was a mess. I meant to clean it and organize it, but didn't get around to it. I was so embarrassed. She didn't seem to mind. Everyone will be happy to know that both toilets, both showers, and all of our sinks work. I know you were worried. :) (Peter was actually taken aback that she checked all the water sources, but I tried to explain afterwards that she was just doing her job).
She asked us about our children and stopped and looked at their pictures upstairs for a long time. We explained that they were premature and had passed away because of that. She said that she's met people who've gone through similar, but they didn't have pictures out. She said that she was really sorry, but that she truly believed that they were gifts from God. I was really worried about her response to them, but that put me at ease.
Afterwards, she seemed to think that things went well and that she will try to get our formal application in the mail by next week! She'll also mail out the letter to our pastor (you have to have a pastor's recommendation) and, in the formal application, we have to provide several references for them to contact. I'm not sure yet how many or how long we will have to have known them/in what capacity we know them, etc., but we will soon find out.
We are both still really nervous. But we still feel called to this avenue. While we were in our meeting, the emergency phone rang. A three year old was being removed from his home and placed in a foster home. His "parents" (and I use that word loosely) had left him alone for a week. A three year old. A little boy. I wanted to cry on the spot for that little one. But, thankfully, they had a home ready and he was on his way there when the case worker called to update the social worker (who happens to be a supervisor). She shared another story of a 6 year old whose father beat him. It really makes your stomach turn that people can be this cruel to their children... I just can't fathom it. But, because of that, that's why we are here, I suppose. And, I'm sure, for every horror story there is the story of a homeless family or a family who can't support their children or a family where one parent has died and the other can't cope or a parent who is addicted and is trying to get help and straighten out.
All we can do is our best, but I do fear for our hearts. But, as Peter says, it isn't about us, it's about them. It's about that child who needs a safe, loving home- be it for a day or for a lifetime. Parenting should be about that, not about us and our heartbreak. We've been contemplating and praying and considering and thinking on this for years. Years. We have survived the ultimate heartbreak. We will survive any heartbreaks on this journey, too.
On an unrelated note, I had some fasting bloodwork done this morning. Always fun. I haven't had the Hashimoto's checked since Alexander's birth and Dr. Lee asked that I have those levels and my sugars checked. My veins had (almost) forgotten the fun of getting stuck on a regular basis. Those results should be back by Monday, I would assume. And then Wednesday is the next big blood test. My nerves are on end, but all we can do is pray and hope. TMI: I have some cervical mucus. I read that during this phase if I were on my way to my period, I should be "dry". I'm trying to take the CM as a good sign. You'd think that after 3 babies, I'd be an old hat at this, but I still have no clue what "signs" are good and which aren't. Infertility makes you distrust your body at every turn. But, I'm trying to think positive!