we finished the home study.

i want to tell the story of this home study, but that sad fact is that a home study just doesn’t make for nearly as interesting blogging as a pregnancy.

pregnancy is a journey inside and back out again, a planting watering flowering mystery. we watch fascinated as a person just like us becomes exaggeratedly unlike us in her glowing, herculean strength. for a little while she seems to commune with the creative divine, and in pondering her we sense our own mortal miraculous. a home study, on the other hand, is a 4 month, tortuously protracted job application. there is nothing “glowing” about paperwork.

somewhere, maybe even now, a woman is living in physical communion with a child who will be both ours and hers. she will experience unimaginable emotions as she binds us in legal contract to parent her child, and in spiritual contract to love it. our child’s story doesn’t begin with our home study, but wrapped within her heartbeat.

and yet, i don’t believe that our “protracted job application” is any less sacred. it is a great effort of will, a labor of trembling choice. love, notarized. every blessed page holds a blood oath, in invisible ink.

and so, in this picture post, i tell a story that is as transcendent as it is mundane.

the first major mundane hurdle of the home study process was arranging for the fingerprinting of everyone in our community house. this was no small feat, as we represent every possible working schedule, and one of our number still lived in idaho. nevertheless, we managed.

not pictured: micah
pictured but no longer living with us: ryan & tricia

after this, we read books, wrote our life stories, obtained reference letters, and filled out forms. finally, at the end of july, i took big stack of papers to the agency: the pre-home study paperwork.

the agency, in return, sent us a wonderful angel of adoption named cathy. cathy gently pried open our lives, asked tons of questions, and didn’t even mind when we gave really, really long winded answers. after 3 meetings with cathy, we received our completed home study in the mail last week. yesterday, we dropped our completed profile books at the agency, to be mailed to other agencies all over the country.

the next step will be for us to be chosen by birth parents. this could be next week, or in 2 years.

for now … we wait.



i’ve decided to resurrect this space. it’s lain dormant over the summer, much like the grief that i created this blog to process. i suppose dormancy is a phase, once of the many stages of grief that didn’t make it into the 5 item list.

this place i created and word-sobbed into was not very conducive to dormant grief, either. the eloquence dried up, the emotions morphed and muted, and the words were … gracelessly constipated. ( as opposed to what, i don’t know. gracefully constipated?) it’s not that the grief has lessened, not at all. if anything, it has become more complicated. initial grief, for all its ghastliness, is at least simple. the body, mind, and spirit are consumed, united, unifocused.

maturing grief must factor in housework.
maturing grief must survive being unacknowledged.
maturing grief must suffer misdiagnosis and confusion.
maturing grief must answer for laughter.

grief matures as it works its rivulating lines into our faces and our hearts, pathways of feeling on a face that finds, surprised, that it can smile after all.

to be useful, this place must be more than a grief place, because my life is more than a grief life. the blue sky still shines over, but in more ways than one.

so take this as a warning … the next post may be about our community house, about my greek history class, or perhaps about sky, too.

i’m glad to be back.