Tonight was our second home study visit. This meeting focused mostly our parenting style and discipline. We, of course, left out references to the rack or boiling in oil (although both are educational in terms of Benjamin gaining a better understanding of these things in Mark Twains' The Prince & The Paupe, which he's reading in school). What Danelle and I did talk about was how we set our expectations ahead of time and that Benjamin knows the consequences of his actions should he disobey. Another topic that was brought up was what our main focus in how we raise Benjamin. We told the coordinator that we, as Christians, view our main focus to be Benjamin's relationship with God, that he realize that the world does not revolve around him, and that he grows up to be a godly, compassionate man who believes strongly in helping others, especially those who are less fortunate to him. That is one of the main reasons why Benjamin is coming on the trip with us when we go overseas to meet the child we adopt. It is imperative that he understand that, while we may not be wealthy, we are still so much better off than a great many others in the world. We spoke of parenting styles and of how Danelle and I provide a "united front" and support each other in our parenting of Benjamin. I also spoke of how we allow Benjamin to be upset with us so long as he realizes that he still has to obey us.
The coordinator then began to ask us how we would parent the child we adopt. Like all parenting with children, how you parent often varies from one child to another. Growing up, my Mom would tell both my sister and I to clean our rooms while she was gone somewhere like the store. When she returned, she would know that I would have my room clean while my sister would greet her not with a clean room, but flowers she picked her. My Mom had to motivate us differently because our personalities were different. The same is true with interests. She would focus on encouraging us in our separate pursuits and even spend the day with just one of us doing what we liked doing.
I told the coordinator how we planned to bring the child's past and culture into our lives so that they don't feel completely cut off from who they were before the adoption. Benjamin and I have been to the library and checked out books on the country we are adopting from, so that we could learn about the culture, the celebrations, and the foods so that this can become a part of our family. This is a way to show the child that she is important to us and we want to embrace her completely. Danelle also mentioned how we would be open to discussing and talking about the adoption and the birth parents on holidays like Mother's Day, Father's Day, or birthdays. The more we know about our child's background, the more we can better understand how best to raise our daughter.
The second home study ended again with our questions and going over exactly what documents we still needed to get to complete the home study portion of the adoption process.
Both times, the home study did not come off as a cold scrutiny of our family but as the coordinator sincerely caring to help us along in the process and to help us achieve our desire to bring another child into our family.