by Gia and Joe
We started 2020 with a ton of excitement about adopting. Our village has helped us with fundraising and by providing an incredible amount of support. Back in February, we scheduled our first home study meeting with our counselor for March 23rd. As that date neared, the global concern over the Covid-19 pandemic suddenly spiked. A few days before our first meeting, major sporting and entertainment events were cancelled. Eventually, schools closed.
Gia started exploring her new reality, creating “E-Learning” assignments for her high school students and testing out modern education platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts/Meet to video conference with students.
At first, we dreaded receiving a phone call from our counselor informing us our home study would have to be delayed. After consideration, we realized that many mothers may unfortunately have to face the difficult decision to place their child for adoption due to the pandemic crisis. We reached out to our case worker to see if we might be able to do our home study via Zoom meetings to comply with the local and federal government’s Social Distancing Guidelines.
Our case worker replied quickly stating that the adoption agency had been functioning through Zoom conferences as well for meeting internally, and they were waiting on approval to continue with home studies via Zoom! The approval quickly arrived, and we scheduled our first meeting just days later.
Our Zoom meetings were great! Our case worker was amazing, and despite being everyone’s first week with Zoom, it went as smoothly as possible. With both of our jobs leaving us at home for the foreseeable future, we were laser focused on getting the home study completed. The typical obstacles of working through everyone’s schedule and arranging for travel times was gone. We completed our entire home study, virtually, in the course of 10 days.
We had three 3-hour meetings with our case worker, educating us on adoption challenges, parenting, drug/alcohol exposure, home safety, and more. Our final meeting included a tour of our home via webcam, and signing a stack of documents, affidavits, and certificates. We may very well be the first Virtual Home Study Approved couple.
We saw on the news the other night that a couple had actually met the birth mother of their child via Zoom and took placement of their child through teleconferencing. We’re prepared to navigate our way through this new method of interacting through Zoom and other platforms. But we’re definitely looking forward to returning to hugs and resuming normal social behavior!
Stay safe everyone!