Adoption Home Study #3

We got to sit down with our (fantastic) social worker, Beth, (and her social-worker-in-training  “shadow”, Amaris) again today- and over a period of three hours, we completed step 3 (of 5) of our home study: our individual interviews. I went first, from 9:30-11:00, then Kevin interviewed from 11:00-12:30.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this opportunity.

Much like the first and second interviews, it was a chance to PAUSE LIFE and reminisce about days gone by, and share our dreams for the days to come. Like chicken soup for the soul…lots of good stuff goin’ on up in here whenever Beth swings by. And by “in here”, I mean:

I want to remember so much about this day, so I’m going to jot down some things that made it extra special for future reference:

– It was raining. Not hard…just enough to make everything feel a little more mushy. (Outside AND inside, if ya catch my drift.)

– When asked what my favorite thing to do was as a child, I answered: “draw cartoons“.

I found these doodles in a box full of some of my childhood “stuff” the night before our interviews:

I didn’t realize how much I missed Garfield ’til I saw that. And by “Garfield”,  I mean, being however old I was when I drew those.

– Kevin went to visit his parents during my interview.

I always feel a rise in my chest when I think about how much he loves them, and when asked about “something he does that makes me love him“, I answered: “breathes” with a laugh- but I meant it with all my might.

(I found out that Kevin answered almost the exact same thing when asked about me, and I’ll never forget floating over to hug him in the kitchen right after he shared that with me.)

– Max curled up in my lap during my interview, but by the end of Kevin’s interview, he had found a new spot to sleep on the floor, underneath the coffee table.

He was really well-behaved and his “mama” sure did appreciate it. He had to have some of his shots updated recently (for our home study), and his “mama” sure did appreciate him doing that for her, too.

Next up, a visit to our doctor’s office for physicals next Wednesday. No shots for us, but there’s bound to be needles for blood work. #Boo #ILookAway #DoYou?


For pics and updates in between posts, join us over on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


  1. says

    You made me smile…again. I love your way with words. And I look away too. But because I have MS, I do have to look when I give myself shots. Wouldn’t want to mess it up! #itmakesmestronger

  2. Barbara says

    I’m glad to hear it went so well, you guys are getting closer to your new arrival. I remember back to the home studies-
    sweet memories. And I look away too!

  3. Britni says

    “Breathes”. Oh be still my heart. Your love inspires me. (I look away until after the initial poke, then I’m okay to watch.)

  4. Missy says

    I can’t wait to see what child God has for you two…..she/he will be so blessed!!!!
    Oh….and I ALWAYS turn my head when they take blood….it’s either that or pass out! #squeamish. ;-)

  5. Pam says

    When I first read this, I thought you meant Kevin curled up in your lap during your interview… kind of set me back a bit. Then I realized you meant Max and I had to laugh out loud. Seems your home studies are going well. Makes me smile…You will make a lovely family.

    • Layla says

      LOL! I just changed that wording so it would be a little clearer! :-D Thank you for your kind comment too. We truly appreciate you taking the time to leave us such a sweet thing to find! :-)

  6. says

    Layla, it’s kind of redonkulous because I don’t know y’all in “real life” but I am so happy for you, this process going along so well. I look until the needle almost goes in, then I look away :D

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Claudia. We cherish your e-friendship very much, and I think you are very brave for looking until the needle goes in!! :-D

  7. Gwen says

    I love your attitude regarding Beth & your home study. So often people report tremendous fear and nervousness in this process. Your approach is so much better. I’ve always reminded people that your social should be your friend and advocate, not someone you fear. Blessings on you as you prepare & wait.

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Gwen. I feel very calm about the whole thing because I know God is in control, and you’re absolutely right about your social worker being your friend and advocate. That’s exactly what Beth feels like! :-D

  8. says

    one of the many wonderful things about adoption—you get a chance to examine and express why you really want children and to be a parent. How much better all parents would be if we had the time to “prep” for parenthood.

  9. Aunt Chriss says

    It is wonderful to be able to – sort of – be there with you during this process!!! I am so happy you have found such strong and amazing love! I agree with everyone else – you will be fabulous parents…I am blessed to be on this journey with you!

    I remember seeing LOTS of those drawings – I think I still have some! :)

    LOVE YOU BOTH and hope to see you soon…MAYBE ;)

  10. says

    I’ll be praying for your doctor’s appointments to go smoothly! Funny story: when we went for our adoption doctor’s appointment, we had to do some bloodwork and both ended up getting woozy. While we were sitting down, waiting until one of us could drive home, my husband said, “I hope the doctor doesn’t write this part on the health report”. :)

  11. Louise says

    Soooooooooooooooooooo excited for you both! You guys are going to be the best parents ever! Those cartoons are amazing, btw! Thanks for letting us in on the process! Love, love, love reading your posts about this!

  12. Gloria says

    You know Garfield is on Amazon Prime instant streaming right? My boys LOVE it : ) Yea, for one step closer to watching Garfield with your boy or girlie!

    • Layla says

      Aw, poor guy! :-( I’ll definitely be lookin’ away on Wednesday, but hopefully I won’t have to lie down! :-D

  13. says

    So happy the process is going so well for you both, Layla. I know the right child will find its way to your home and your hearts. I’m excited for you, having followed you for a few years now. You will be wonderful parents. And, btw, the cartoons? Wow! You’re really good!

  14. says

    Reading through your home study experience takes me right back ours almost 10 years ago. Savor every moment…the process feels slow while you are in it but than all of a sudden its over and you are parents. We traveled overseas to adopt and I kept a journal and my hubby did a video loog…and of course we started our own blog to help keep friends and family in the loop. My cousin even scrap booked our blog. I have to tell you that after being home for 7 years our two still love to hear about our time meeting them in Kazakhstan. Being adoptive parents is something really special. You’ll find yourselves finding other adoptive parents and there will be a bond there different from anything else…it is such an amazing thing to experience. Best wishes to you as you go through everything you need to do in this process, and may God bless you both.

  15. Deb says

    So exciting for you to complete another step! Congrats! We just sent off our dossier to China and it was so exciting! We adopted our son from Vietnam in 2006 and he has been praying for a sibling for years. We can’t wait to see our next kiddo! I contributed to my friend’s blog recently about my journey of infertility:
    May God continue to guide you through this journey. All the paperwork and waiting are so worth it!!!

  16. says

    My hubby and I hope to adopt one day, and the whole home study thing has always sounded SO intimidating to me for some reason- thanks for shedding a positive light on it! It actually sounds like something to look forward to!
    And WOW- you sure can draw! I have been wondering who makes the cartoon pictures of you and Kevin for your blog… now I’m guessing you do? They are so stinking cute!!

  17. says

    Just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying hearing about your adoption process. The sincerity and joy of your upcoming parenthood just flows from your words. There is someone special out there just waiting for you and Kevin to be his parents….he will be so lucky to have found you!

  18. Tania says

    After reading your post, I realized how much I miss conducting home study interviews. Before having my babies, I worked at a private adoption agency! I counseled birthparents, and wrote home studies for prospective adoptive parents. When you are all done with this process, you and your hubby will have your amazing life stories, in writing. I wish everyone had to have a home study written:) Sounds like you are thoroughly enjoying the process!

  19. Monika says

    This is sweet and touching to read about. However, I must admit that I am confused and a little perplexed that you have to go through such an ordeal (5 home studies??) to get granted an adoption. If only all parents to be had to go through such thorough inspection! You would think that by now they should have known, no matter what, that the child would be much better off with you than in an orphanage. Just totally shocked and surprised by the process I guess! Also reminds me that when they unceremoniously discharged me from the hospital a day after having the baby, I was shocked that they’d let me out with this darling thing I knew nothing about! LOL!

  20. Donna Lohr says

    You don’t know how much I wish we lived close enough that I could drop buy and just bask in your love light. That has to be what Beth sees each time she comes to visit.
    Thanks for shining your love through my computer at least. :D

  21. says

    I’m so happy to hear your update. I was hoping to hear something about it, which is the reason I checked in today. :) I’m very happy for you and Kevin. It is a wonderful, exciting time for you both. Having children will change your life, but you’ll never want to go back! :)

  22. Ann says

    I love your blog and thank you for sharing your experience with us. I thought I would never be a mom. I finally became a mom at 45 and now I have 3 little girls I adore. It’s wonderful no matter when and how it happens. But it’s truly divine when you have waited and worked so hard for it!

  23. Beth says

    May I be your adoption process twin? I have my second individual appointment for foster/adopt Wednesday and our first couple interview a week later. Each steps astounds me to know, for a fact that He does know the desires of my heart.

    I love watching your journey and wish you and Kevin so much love and fulfillment.

  24. says

    I’ve known a handful of people that have adopted, and they share the process. For instance they say they have a home study, but they never say what that mean. I’m so grateful your sharing this so that we laymen can better understand and encourage our friends without asking awkward questions.

  25. Donnamarie says

    I know your baby already has your heart and I pray he or she is in your arms soon ….you will both be equally blessed

  26. Sarah says

    I don’t often comment here, although I read everything you post. I really wanted to comment today for two reasons. First, your blog is so joyful, even when you’re discussing stressful or difficult life choices/paths. It’s beautiful and is a much needed reminder to pay attention to all the fabulous blessings around me every day. Second, I have a good friend also going through the adoption process. I never realized until watching her go through it what a rollercoaster of a journey it is, and I wish you both a miracle at the end.

  27. Shana says

    You are a ture blessing and I can only hope that there are more people out in the world like you. There is one lucky child being “picked” out for you! Your words inspire me and if possible make me love my husband more, because I realize what you are putting into words and sharing with us is exactly how I feel about my hubby. So, thank you!

  28. Betsy Derr says

    I reiterate, you guys should write a romance novel! Layla could do some illustrations. It’s another great way to work from home…perfect for growing families!
    When your novel is made into a movie, Kevin can write the theme song!

  29. Bethanie says

    There’s one pretty fortunate baby out there that is going to grow up surrounded by two amazing parents. I was thinking of all that you and Kevin are going thru to make your family…too bad some others didnt have to go thru the same questions and home studies to have babies… I think of you often, and am following your journey. I. you!!!!!

    • Layla says

      Thank you so much for leaving us such a kind comment, Bethanie! We sure do appreciate you following along with us on this journey. It makes it all that much more fun! :-D

  30. Susan says

    I too look away!….every time! I love how excited you sound (write actually) about your steps towards adoption, what a lucky little child you’ll have…..and he/she doesn’t even know it yet. Bedtime stories to Little Palmer could be reading excerpts from this adoption blog! They’ll never doubt how much love & anticipation have gone into this adoption. All the best !

  31. says

    Your adoption stories are so sweet and beautiful. I’d be a nervous wreck. It’s amazing how much depth there is to this process. You and Kevin are going to be such awesome parents. Blessings to you and Kevin. xoxo

  32. says

    I’m keeping you and your husband in prayer. God has a baby already in mind for you and His timing is perfect. Be patient and keep us all posted.

  33. Jen says

    I’ve loved your blog for many moons, and I am especially loving your journey to adoption! So excited to see what little one God has in the wings for you both! Our adoption date is just six days away now, and we can’t wait to celebrate the addition of our sweet-lovie girl to our family! It’s been an unpredictable, but beautiful journey, and it is breath-taking to now trace God’s hand all along the way! No doubt it will be the same for you. :)

    Many, many blessings to you both!! :)

  34. Susan Kramer says

    I found your blog because I have a wild hair idea to paint my oak kitchen cabinets black……..anyhooo after spending hours looking thru every part of your beautiful home I came accross your adoption tab. I am an adopted child – and feel like I have won the life lottery. I have the most incredible parents and crazy fun family. Albeit that I was adopted in 1966 and the processes were probably not as intense as they are today…. my mom has told me the stories of the home visits right down to the minute they put me in her arms….then took me away and said “now go out to lunch and make sure that you really want to do this”……she said that was the most anxious hour of her life….How cool that you are documenting this experience…..I am grown and have teens of my own, but still love hearing my mom tell my girls about the day I was born in her heart.

  35. Anita says

    I’m so happy for you and your husband. I enjoy your blog and decorating ideas, but I really love your adoption story. Thanks for sharing.

  36. says

    Layla, You might ask the lab tech to use a “butterfly n**dle” (trying not to say that word, in case it is too scary). It is what they use on young children or anyone who has a smaller arm. But it can be used on grown people, too. it is much kinder and gentler. Sometimes there isn’t any discomfort at all. I got breast cancer in my 30’s and had to have loads and loads of bloodwork done. I got used to it, but having them use the butterfly needle (oops!) made a big difference in a good way. Hope this helps. And I loved your “breathe” comment, too! Kinda swooned a little. :)

  37. Kathy says

    “Breathes” – WOW you got me on that one. If a child needs love to survive your child will live a long life. Best of luck!!!

  38. Lee says

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us. How wonderful that it will be preserved on your blog for you two (or 3!) to revisit in the future. Best wishes ;-)

  39. Courtney K says

    Layla, I have been thinking to myself for sometime now that I so wished I could send you a message because you and Kevin seem like old friends of mine, inspirations and just a breath of fresh air when needed. I am so glad to have figured out how to send that message today!! I am so happy for you guys as you progress on this amazing journey. Your approach to love, life and living is awesome. It has made me take a step back a time or two and regroup. Rethink the “what’s important” stuff and absorb the “everyday”. I am proud of you for taking on your fears of flying, needles, etc. And showing the cyber world that you are “real” with phobias too! I absolutely don’t look!!
    I adore your cottage style and get excited when I see a new email from your site in my inbox. My only wish is that I wasn’t in New England right now getting buried in snow and that we were perusing antique stores together while the hubbies play a gig!
    You are gonna be great parents – just continue to follow your gut! Simply the best to you both!

  40. Kelly says

    Wow it sounds like your adoption process is moving right along! How exciting! I have an idea for a post for you guys! I think you should each write a post about how you met and your first date but don’t show each other. Just post them on the blog! Wouldn’t that be nice to add to the “history” of your awesomeness together? …..just a thought! Or maybe a Valentines day idea, with pictures, he he! :)

  41. Sharyl says

    I was smiling all the way through your blog. I had forgotten how I felt through all of those steps…when we adopted our 4 children. It’s good to remember that there was lots too it.

    I can hardly wait to hear on your blog….today we picked him/her or them up! When we went through it..we had all of these visions of who god would choose for us.
    Our first two were two wild child boys…rofl…ages 4 and 6. In my head I had this little baby…etc..etc…nope they came into the house and immediately started sliding down the banister. Lets party! OMG! ROFL. It’s one of our favorite memories…we were out of our comfort zone…and it was ok. ::smile::

    Hugs and thanks for reminding me.

  42. Jeanne says

    21 years ago we walked the shore at La Jolla Beach with our new little wonderful the journey has been.. You will have such a life full of life!

  43. Rachel Carey says

    We recently found out that we have a granddaughter on the way. I feel so blessed and so happy! I am totally feeling your excitement about your little one! Why cannot July 12th be here tomorrow, lol?

  44. Denise Gebalski says

    I am following you on your journey. It’s so exciting. I know you both will be fantastic parents. Thank you for sharing : o)

  45. jerri c. TN says

    I just love you two! Your special child that God has already chosen for you will be so LOVED!!!

  46. says

    I am struck by how profound and exciting “paper pregnancy” is. I keep thinking the hard work you are putting in and the waiting is no less stressful or amazingly exciting than if your belly was growing. What a special time!

  47. says

    Yeah! We are still waiting to get our first home study set up. Things are moving really slow here and it’s hard. It’s so encouraging to see how well things are going there! Congrats on getting a little bit closer!

  48. Lynn says

    How amazing that you have to go through all that in order to receive a child…vs. all those people who don’t have to prove anything. Your child is going to be so loved…so blessed.

  49. says

    Dear Layla, I cross fingers for you too, in this adoption trip.
    I love your cartoons, you are and were very very talented ! My son is 13 years old and we love to read Garfield. So I know those designs by heart and there’s no difference between yours and the original ones !

  50. Andrea says

    It’s funny but I also loved everything about our homestudies we did for our 2 adoptions. It was a big step in the process we went through to get our daughters. It even was good when I found out my then 16 yr son told our caseworker he really wasn’t interested in getting a sibling. We got to talk about his feelings about being an only and how he was concerned and a little jealous about not being the center of our universe when his sister came home. He is 27, married and expecting his own son next month….and he adores his 8 and 10 yr old sisters and the feeling is mutual ;)

  51. ashli says

    That is just the sweetest thing ever… “breathes”, Swoon.
    You guys are going to be perfect parents, perfectly unique, and perfectly awesome.
    I absolutely loved those cartoon Garfield books and I would save up and get them at the book fair at school. I’d trace the drawings, thank you for reminding me of a simpler time. Today our lab puppy is in surgery, and there is just enough rain inside that it is spilling out all over my face…

  52. Culpepper says

    Your words and attitude remind me to stop and notice the little things around me. Thank you for that gentle reminder.
    Continuing to pray for you and Sweet P. God is good and I am looking forward to meeting the child he has chosen for you.

  53. says

    So glad you are moving along the process…its great that we are going through it at the same time! i love your site, and have been meaning to look at it and voila! It will now feel even more special to read your blogs and give me some peace of mind and inspiration!

  54. says

    My husband and I have three adopted children. I was so excited with our home studies because it felt like finally something was happening! We had such great experiences. I with you and your husband the best on your journey to growing your family. Adoption is the greatest gift!

  55. says

    Hooray! It’s so nice to read about other people’s adoption process as well – especially those from other countries to see how they are similar, and how they are different. You’re a few steps ahead of us it seems. We just finished our 9 session training, and got word that all our references have been received. Our medical forms will be completed by the end of this week, then we can start our home visits. Woot. Looking forward to getting our ball rolling, and I enjoy following along with you both on your journey, through your posts and Instagram updates.

  56. says

    Yay for adoption and for being 1 step closer to bringing home your child/baby! So exciting!
    We have 2 loves via adoption. It’s The BEST!

  57. Cori says

    I know I’m chiming in late but my husband and I are in the process of adopting a two year old little boy. I was hoping to see what your 2nd home study consisted of but I keep getting redirected to this post instead. Is a link broken somewhere? I’d love to have some idea of what to expect. Praying big prayers for you and your growing family!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>