I'm currently writing an autobiography for the homestudy. I'm following the outline they gave us, but I want to know how in depth do I go? For example, in one section I have to write a family description which includes my relationship w/family members and relationship between my parents. I get along well w/my siblings (parents are deceased) but we're not exceptionally close. And although my relationship w/my youngest brother used to be close he's now angry w/me about I mention that? I want to be honest, but don't want to go overboard? Why bring up something that may not matter? Any advice you have would be great. Thanks!
Be vague, don't mention anything negative. Just say you have, in general, a good relationship with your siblings.
I was shocked at how generic I sounded when I finally read my homestudy. You'll barely sound like yourself anyway. All personality is washed away.
Our SW asked for one paragraph per decade. When looking at it that way - there isn't much you really can put in there! (so yes it ends up pretty vague)
Mine told us to go into as much detail as we could because there would be fewer questions later. And most of my childhood was negative so I had to include that but she also knows that I've turned all of that around. If I were you, I would ask the social worker what is expected.
Good luck.
I would definitely ask what they want. In our case they didnt want much because that's what actually goes into the homestudy (the bio itself is part of the homestudy) They certainly asked every detail about family and how we were parented and all that...those were questionairres though and gone over in the interviews. Then they would take what they wanted from that and put it in the narrative parts of the homestudy.
So it really depends on the way they are doing it.
Our SW gave us a 6 page format to follow- very specific details with 13 specific sections (childhood home, education, career, family, marriage, adult home, reasons for adopting, philosophies on adoption, etc..)
Given the difficulty I cramming my life into 10 pages, I could not imagine trying to condense my life to one page. I tried to attack one section at a time, and it literally took me over 1 month to complete the task. Good luck to you!
When I wrote ours, I tried to make it flow like a story so that it was somewhat interesting to read. I added visuals to the pages so they didn't look so sterile and added juvenile borders and frames around any photos we included. I tried to include our personalities in it as best I could which came out in the sharing of personal stories during the dating phase of our relationship. I've included a sample of how ours went. Here it is:
"DH and I enjoy spending our free time doing the things we love. It is not out of the ordinary for us to get up and decide to take a day trip somewhere or to go to the local auctions to find that antique piece of furniture that we’ve had an idea for. We both enjoy camping and getting back to nature. Our favorite spot is located in the middle of crown land with nothing but wilderness surrounding us. This is where we love to fish! On our first camping trip together, DH thought he had a rookie fisher-person with him. I played along and by the end of the day, he took being out-fished by the rookie rather well! No matter what we are doing we always make the best of our time together and have fun."
Our SW also mentioned to us to keep the wording moderate for the simple reason that BP may not have the same level of education that we do and you want people to be able to understand what you are writing.
Hope it helps!
Hi Time2Grow.
Thanks for sharing. The autobiography I was referring to was only for the social worker as we are in the beginning stages of our homestudy. I think the one you're referring to is for the birthparents. I do appreciate your input though because we'll need to start working on that one real soon. Thanks again.
Ours wasn't directed specifically at birthparents or SW. It was written so that who ever was reading it would feel it was written for them. It was important to do it this way because we adopted through our local agency and we didn't know when it came to matching if the SW would be reviewing or BP's.
We each had to do an autobiography and were told about 1 paragraph per decade. Then, there were the homestudy documents - questionnaires that asked specific questions about childhood and family. For example: My sister and I are cordial for our parents' sakes, but we're not friends. When asked about how she felt about the adoption, I put down "She's looking forward to being an aunt" and left it at that.
Now, there was negative "stuff" in my childhood that I was upfront about. I didn't go into much detail other than to say "this happened" and "this is what I learned from it" or "this is how I feel about it now" depending on the question.
Good luck!