April 21, 2016

That Time The Home Study Saved Our Lives

In case you're unfamiliar with the adoption process, it involves a lot of things, but pretty much starts with the home study.  The home study is basically a background check, on steroids. It involves approximately 5 million forms, visits with a social worker, interviews, an inspection of our home, fingerprinting, references, classes, and more.  Right now we're in the thick of it, about half way through, and meeting with our social worker for the first time this Saturday.  The meeting with the social worker was previously scheduled for last Sunday, so we had plans to get the house all ready for it last week.

We live in a small condo, you wouldn't think there would be much to do, but you would be wrong.  What with our busy work schedules and... penchant for ignoring problems until we really really have to do something about them, we had quite a few little projects that needed to be taken care of before our home could be inspected by the social worker.  That translated into us scheduling a cleaner, gardener, plumber, and electrician all to come on the same day to address all of our little issues.  We don't really deal in half measures over here, its all or nothing!

Anyways, one of those pesky little issues was a light fixture that kept burning out light bulbs abnormally fast.  The thing has 8 bulbs, and I was replacing them all about every 3-6 months.  I didn't really think of it as more than annoying, but figured we might as well get it fixed.  We first had a handyman come over, but he was clueless and wanted to charge super high fees (bad combo if you ask me) so the Hubs (who was managing everything while I was at work) sent him on his way.  Then we were out an electrician.  I stared looking up electricians on yelp because... why not.  I called several but no one was even picking up to tell me if they were available.  I told the hubs, who called the first number that popped p on google, and scheduled them to come over right away.  Go figure!

Now, I don't speak electrician, and really have only a cursory understanding of how it all works, so please forgive my ignorant retelling that follows.  Once the electrician arrived, he got to work on the light fixture in question... and realized there was a much bigger problem.  He opened up an outlet or light switch (wasn't there so I'm not sure) in front of the Hubs, and the Hubs saw charred wire and could smell smoke.  Not a good thing at all.  They then went to check out the breaker, and found more charred wires... some of those connecting to wiring in our bedroom!  After admonishing the Hubs that this was a major hazard (i.e. house in imminent danger of fire) the electrician figured out what was wrong (something to do with how the breaker box was hooked up I think?) and was able to fix it (yay) at a sum several times over our original budget (boo).  But the important thing is that our house is safe now!

When I was talking to my parents about it, they pointed out that I probably wouldn't have gotten the light fixture checked out had it not been for the home study. So, in a pretty real way, the home study process probably save our lives, or at least our home from burning down!  So... even in the worst case scenario where everything else goes wrong.... at least we are still alive!

Just as I side note, once I got home (after the electrician was gone I changed all the light bulbs in the light fixture.... only to have one immediately burn out :(.  Guess its time to replace that thing, but at least it served a purpose.

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