My name is Crystal Baird and I absolutely love doing adoption home studies. Before we get into the “how and why” let me give you a little information about myself. I live in Fort Worth, Texas and work in the surrounding counties; Tarrant, Parker, Wise, Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt, Collin, Bexar, Ellis, Johnson and Hood to name a few. I have traveled to Houston, Texarkana even out of state to do an adoption home study, as long as I am given a little time to make travel arrangements. I am married to an amazing man and we have two children; a fierce and beautiful little girl, and a strong and handsome big boy. We enjoy going to the lake, watching movies, camping, and eating the delicious BBQ chicken my husband grills. I have a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and my Doctoral work is in Forensic Psychology.
I am sure you are wondering how and why I started doing adoption home studies. It began in 2016, my husband and I decided to make our already beautiful family into a forever family. When we hired our attorney, he told us we needed an adoption home study. So we called the evaluator he referred us to and set up the appointment. She sent me a laundry list of things which had to be done and a few weeks later she was knocking on our door. Fast-forward a few months and we were in court, with our friends and family, asking the judge to grant our petition for a step-parent adoption. Yes, the picture on this page is us at our forever adoption day. It's blurry because it was taken with my phone but is my absolute favorite picture!
I am telling you this because I have been in your shoes! I have cried tears of fear and worry. I have doubted my decision and have stressed over all the paperwork we had to get to our adoption evaluator. I too have had a complete stranger sit in my living room, walk around, and take photos of my home and ultimately hold my sweet family’s future in her hands. Yet, on September 26, 2017 when the judge asked my daughter what today meant, she said in her little 4-year-old voice “I get my forever daddy.” That moment made all the stress and worry melt away and tears of joy and happiness filled our heart. To this day, I still tear up thinking about that moment and it is one of my favorites I have.
I do adoption studies because I love to help families find peace through this process and happy tears at the end. I still tear up at the adoption prove ups I am invited too. Nevertheless, my favorite part of this process is when I am writing your report and I get to recommend your adoption and then type in your child’s new last name.
In our family we say “I love you more” because there is no way you love me more than I love you; hence the way “Forever More” became our name.
With all of that said, this process can be stressful and you may want to quit but DON’T because when everything is done and the judge is asking your child what that day means to him or her, that moment in time stands still and life is perfect. You will celebrate that day for years to come because on that day and “forever more” will signify how you choose to love a child you did not birth but instead and forever more embarrass the honor and accepts the ultimate gift life gave you…. a FOREVER MORE family!
~ Crystal Baird MS., LPC