Why Is Adoption So Expensive?

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Recently I was talking to a friend and she had no idea that adoption could be so expensive. In her mind, it was just a few thosand dollars.

Unfortunatly, that isn’t the case.

Those of you who read my blog, or my facebook posts, already know that it is crazy expensive. I’ve shared the figures on here, but I thought it might be helpful to know why it costs so much.

Several agencies and government pieces play a role.¬† Not to mention airfare and travel fees and many other aspects of travel and documents and pieces of the puzzle. It isn’t just a greedy agency wanting to take your money; matter of fact, there are a lot of agencies, such as ours, that are actually non-profit. But even so, adoption is a lot.

And even though we’ve put our faith in God to provide, we am feeling the pinch of anxiety, especially in the next month. You see, we have a lot of payments coming up as we move forward, with very little prospects of fundraising in that amount of time. Here are the fees that we’d need once our home study is done, which could be completed by the end of this month…

 

Homestudy Fees: $975
Post Placement Fees (in advance): $3,200

After we complete that, we apply to the government to see if we are eligible to adopt from a Hague country. Get fingerprinted by the FBI, etc.

USCIS 1-800A ($775 + $85 per adult): $1,115

Right after the home study is complete, we get billed from the agency that is handling our international side of things.

Initial WACAP agency fees: $3,200
Home Study Review Fee: $350
Document Processing Fee: $1,000
IAAME Monitoring & Oversite Fee: $500

And then we get a bill from Bulgaria agency for taking care of their part.

Foreign Agency Charge: $3,000

We have about $1,500 left after our first home study fee ($975) doing fingerprints ($250) and paying for education ($150), left from donations and fundraisers.

So in the next month or two, we still need about $11,840. ūüė≥

And that is the now, not the fees we need later.

It is crazy expensive. So please try not to get annoyed about us asking for money, or doing yet ANOTHER fundraiser. We are working our tails off with paperwork and fundraisers, and applying for grants, and in return, we hope to give two boys who need a loving family a home. 

However… We NEED help.

Not just financially. We need advocates to help support our efforts.

So if you see one of our fundraisers that we are pouring in time and energy into, please consider making it a priority to come. We try and make everything affordable and even fun to build community. We don’t want to cause anyone any hardship for their support. And we honestly are trying to raise money without just sticking out our hands and asking for it.

If you can’t come or donate, please consider standing by us as advocates. More than just the sharing an event on Facebook. Our pool of resources is limited. If all of you can advocate to the people YOU know; it increases our outreach significantly!

If you are interested in an event, please considering committing to it, instead of just clicking on “interested” and only coming if nothing else seems better. Please make our little events a priority, if you are able. AND INVITE FRIENDS!

We do accept donations, as well. We’ve been asked by a few people about the best way to give us support. You can pay on our YouCaring page if you’d like. They do take a small percentage out that way, though. Otherwise, you can always write a check or cash. It will go into a separate fund that is set aside and deposited as we need to make a payment.

I also know that we could adopt locally in the USA foster system for practically free. We do have a foster license. And we have had the opportunity to take an adoptable child. But it never felt right. There was an unease in the easier (and much cheaper) path. But in the end, we do it God’s way. HE doesn’t want us to adopt that way. I truly believe that we are meant to do this path, not just to adopt, but to raise awareness about the need of the orphan, not just in our country, but for those in the world.
Again, we appreciate any and all help with this process. Every small bit of support means the world to us.

 

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A Letter to Our Potential Sons

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So today I just submitted a letter to the boys. We were requested to write a one-page letter and include 8 or so pictures of our family, house, etc.

We’ve done things like this before. When we submitted our Dossier (our paperwork to Bulgaria) during our last adoption, we had to do something similar to show the government who we were. We’ve also had to do it for our foster license, including writing a letter to a child that might be coming to our home.

This letter, however, was different. It wasn’t a government agency. It wasn’t a child who would be forced into our home (although, I doubt they ever used that letter at all). This time, it is going directly to the boys to see if they want to come.

It is a strange feeling trying to promote yourself, but be completely honest. I love our family. Every strength and flaw. It was hard to choose the right pictures that define our relationships. And a letter and a few pictures only give them a snapshot of who we are.

But I guess it is similar to what we’ve seen of them. A few videos. Some pictures. A few pages of description. This whole process probably has less information that an internet dating site. This is when leaning on God becomes so essential. So I pray if this isn’t his will, the boys will turn us down.

 


 

On another note… We are still raising money for our home study. Once we get the green light, we are going to jump right in. My first go at a fundraiser isn’t progressing as well as I hoped.¬† And I admit, we are trying not to feel discouraged. We are still $500 away from starting the homestudy.

That is one probably with being a writer with an overactive imagination: I can imagine huge things happening, hundreds of people stepping forward to donate.  I can see it all in my mind!

So seeing the slow progress instead does cause some anxiety. Not that God won’t make it happen. We still have ideas in the works and He is in control. But it truly is faith to step out with something big and not know where the money is coming from.

And I know people could look at it as our problem. I mean, WE are the ones going through this. We could have adopted here in the United States for free! However, that isn’t where God is leading us. We’ve actually tried that path multiple times over the years, and it always felt wrong. It is far easier… especially financially, but God’s paths aren’t always the easiest. Sometimes we have to ignore the dollar signs and do what God wants us to do. In the end, doing what God wants always turns out for the best.

And as far as it is our problem, our choice, our responsibility… God commands everyone to take care of the widows and the orphans. Not just a few.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Looking after widows and orphans isn’t a calling. It isn’t a spiritual gift. It’s not something that you do once and check off your list. I mean, it is tempting to feel that way. We adopted. We did foster care. We did our part. We did more than most. And trust me, we tried to ignore God’s prompting and say we were done with everything.

Taking care of widows and orphans is our responsibility as Christians. Does that mean everyone should adopt? No. Does that mean that everyone should give all their money to orphans? No. Should everyone do foster care? No.

What that means for each person is different. God called us to adopt. But for others, it could be to pray for those who are called. It could be making a meal for a foster family and offering support. A pure and faultless faith is one that does something.

If you can’t think of a way to serve God in this way… feel free to pray for us!

 

 

A Door Closes

pexels-photo-277559.jpegA few weeks ago, I came across the picture of an 11-year-old Bulgarian orphan, one that caught my attention. I see children needing families all the time because of the facebook groups that I am on. But for some reason, this boy caught my eye.

I inquired to the agency that had him and got his information. In the past, I wouldn’t have even considered adopting a child that old. However, recently, we fostered a boy the same age. And in our home, that age seemed to work really well. And I had to wonder if the whole foster experience was preparing us for this young man.

There were several reasons this was a good idea. For one, it would be someone Lukas could relate to later in life, another Bulgarian sibling he could connect to. The age of the child also worked well for Adam. He actually liked our foster child; young children tend to exasperate him and annoy him. Kira was open to the idea. Lauren wasn’t as convinced, but she wasn’t fighting me on it too much. Even Pete didn’t throw away the idea when I brought it to him. However, an international adoption costs in the realm of 30 thousand dollars, which is money we don’t have. So we knew, if God wanted us to do this, it was going to be a big step of faith. We’d have to know that God would provide the money, somehow. I also know, from experience how HARD adoption is. So taking this path was one we would go into eyes wide open to the disruption. It would be hard for the whole family.

And this was what I posted about the other day on Facebook, about wanting very vivid answers from God for such a huge decision. It felt right in many ways, but the fear of the “what ifs” were there.

What if he disrupted our family?

What if he abused our younger son?

What if it was chaos in our home?.

What if we couldn’t¬†raise the money?

What if he was our son and God planted him for me to find?

Lots of questions in such a life-altering decision.

The other day, the agency told me that another family had stepped up and the door was closed. It made me both sad and relieved for an answer. For a short time, I really did think that he was placed in my path to be a part of our family. But now I know he is with someone else.

So now I am left to the why. Why did God place him in front of me? Was it just a test, to see if we would trust him with such a large amount of money? Is he prepping the idea of adding another child? I don’t know why. I just know that God always knows and we just need to be willing to take that step if he so calls.