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!

 

 

God Can Move Mountains — A Road Back to Adoption

 

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The last few weeks, Pete and I have been going through a jumble of emotions as we maneuver through the possibility of adopting again. There have been a few children that have caught our attention. You can see those posts here, here, and here.

After prayer and the boys feeling right for both of us, we’ve made the first step toward adding older boys (13 and 10) to¬†our family. Just yesterday, our new adopting agency send our letter of intent to two waiting children in Eastern Europe.

So now we wait to see what the government says. And if they say yes, then we will need to write a letter and send pictures to the two boys to see if they want us. ūüôā

Adopting older children is very different than younger children for sure. Poor Lukas didn’t know what happened to him and was blindsided when he was literally ripped from his foster mother’s arms. When the children are older, they know what is going on. I can only imagine how it would feel. Probably both exciting and intimidating with the prospect of leaving the country they’ve known their whole lives and being tossed into a culture where they don’t even speak the same language.

If they say yes… Well, that is when mountains will start to move. To get officially¬†started, we will need over $5,000. As I mentioned in a previous post, we don’t have the money for an expensive, international adoption. But we are taking a step that God will provide the nearly $40,000 that we will need in this next year.

Not to mention the emotional obstacles. Not everyone in our family is on board. We can understand. Adding more to our family is a big change. And adding older children has the potential of a whole different chaos than adopting a toddler¬†(which, is still chaos…and still is pretty much every day). But there are risks involved when with a child who has experienced trauma. And every adoption starts with loss. Loss of parents. Loss of foster parents. Loss of country and language and everything they’ve known. It will be hard, but even older boys deserve a chance at a family.

But here is the catch. We need help.

  • We need help with fundraising: We need people to join us to brainstorm and stand beside us to organize fundraisers. We need people to help support us financially.
  • We need prayer: For our family as we emotional deal with this change and for the mountains that have to be moved¬†and the changes that need to even be made to our home to accommodate adding two more.¬† We need comfort to those in our family who are still struggling with the idea.

And if the boys say no and the door closes, we will also accept that as God’s will.

So in the next few days, I will be starting some fundraising opportunities. We need $1,000 to START the home study¬†process. I’ll also be reaching out to those of you who are willing to partner with us with your ideas and skills. This will be a huge undertaking, more than Pete and I can handle on our own.

Would you be willing to help us bring two boys home?

Adoption Money Doesn’t Grow in Your Garden

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So from my blog post the other day, I talked about adoption again. Pete and I have been mulling over the idea of adding an older child (or children) from Bulgaria to our family. It depends on the moment, really.

Sometimes we are at a strong, “No!”.
Other days we are at an indecisive, “Maybe.”
And still others, we are at a hesitant, “Yes.”

There are a set of brothers (13 and 10) that seem like really sweet boys, but I’ m just not sure what God wants us to do. I can picture them living with us. They even popped in my dream the other night. But the hill to and after the adoption seems huge.

I know that adoption is hard. I also know that some older child adoption works well, and there are other times, not so much. But I do know those older children long for parents too. And few people are willing to even look at those older children. Part of me feels like we are CRAZY for even considering it. The other part of me has my heart pulling towards these kids. But no matter how I feel, there are hurdles, besides our feelings and uncertainties, that stand in our way.

We just don’t have the money for it. We don’t. Not at all.

At least not now while we are supporting a child through college. And not with the general cost of living, etc. We know that it would have to be a God thing. And I don’t doubt that God would provide if that is what he wants us to do.

BTW… did you know it costs $30,000 – $40,000 to adopt internationally?

And when you choose a waiting child(ren), the time it takes for the adoption to finalize speeds up considerably. So basically, we’d need that money all in a speedy 8-12 months? No years of saving, and even then, we couldn’t save that much money at this time in our lives.

To even START the process, it would be $11,000 all right in the first couple of months. And to be able to apply for grants, you need an approved home study that takes $2,000 to complete. Our previous home study agency said they could get our home study done in a month, which is great! BUT, we don’t have $2,000 laying around. (Plus, the other $9,000 for agency fees to get the ball rolling)

Did I mention that Pete and I stink at fundraising?

We tried to do a little our last adoption, but none of it really did much of anything, so we ended up with some God money falling into our laps and quite a bit of debt. We just can’t do debt right now. And unfortunately, you can’t plant money and grow it in your garden.

So my question is this: IF–and I’m stressing IF–we did decide to proceed with this idea of adoption again, would anyone be willing to partner with us to help us fundraise? Would any of our friends join us to form a fundraising team?

Just getting some feelers out to see if that is even an option and ask for prayers for God to give us peace about our decision.

And even if we don’t adopt, I may consider doing fundraising for families who are.