Monday, April 14, 2014

Where Does All the Money Go? {an adoption financial breakdown}

This picture was taken the day we found out Hollyn was a little girl baby and not a little boy baby. 
First, please notice how little Libby looks in this picture. 
Second, please do not comment on the fact that she is almost the exact age in this picture as Hollyn is now. Apparently our family grows by one child every five years. 

There are many ways that being pregnant and adoption are different, but the one that I'm noticing every single day here lately is the financial aspect of adoption. 

It's scary and overwhelming.
It's also the reason we initially said no to adoption before we got pregnant with Hollyn-- how in the world were we supposed to pay $30,000 for an adoption on a teacher's salary? 

While we're still living on that awesome teacher's salary, we also now realize that God is so much bigger than many many zeros.
 He loves our girl. 
He loves adoption. 
He places children in families. 
And isn't He ultimately in charge of our finances all the time any way? 
Yes, yes He is. 

But the two most common questions I get asked about our adoption are:

1. When is she coming home? 

Do you know the answer to this one? If so, PLEASE tell me. I'd love to know. 

2. How much does it cost to adopt internationally? 

First, let me say that every agency asks for payments in different amounts at different points throughout the adoption process, but they all equal roughly the same amount of money. 
Second, the last expense-- travel-- that totally depends on what time of year we are required to travel. Everything is more expensive near Christmas. 

Point being, the actual total? 
It's an estimate. 
Also, other factors such as time play into the final costs as well. 
If our adoption takes longer than expected (which is quite likely with any international adoption), then we will have to get our Home Study, fingerprints, etc. renewed-- each to the tune of a renewal fee. 

Again, the total is an estimate, but I hope this post will give you an overall idea of the financial commitment of an adoption. 

***NOTE: You may have noticed that we have not mentioned what agency we are using. This is strictly to best protect our adoption and our daughter. When all is said and done and she is home, I will be so happy to tell you about our agency. Also, if you're considering adopting from the DRC and would like more info. on our agency, please email me.*** 

Home Study (fingerprints, documents, notarization, etc.): $2000 (approximately; varies by state) (Paid July 2013)
Agency Application Fee: $500 (Paid January 2014)
Agency Management Fee #1: $2800 (Paid January 2014)
Child Medical Fee: $350 (Paid January 2014)
Referral fee: $7500 (Paid January 2014)
Referral fee #2 (due when we pass court which will hopefully be within the next six months): $7500
Agency Management Fee #2: $2800 (Paid March 2014)
Child Care Fee: $900 for every six months of care (Paid January 2014  for the first six months of care. Due again in July.)
Home Study Review Fee: $350 (Paid January 2014)
Child DRC Passport Fee: $350
Post Placement Coordination/Translation Fee: $800
i600a Form- $900 (approximately) 
i600 Form- $900 (approximately)

This alone, is over $20,000. 
Throw in fingerprinting and all the forms we have to acquire and then have notarized and then travel costs, and you're looking at approximately $30-35,000. 


That number seems just crazy to me still. 
It's hard to hear it, but not for the reason you may think. 
And this number seems to be pretty much across the board for every country--- this is not a Congo thing or an Africa thing; it's an international adoption thing. 

Yes, it overwhelms me because we will actually have to have that money and then pay that money-- crazy. 

But, it's even crazier to think that it costs that much to give a child what every child deserves-- a family. 

We used to think this number was absolutely insane. 
Okay, we still kinda think it's pretty insane. 
But, I will say that the deeper we get into the adoption process, the more the expenses make sense. 
Although I still think there are ways the overall process of adoption could be improved (couldn't pretty much everything be improved?), I respect the process and all the zeroes. 

You may be wondering just why I'm sharing about our finances and whatnot. 

There are two reasons I'm sharing this: 

1. I want people to have a better understanding of what it takes to complete an adoption. We almost missed out on what God has in store for us because we were scared by some big bad zeroes. If I could go back in time five years ago when we first started thinking about praying about adoption, I'd laugh at how unfaithful I was being, look myself in the eye, and tell myself to let go and LET GOD. 

2. I want people to see all the ways God is working to bring our daughter HOME to us. 

The myth that you have to be rich to adopt is just that: a myth. 

"With God, all things are possible." 
-Matthew 19:26

We are currently working to raise the funds we will need once we pass court. 
While I'm praying we pass in way less than the six months we're expecting to devote to this process, I'm not sure what we'll do if we pass tomorrow. 
We don't have the $7000. 
Does this stress me out? 
Yes, it does. 
But more than I'm stressed about it, I'm faithful. 
God will provide. 
He will give us what we need to bring our daughter home to us. 

If you'd like to help in any way, we're currently running our MAKE YOUR MARK fundraiser. 

You'll find the Paypal button on our sidebar if you feel led to give. 
We truly truly truly appreciate every single dollar that is donated. 

If you have any further questions about international adoption or fundraising or anything else you think I might can help with, don't hesitate to email me. 

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