Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Financial Side of Adoption

Many of our friends and family have asked us about the financial aspect of adoption. Usually they ask how much the adoption will cost, and then their very next question is, why so much? Our adoption will cost approximately $20,000. This is a large amount of money, but when you think that a life will be forever changed, it kind of puts the cost in perspective...after all, 20,000 is the average price of a car these days. Anyway, here is a breakdown of the costs:

America World Application Fee: $250.00

America World Ethiopia Program Fee (fees for all that America World does on our behalf, trust us, they do a lot!): $4100.00

USCIS Fee (this is a government fee for citizenship forms and fingerprinting): $830.00

Dossier Authentication (making sure that all our forms are ready to go to Ethiopia): $400.00

Home Study Fee: $2450.00

Post Placement Fee (this fee is fully refundable as long as we submit a post-placement report in a timely fashion): $1000.00

Dossier Translation (translating document into acceptable format for Ethiopia) $600.00

Ethiopian VISAS for two adults: $60.00

Child's VISA: $380.00

Round Trip Airfare for two adults: $2400-$3600

Airfare for child (one-way): $700.00

In-Country Package (this includes our housing accommodations, meals, translators/guides, in-country transportation, gratuity to all staff): $1775.00

International Program Fees (this includes an orphanage donation, our child's medical care, and a development project fee) $3450.00

Giving a child a forever home: PRICELESS ( I just had to throw that in there!)

So, that is the breakdown of where all that money goes! We know that God will be faithful in providing the finances for our adoption. Several family and friends have asked about having a fundraiser, and we are planning to do that in the next few months. Also, once our homestudy is approved, we will be eligible for America World's Eternal Family Fund, a fund where friends and family can make tax deductible donations to help with the cost of our adoption. We will also be applying for grants once our homestudy is approved. Thanks for all your prayers...keep them coming!

I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations
Psalm 89:1

Monday, September 24, 2007

Our Final Two Homestudy Appointments are scheduled!!

Great news! We heard from our sweet social worker yesterday, and our final two homestudy appointments are set! They will be next Monday, October 1, and Tuesday, October 2! After that, our homestudy is complete! This whole process has moved much faster than we expected, so we are thankful for that! After our homestudy is completed, we will be able to send it to USCIS, and then they will begin to adjudicate our case. Also, after our homestudy is approved, we will be able to apply for grants to assist with the cost of the adoption. Please keep this aspect of the adoption in your prayers. We know that God is faithful and will provide, but at times, the financial aspect of the adoption can be overwhelming. Thanks again for all the prayers and encouragement!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yesterday Went Very Well!

Hey everybody!
Praise the Lord, yesterday went very well. We arrived right on time for our fingerprinting appointments, and that went smoothly, taking all of about ten minutes. We had a couple of hours to burn before our next appointment, so went checked out the mall, and Babies-r-Us! That store was overwhelming...we had never seen so many baby was fun! Then we headed on to our appointment with our social worker. She was wonderful! She actually has some ties to London, and knew some of Zack's old really is a small world. She was very encouraging and said that we were right on track with our paperwork. She also told us there is a family less than a mile from us who is using AWAA to adopt from China! Isn't that amazing! Not only is it exciting to have another AWAA family so close, but it will also help on home study travel expenses, as she will be able to schedule our visits for the same day, hopefully!

We should know soon when she will conducting our next homestudy visit. Other than that, there are just a few more documents we still need to get....we estimate that we are almost halfway done with all the paperwork! That is really exciting!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Waiting on the Lord....for fingerprint appointments!

Do you ever have trouble waiting for the Lord? We do! Sometimes God has to remind us to wait on him. Recently, we have been waiting to hear from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services about appointments for us to be fingerprinted for our adoption. Becoming impatient, we decided to go ahead and schedule the appointments ourselves, through their online service. We were hoping to schedule them for the same day as our first home study visit, which is next Wednesday, as both were to take place in Louisville, and it would save an extra trip. Unfortunately, the date our home study was scheduled was unavailable, so we had to make plans to travel to Louisville on a separate day.

That same afternoon Rebecca checked the mail as she returned home from work. Two envelopes from U.S.C.I.S. were among the pieces of mail that day. One was addressed to her, the other to me. As she opened them, she realized that they were notices for our fingerprinting appointments….the ones we had been too impatient to wait for! Not only this, but the date they were scheduled for was the exact date of our home study visit! We immediately canceled the appointments we had made ourselves.

God is so willing to provide all we need, if we will only take the time to wait on Him. God spoke to us through this experience. It was as if He said to us, "I have everything about this adoption in my hands. Just wait on me, and while you are waiting, find peace in my strength, and let my love quiet all your worries and anxieties".

Isn't God amazing!

So, keep us in your prayers next Wednesday, September 19! It will be a big day for us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I forgot to mention we already have one adopted "family member"

I realized that I had not yet included any posts about the one "baby" we do have....Pooh, our dog! He is actually adopted too! Cool, huh! We adopted him when he was two years old. He has been with us for about nine months now. He is a great dog. Here he is in his athletic getup.

Our First Homestudy Appointment!

Today we heard from the social worker who will be doing our homestudy! Our first appointment is two weeks from today, on September 19. We will be going to Louisville for this visit and the next visit, and then she will be coming to our home for the third and final visit. Just another part of the journey!