Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where does the money go?

I would like to begin this post with a big "Thank You" to all the people who have given so generously to help us bring our kids home.  The donations we have received are very appreciated and have already been put to good use.

I get asked frequently about where the money all goes and when it is needed, so I am going to give you an abbreviated break down and the approximate time frames we hope each of these will be paid:

Homestudy: $1800 (already paid)
I600A: $900 (already paid)
Consultancy Fees: $2700 (mostly paid)
Document Translations: $300 (already paid)
Lawyer Fees: $20000 (3 sections, 1 now, 1 in 1 month, 1 in 3-5 months)
In-Country Foster Care: $8000 (~1 month)
Travel Expenses:$6600 (near the end of the process, ~3-5 months)
Readoption Fees: $2000 (after the kids come home, ~6-8 months)
Post Placement Visits: $500 (after the kids come home, ~6-8 months)

Two important notes: Lawyer fees cover all the expenses of the in-country adoption process (gifts to the orphanage, paperwork, court costs, passport, visa, Lawyer's time and expenses, etc...); Foster care is not government funded in the DRC - if you don't pay for your child to live in a hospitable environment, then they are left in the institutions.  Also, keep in mind that the time frames that I listed are what we want - this generally means when we would be paying these fees if there are not big delays in our process.

For those of you who were unfamiliar with the expenses of the adoption process, I hope this helps explain why ours costs what it costs.  This fee breakdown is unique to our adoption (2 children being adopted internationally through a specific lawyer), so don't be surprised if you see someone else's and it is different.  There is one thing I can pretty much guarantee will be the same - it will not be a small amount of money by the time the process is finished.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A little bit of progress...

We got our I-600A approval in the mail last Friday!  Basically it is a letter from the US government stating that we are pre-approved to be adoptive parents to some international children.  It is only a small step forward, but it helps us feel like progress is being made.  It was also the last piece of our dossier (what is delivered for review to the court in the DRC) which was missing, so that was nice to have done and being sent off for translation (into French, the official language).

Unfortunately, we are still waiting for information on the kids they keep telling us about.  It is very hard to not become discouraged or depressed when you keep expecting to hear about your kids and the information never comes.  It is kind of like we were supposed to have that 20 week ultrasound - where you get a good look at your kids for the first time - back in November, and it just keeps getting pushed off.

I am pretty sure adoption is another example of how social media, namely facebook, is both a blessing and a curse.  We are able to share in the journeys of many adoptive families as they happen.  It is incredible to share in the joy of children finding families, and so hard to watch everyone else get news about their kids and not get any yourself. It is amazing to have the support of so many going through the same process as you, but easy to become envious of those whose process is progressing faster and easier than your own.

This is another time when we must remember that every journey is different and trust that God's plan for our adoption journey is better than the way we want it to be.