Posted on November 3, 2016
Posted on November 3, 2016WOW! That’s just all I get out of my mouth right now! After a quick tally to be sure we didn’t miss something, as of noon Tuesday you guys have helped us get to our goal faster than we ever imagined could be realistic. Not only that, but because of all the sharing on Facebook, it seems y’all have pushed our adoption story on the YouCaring page into the top ten. Your love for our family is breathtaking.
My favorite side-effect of all this effort and crowdfunding is getting to hear from others who have considered adoption at some point. The questions about costs and timeframes are always the most common. So, for those who have ever been curious I thought I’d let you take a peek behind the curtain as best as I can. As just about every knows, adoption can be a rather un-cheap adventure. But often the specifics of the costs and timelines are somewhat shrouded. So for the curious and the accountants, here’s a general breakdown of this particular adoption.
Updated Home Study Fees
We already had a current international home study from our previous adoption. But because this is a domestic adoption, some items didn’t carry over, thus requiring an update. Home studies are largely a requirement of the state to ensure the prospective adoptive parents are a good fit. It requires a high level of transparency and rigid adherence to high standards. Here’s how the costs break down. These fees go directly to the state and to the agency to cover administrative costs and to pay the case worker for all the work they do to help navigate the legal requirements and to facilitate the home study.
$2000 home study
$500 agency program fee
$500 to expedite home study
$1000 interstate placement
$1500 post placement visits
Total Home Study Fees = $6050
Placing Agency Fees
This is new territory for us because our agency handled both sides of placing for our first adoption. But because we are adopting domestically, across state lines, through what’s called an open adoption where the birth parents are known to us and want to stay in contact, there are a number of extra legal requirements in place to ultimately protect the interests of the child as well as the interests of the birth and adoptive parents. These fees add up quickly when you’re looking at agency fees plus attorney fees and then fees for the actual placement of the child.
$3500 retainer for adoption planning
$3500 legal retainer
$5885 for placement
Total Agency Fees = $12,885
This is the old nickel and dime portion of adoption costs that often don’t get calculated because when you look at a line-item like fingerprinting at $5 a person or training that rings in at $35 a person, you just don’t get the sense of how much this will actually end up costing, especially after you’ve seen numbers in the $3k-5k range. Nevertheless, it’s good to know that you’ll need to prep for about an extra $1k-2k for miscellany.
$180 fingerprinting and CPS verification
$250 translation of documents
$500 adoption training (required by both VA and WA)
Total Fees = $930
This is really gonna depend upon a number of circumstances largely out of your control. We got the notice that Kelley needed to travel two days before she flew out and we made the decision that it would be best for Aila to be with her for this extended absence. But this meant that airfare was pretty expensive. And we won’t really be able to know enough in advance about returning to get any kind of decent price on a return ticket home. If you have a few weeks notice before flying, obviously, you could probably find better deals. Normally, you’d need to factor in lodging and ground transportation as well, but we were fortunate in our case that a dear friend lives in the Seattle area and someone covered the cost of a rental car for a couple weeks out there. Otherwise we’d be looking at thousands more.
$1015 one-way ticket x2 to Seattle
$1500 one-way ticket x3 to Norfolk
Total Fees = $2515
Now, if you’re really good at math, you’ve already calculated all these costs and you realize it’s a bit more than the $15k goal we’d set; $7000 more, in fact, beyond our original goal. When we set that goal originally, we didn’t have all the numbers yet, we just had a guess. But we know God has it worked out. Sure it’s costly, but so was our redemption. We’ve agreed to leave the donation page open because since we crossed the $15k mark, nearly $2k has been added.
Listen, adoption is about all of us. This is not just our story. This is yours. It’s the story of the world.
Would you help us share this story? Help us tell the story God is telling about what He’s done for us?
Posted on November 2, 2016
Posted on November 2, 2016We're SO close! Check out the video for the final totals from the $21 Challenge. I also share a really special story from this week and I've thrown in something I think will be a lot of fun for a lucky winner! #closethegap
Posted on November 1, 2016
Posted on November 1, 2016Aaaagggghhhh!!! We're only $1000 away from having all the agency fees covered! I'm overwhelmed! My mind is BLOWN!!!
I can't wait to share some cool stuff with you later today and I've got a surprise for someone, too!