Wow. I just have not been able to come up with any good titles for my blog posts lately. I guess my brain is drained. If you are here visiting this blog looking for entertainment, you might want to just keep clicking. My posts lately have lost their luster, and tend to focus more on practicality.
For a while now I have been meaning to write a post that breaks down and explains all the fees and expenses associated with our adoption. Somewhere along the way I got side tracked, and completely forgot about it. I have been so immersed in the whole thing, that I forget that those around me(especially those who are completely unfamiliar with international adoption in general) really have no clue why in the world adoption costs so much. I can see why when you start hearing amounts like $22,000 and $28,000, you could possibly start to wonder if something unethical is happing somewhere down the line for an adoption to cost so much. I hope that this break down helps explain where all the money is going and why it costs so much. If you get to the end of the post and still have questions, please feel free to ask. If I know the answer I will readily give it. Here goes:
$1000-Promise Trust Deposit
This was our very first adoption fee. :) This deposit put Daniel on hold for our family with Reece's Rainbow. It takes him off the waiting child list, so that we can start the process of adopting him. The reason Reece's Rainbow charges this Promise Trust Deposit fee is because when anyone with half a heart looks at their website, they immediately want to adopt about 20 of the children on there! But once the rubber hits the road, not everyone is cut out or prepared to do so. It would be unfair to a child to take him off the waiting child list because someone has great intentions, but isn't actually going to be able to adopt them. Being removed from the list they miss out on the chance of a family seeing them that is truly equipped to go through the process of bringing them home. It is basically a safety measure for the child. Our Promise Trust Deposit will be applied towards our travel expenses when it comes time for us to travel.
$275-Love Offering to Reece's Rainbow and Family Sponsorship Application
I really wish that we could give them more. What they do for these children is just amazing. They provide an avenue for children who have been written off as useless. Not only have they helped united over 300 children with families(that would not have been adopted without the exposure they received from RR), but they also provide hope and help to so many more!
The Family Sponsorship program helps to raise money for our adoption grant. (Aren't they just great?!) RR truly does everything in their power to make sure that every child finds a loving family.
We were super blessed to be able to have our homestudy done at such a reasonable price. Reece's Rainbow informed us that the average fee is about $2000 for a homestudy, and I have heard of others paying closer to $2800 for their homestudy. Praise the Lord that we were able to have ours done for such a reasonable price, and that our social worker was nice, speedy, and knowledgable about the requirements of homestudies for Daniel's country. Such a blessing!!
$830-USCIS, I-600a, and FBI fingerprinting
Can I just say that we were blessed here too?! We barely slid our application in before fees went up on this one. This is all the immigration paperwork that we file with our government. It is a petition that requests that we bring a foreign orphan in to the states.
$1000-Various Document Fees
This is everything from aquiring "official" copies of documents needed for our adoption, to copying, faxing, notarizing, apostilling...(those four steps are done over, and over, and over again.)
We haven't gotten the lab bill in yet, and insurance doesn't cover the bloodwork part of our medical expenses, so I am praying that we don't go waaaay over this figure.
This was an estimate given to us by RR(Reece's Rainbow), of what we can expect to have to pay. From the research I've done, I'm thinking that we can expect to pay a good bit more. We will be bringing Kellen(which we are pretty sure won't be a full ticket fee, but there will be a fee). Also, there is a very good possibility that we will be bringing a friend or family member to keep the baby while we are at the orphanage and in court. I have to find out for sure if Daniel's orphanage will allow him in or not. If we do have to bring someone with us, we will of course, be paying their ticket and expenses. The main reason I am thinking that we will be paying more than that is because when we anticipate traveling, the prices will be approaching peak season prices. $5000 is just an estimate, but I am prepared to have to pay more than that.
$1700-First trip lodging($80/night for 3 weeks)
$1100-Second trip lodging($80/night for 2 weeks)
This is just an estimate too. It is very possible that we could end up paying a little more or less. From what I've seen from other families experience, I think this is a pretty good estimate.
$700-Food and supplies for 1st and 2nd trip
-to and from orphanage everyday(sometimes twice a day. yay!!!)
-to and from court and all other appointments
-to and from the airport/train station
$555-Daniel's visa and medicals in country
$1000-Orphanage donation/dossier prep
It makes me sad that this is all we are giving the orphanage. If we raise money over our intended goal, it will either go to another waiting child with special needs, or to Daniel's orphanage.
I put this one last so that I could explain it in detail. You probably saw $8600 and went "Facilitator What?!!" I know it seems like a huge amount of money(because, well, it is), but I want to explain to you how it is saving us literally thousands of dollars.
We are doing an independent adoption, which means that we are not using an adoption agency. The facilitators are people in Daniel's country who are helping us tremendously with our adoption. We have one main facilitator that we are working with, with several others assisting her. Let me just say, the facilitators do it all!
-Review and approve all our dossier documents. They check them over thoroughly and check for errors and make sure that they will pass the scrutiny of the SDA
-Translate all dossier documents
-Notarization of dossier documents
-Submission of dossier to the State Department of Adoption(SDA)
-Work with the SDA until dossier is approved
-Pay the legal and expedition fees
-Translation of all Daniel's documents required for the US Embassy to get his visa
-make all our appointments and go with us to translate
-Set up living arrangements and transportation
-they know the system, the region, and help us navigate through it all
-show you where and how to get food(markets and restaurants)
Basically, they are amazing! Without their help we would need an adoption agency to do this adoption. Paying a facilitator as opposed to an adoption agency saves THOUSANDS. I love our facilitator already!!
I hope this helped explain where the money goes. Alot of the expenses are travel related. The money isn't going to the government or an agency, and just a small portion actually goes to the orphanage. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask! I may have failed to fully explain one of the fees or expenses. It is my hope that we raise more than enough money to fund our adoption, so that any of the extra proceeds can go to another waiting orphan's grant, or to provided needed items for Daniel's orphanage.