Wednesday, November 12, 2014

National Adoption Month!

November is National ADOPTION Month! ~ How has adoption touched you? 

Adoption has touched me all my life. I know many people in my life who are adopted....or have adopted....or are in the process of adopting. 

Ever since I was a young girl, I dreamed of adopting. Some days, our own adoption seems too incredible for me to believe its really happening! But, we really are adopting! What an incredible opportunity we have! 

I have always believed adoption to be one of the most beautiful love stories. CHOSEN to be loved?! That's pretty remarkable! What a beautiful illustration of God's LOVE for us! (Eph 1:5; Gal 4:5-6; Gal 3:26; I John 3:1; Psalm 27:10; Isiah 49:15) 

Also, we believe that God clearly asked us to care for orphans and that we can make a difference in the orphan crisis...even just ONE CHILD AT A TIME.

~Hosea 14:3 - "In you the orphan finds mercy."

~James 1:27 - "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God means caring for orphans."

~Matthew 18:5 - "And anyone who welcomes a little child on my behalf is welcoming me."

~Isaiah 1:17 - "Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans."

Not everyone is able to adopt. That's ok! God has a different calling for everyone. But everyone can be supportive and encouraging of those who can.

For us, our calling is to raise our children to LOVE God and others and help the helpless. To us, that means a special needs child. We have been called specifically to adopt. God has given us the capacity to love another child and until he/she comes home, there will be a void in our hearts. 

Thank-you for taking the time to follow our journey. What a journey it has been! We cannot wait to see what God has in store for us in the end. In spite of the emotions and stress of it all, we have already been blessed throughout the process...can't wait to see what happens next!  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why so expensive? What are you paying for???

Lots of people have asked us "Why does it cost so much? What are you paying for?"

Good question....a question we have also asked ourselves many times. The fees are outrageous. There's no doubt about that. Let me break it down for you....

Application Fees, BCS: $500 - (PAID); International Agency: $375 - (PAID)
Home Study Fee: $2,450 - (PAID)
USCIS and Biometrics: $890 - (PAID)
Paperwork: ~ $1,500 (PAID)
- Passports (x5)
- Certified Copies of Birth/Marriage Certificates 
- Transcripts
- Autehntications
- Apostilles
- State/FBI Clearances
- Postage
Dossier Translation: ~$3,100 - (PAID)
Agency Fees: $11,400
- BCS Program Fee: $1,500 - (PAID)
- BCS Post Placement: $2,000 (PAID)
- International Agency Dossier Fee: $4,000 (PAID)
- *International Agency Placement Fee: $4,000
*Estimated Orphanage Donation: ~ $2,000
*Airfare:  $9,886 -
Estimation Only: (Estimates provided by Adoption AirFare)
$1,531 (round trip) per person (X) 6 = $9,186 (+700 "lap baby" on return flight) = $9,886
*In-Country Expenses for 10-12 weeks: $8,000
Transportation for 7 in-country: (3 adults, 4 children) 
Lodging for 10-12 weeks
Passport/Medical exam for child
Food/Hygiene needs for 10-12 weeks
Translator/Interpreter 10-12 weeks 
US Attorney Fees: ~$2,000

* Items in RED are unpaid and will be needed in the next 3-4months *

HOW in the world are you going to be able to afford it?

Well, we have PAID half already and have some in our SAVINGS....We are applying for an ADOPTION LOAN, and will be applying for GRANTS. We are also hopeful to have some successful FUNDRAISERS and SUPPORT LETTERS.

And of course, a lot of FAITH and PRAYERS!!!!! :)

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Productive Week!

Ok friends....thought I should share a bit of an update with you all!

This process has been crazy exciting and after 11 months of painstaking, slow-going preparations, things are starting to come together quickly. This process has been quite a test of our patience and faith!

This week has been very productive....
1.) We submitted our USCIS 2 weeks ago and received our biometric appointments for next week! 
2.) There are ONLY 4 more documents we are waiting on for our dossier - 2 of which are our notarized transcripts from LU. Once we receive those, we can send out a packed to VA to get apostilled! 
3.) The other 2 documents we are waiting on are our FBI clearances - they are in process.
3.) We sent out MN documents to get apostilled
4.) We only have one more local country to get notary authentications from before we drive to Albany to get our NYS documents apostilled. 
5.) We applied for an adoption loan (in some absolutely, terrifyingly, crazy high amount)
6.) Started filling out applications for grants

THIS is exciting stuff. This dossier consists of a lot of time, money, and anxiety! lol. But we are sooooo excited how close we are to completing it! Our goal is to have the dossier competed and sent to our international agency by the the end of  December. (We are hopeful we can bring our NYS documents to Albany ourselves to have them apostilled over Christmas break). 

Once our dossier is completed, we will mail it to our agency and they will submit for translation into Macedonian via a legal translation service. Once it is translated, we will make a copy of of the Macedonian version to carry with us when we travel, and THEN, our agency will submit our dossier along with our request to adopt!!! (Hopefully by early spring).

There are A LOT of unknowns about this timing and such as this is a pilot program....we are praying that all comes together smoothly! 

Please keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming!!! We are so excited. 

- Joe and Hannah