Adoption in Detail
Since my last post, Becky and I have had some questions about the adoption and why we’re still fundraising. While that in itself isn’t usual, and we enjoy talking about it, they have shown that perhaps we haven’t done the best to explain everything involved with money, time, and work involved. Part of the reason is from the fact that we haven’t wanted to bog everyone down with details. The other part, which mostly has to do with the money required, probably comes from how Becky and I have had to approach the monetary aspect – a chunk at a time. I thought that I should perhaps take the time to explain some it more fully.
As you might have gathered, adoption is expensive. Let me state clearly that we aren’t buying PK. That’s illegal. The money involved goes to agency and governmental fees, as well as traveling expenses. The fees for our agency, including some of the services needed while we’re in country, is around $32,000. While we’re in the country, we’ll have to cover accommodation, travel, food, childcare, etc. We also have fees for other governmental files, getting records, having documents apostilled, parenting classes, homestudy fees and, after the adoption is final, 3 post adoption reports that are around $700 each. Several of these items are smaller amounts of a few hundred here or there. Several of them, though, are chunks in the thousands range. Faced with such a large amount, Becky and I break it down into manageable sums. When people ask us, we tend to respond with, “Oh, we’re about halfway to what we need for (insert goal here).” We’re sorry if we’ve confused you with how we’ve approached it. With your amazing help and love, we’ve been able to pay $8,500 and have enough for the second half of the home study when that time comes. After the homestudy is done, there are a few grants we can apply for but, from what I’ve read, competition for them is high.
Along with the money, there are massive chunks of paperwork. The paperwork you’ve heard the most about is the batch leading to the homestudy (which we’ve made good progress on!). Along with that we have to get multiple copies of birth and wedding certificates, deeds, monetary statements, letters proving we actually work at our jobs and for how long and the like. I still have to have my physical as well. When we have all these items (with between 2-4 copies of each), and had the necessary ones apostilled and submitted a form to the US Government to get them to approve us, we will have our homestudy and dossier complete. This massive pile of paperwork, and a chunk of the aforementioned cash, is what gets sent to Poland. After allowing a month or so for translation, we are officially waiting.
As I understand it, there are three different orphanage systems in Poland. One of these we do not qualify for since we are not Catholic. The Polish authorities will look at our file and compare it to the children who are available. When they believe they have a good fit, they contact our agency, who contacts us. We will have access to the information available for the child and tell our agency if we feel that this is our child. If we feel it is too much, we go back waiting but if we say yes, we start preparing for the first trip to Poland to meet PK. This trip is about a week. When we give our official yes at the end of the trip, then we have more waiting to do as they prepare for the court dates. This is usually a period of several months, which I sure will be antagonizing but also gives us time to raise funds for the time, about two months, we are there. After we are back on US soil with PK, the adoption is over but we have the post-adoption visits I mentioned earlier.
We hope this clarifies some things and makes the adoption process and costs clearer. We would have never gotten this far without you and we appreciate your continued support. If you have questions, please ask. We enjoy talking about the adoption and Poland. If you are curious about adoption facts in general, an interesting place to look is this post by Buzzfeed. Not all the items apply to us, but Becky and I both enjoyed it. We’re looking forward to this journey and are glad that we have you all as company on the trip!