Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why Does It Cost SO Much?

  Adoption is expensive, I don't think that's a big secret.  And until I started researching international adoption, I had no idea why.  Why does it cost so much to bring home a child?  Where is all of that money going? Is it all on the up and up?  But like I said, I started researching and I got my answer.  Here is a break down of our expenses, taken straight from our agency's (Lifeline Children Services) website:

Application Fee - $250.00
Lifeline Children's Services Fee - $5,500.00
Colombian  Program Fee - $5,600.00
Home Study Fee - $1,500.00 
Orphan Care Sustainability Projects - $250.00 ( Lifeline's orphan care ministry, (Un)adopted )
Medical Fee - $500.00
Shipping fees: All Documents - $200.00
Post Adoption Services - $1,000.00
Post Adoption Deposit - $500.00
Post Adoption Translation - $200.00

Fingerprint Fee -  $102.50
Medical Reports for home study (varies depending on health insurance coverage)*
Out of State Home Study Review - $250.00
Passport pictures (8 copies) - $20.00
Passports for two parents - $240.00
Citizenship and Immigration Services Fee - $890.00
International Adoption Clinic Pre-Adoption Seminar - $150.00
NCFA Parent Training - $175.00
Birth Certificates (1 copy of each) - $26.00
Marriage License (1 copy) - $13.00
Psychological evaluation - $700.00
Dossier apostille ($5/doc) - $140.00
FedEx fees (dossier sent to Lifeline) - $45.00

Dossier Translation fee - $800.00
Document fees, representative expenses: - $400.00
Legalization of documents in Colombia ($10/doc) - $280.00
Wiring fee - $50.00
Child File Translation - $400.00

(Based on 4 weeks in-country)
Airfare (tickets for two adults) - $2,800.00
Airfare for one child - $550.00
Translator/Guide/Transportation fee - $1,000.00
Attorney fees - $1,500.00
Hotel Accommodations and Food - $4,000.00
Medical Exam for one child - $150.00
Birth Certificate and Passport for one child - $300.00
US Visa for one child - $231.00
Copies and Authentification of Adoption Decree - $100.00
Translation of Adoption Decree - $250.00  

Attorney Fees/Court Cost - $480.00
Court report for re-adoption - $50.00
Estimated Post-Adoption Service Fees - $530.00

Grand Total: $28,562

   So, there you have it! It's where every single extra penny we come across will be sent. Why am I sharing this with you?  Well, for two reasons: 1) I truly believe that the more educated people are about something - like adoption - the less scary it is; and if it's less scary because you're learning more about it, then maybe that little tug at your heart or thought in your mind that "maybe one day" you might adopt, would grow into a reality...hey, you never know!... and 2) (and this is really hard for me, friends) We know that we can't do this alone and as we have fundraisers and ask you to consider donating to our adoption fund, we want to be completely transparent with you about where that money is going.

   But before we would dare ask you to participate in fundraisers or consider giving to our adoption fund, we want you to know that we have made the sacrifices.  I wrote a blog post on ways to raise money for adoption a little over a year ago, when I featured adoption throughout the month of November.  Number one that list is SACRIFICIAL LIVING.  I truly believe that it starts here. We've always been very conservative financially - actually, we just hate to spend money! But, again, in order to be transparent with you, here are some ways that we are living sacrificially in order to bring our son home: (Please hear me when I say that I am not sharing this lightly, I'm not trying to say "Oh, look what we did!!" in a proud or arrogant way, I am humbly attempting to show you that we have made the sacrifices.)

1.  We dropped our gym membership...an extra $100 a month.
2.  We dropped our Dish service...no Duck Dynasty or Tennessee football...and an extra $52 a month (So, if you want to love on my family a little, you can invite us over for DD or have me over in the fall on game day)
3.  We've been saving for a down payment of a house for a few years.  Being a one income family, it's been a slow process, but through financial discipline and cutbacks, we've saved several thousand dollars.  Our original plan had been to buy a house first and then proceed with our adoption.  But in our hearts, this never felt right.  God reminded us to "seek first His kingdom"...and so we've put the dream of home ownership on hold and decided to use all of that money for our adoption.
4. In August 2012, I began teaching a day and a half a week at my girl's preschool...an extra $130 a month (after child care for Creek).
5. In October 2012, I started teaching piano lessons...an extra $100 a month.
6. Jacob is blessed to have a job that offers overtime on a regular basis.  The pay from any overtime shifts that he works goes directly into our adoption fund...amount varies, but it's extra money a month!
7. We are a debt free family and we are constantly looking for ways to save money.

   Now, what this doesn't mean is that our children are going to miss out on their childhood.  We will still enjoy taking them to the zoo or aquarium from time to time, out for snowballs and ice cream, to visit family in Tennessee, and other family outings.  We can sacrifice Dish Network and the gym, but we cannot sacrifice making memories with our 3 adorable children.

   As you follow our adoption journey, we ask you to partner with us in a few ways:
   1.  Please pray for us...for our son, his birth mother, for our social workers, and us as we go through this process.
   2.  Participate in our fundraisers...our first one is up and going in the "Just Love Coffee" tab at the top of our page.  We're going to sell t-shirts and cookbooks, have a yard sale, and other super fun stuff, too!  And ladies, if you love fashionable and fun nails, check out my "Jamberry Nails" tab at the top, too - everything I make through them goes directly to our adoption!
   3.  Pray about and consider donating to our adoption. You can donate through the PayPal button at the top right or by check (just email me and I'll send you our address - jmalcoleman@gmail.com). Every single penny that is donated will go directly into our adoption fund and will help bring our son home.

   As we make payments on different items on our fee list, we will mark them off so you see can just how far you've helped us come and how far we still have to go.  We have no doubt that God will provide every single penny that we need.  Thank you so much for already being a part of our little boy's journey home!


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