Our yard sale was a long 2 and a half days of hard work, cold weather, rain, and meeting many kind people. We were told stories of other families adopting children. We enjoyed talking with everyone and answering their questions about adoption. Many people had no idea that it was so expensive or heavy in paperwork and time.
On Monday we had our first homestudy meeting with the social worker. We went over all the paperwork that we need to do. We need criminal background checks, fingerprints from the FBI, autobiographies written (at least 2 pages), CPS checks in all states we have lived in, BMV driving records, physicals and several blood tests to test for infectious diseases, statements from our doctors that our children are healthy and do not have infectious diseases, a finance report, copies of our 1040 for the past 3 years of taxes, pay stubs for the past couple of months, marriage license, birth certificates, and so much more. We also need 4 people to write us recommendations and only one can be a family member. We need all of this completed before our final visit in order to finalize our homestudy. At that point our homestudy will be good for one year. We are going about this with a “divide and conquer” attitude. We are both taking half of the list and getting the work done.
We also are pulling together our family profile which is required by the adoption agencies that we apply to. We have to answer many, many questions about how we met, why we want to adopt, our infertility issues, our family background, why we think our spouse would be a good parent, what kind of neighborhood we live in, what does the local town have to offer, how far did we go in our education, describe each of our children, etc. We have to have over 100 pictures taken of our whole family, just the two of us, each individual child, our house, our playset in the backyard, etc. So, we are working on getting pictures taken daily!
As you can see, it is no easy feat to even begin walking down the adoption path. This is only the beginning and we have already spent over $3300. and that is only to start down this path. We will also be paying more for the final homestudy visit along with $.50/mile to our house, application fees to each of the adoption agencies, and then once we are matched we pay for the birthmom’s medical needs, her transportation, her maternity clothes (if need to be covered), her utilities (if in need), her blood tests, ultrasound, any hospital stays, the birth, the doctors fees, the agency’s fees, finalizing the paperwork, and I am sure I have left out a ton more expenses.
So, I may not have morning sickness and fatigue at this point, but we both have lots to do! To say we are stress-free is a laugh! 😉 We are walking the Paperwork Walk today…