Adopting strategies to pay for big expenses

I like the idea of financial independence, and if I'd had my way, we would have started our family once we had college fully funded for each child. Plus, a healthy emergency fund, a do-I-want-to-be-a-working-mom-or-not fund, and a minivan fund.

But I didn't want to be 80 years old at my children's high school graduations either.

Ironically, as it turns out, we decided to build our family through international adoption, a notoriously expensive way to build a family. The expense, I'm ashamed to say, is one of the main reasons why I resisted adoption for years.

When we reviewed our first packet of information, the fees ranged from $18,000 to a jaw-dropping $60,000. Gulp. Not only did we not have any of the funds above (well, except for an emergency fund with three months of living expenses), we didn't have any money saved up for our adoption when we formally started the process in May of 2011.

Before I get too far into this, I know most of you probably aren't adopting internationally. Still, maybe our strategies can help you save for something important in your life.

How We Are Paying for It

First, we cut expenses as much as we could. We

  • raised deductibles
  • shopped around for insurance
  • slashed our vacation budget
  • bought second-hand clothes or wore the ones we had
  • cut our landline to the bare minimum
  • halted all projects on our fixer-upper

All the things that you already know. We didn't go crazy here.

We sold stuff. I consigned clothes and yard-saled kitchen stuff. My husband sold his tractor he'd painstakingly restored. He made the biggest sacrifice, but he said it was worth it. Unfortunately, it didn't sell for as much as we'd hoped, but the $4,500 boosted our adoption account.

And lastly, we made more money. He worked as a mechanic for years, so he repaired farm implements in the evenings. I taught a couple of extra classes, reviewed textbooks, and filled in a few days at a doctor's office while I was on break from school. I also started a significant side job, but we tried not to touch that money unless we got desperate. That money has another purpose, related to our adoption, but more on that another time.

If we couldn't cash-flow the adoption expenses, we were going to take out a small loan until our adoption tax credit was applied.

What We Didn't Do

I follow lots of adoption blogs. Most people hold fundraisers to defray the adoption costs, but not us. We don't think there is anything wrong with it, but between my husband and me, we had over 20 years of full-time work experience in occupations that paid decent salaries. Many of our friends and family got married early, have several kids, and live on only one income. In our situation, we felt guilty asking anyone else to help fund our adoption.

One creative family hosted several fundraising meals. For a donation, they would make you (and up to seven of your closest friends) a theme meal of your choice. Others held bake sales and yard sales.

There are also grants to apply for, but we didn't do this, either (but only because I got lazy).

Our Progress

As I mentioned at the beginning, I like financial security. The thought of starting the process without having the money for it didn't feel secure or smart to me.

“The nice thing about international adoption is that the fees aren't due all at once,” said a friend of mine who had already adopted internationally.

And other friends told me, “Lisa, if you wait until you're financially secure to have kids, you'll never have them.”

So I gritted my teeth, and we jumped in with both feet.

Before we started the process, we were given a fee schedule so we knew how much each step would cost. Fortunately for our financial well-being (but unfortunately because we want to meet our kids), this is a slow process. As we complete each step, we get a bill. So far, we have always been able to pay each one.

By the summer of 2012, our savings account held enough money for the last fees, including travel expenses and staying in our children's native country for six weeks.

Bumps in the Road

Unfortunately, our adoption savings account and emergency fund were one and the same.

I was feeling confident that we wouldn't have any emergencies. After all, we have good health insurance and a dependable car. What could go wrong?

That confidence disappeared when we had to replace our septic system. It drained all but $1,000 from our emergency/adoption fund. I started feeling desperate when we accepted the referral for our children three months later. At first, taking a loan seemed likely. Then, money started pouring in from my community again, even though we had told no one that our fund was low.

Today, while our adoption fund is lower than the pre-septic-emergency level, I know it will be enough to pay our remaining fees. As we wait on final paperwork approval, we are scrambling to save enough money for traveling and living expenses.

The Future

We expect to travel in February and return home with our kids in late March. As we wait, I'm researching flight costs, apartment costs, finding clothes, searching for options to help them learn English, and making medical appointments. We're also making decisions on our jobs. We know we can't maintain our sanity by keeping our current schedules.

I still like financial security as much as I ever have. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some apprehension about how these changes will impact our family. But it's less about the money and more about wondering if I will be a good enough parent to these kids who have already suffered loss.

If you're considering adoption, don't let the financial piece scare you. There are many options for adoption that are much less expensive than this example. And even though international adoption is expensive, it's within reach for most families, using fundraising and grant opportunities.

This definitely isn't about getting rich slowly, because you won't make money. But you might make a difference. And that's always a good investment.

More about...Budgeting

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LeRainDrop
LeRainDrop
7 years ago

Lisa, thanks so much for sharing this personal story. You’re right that the principles could apply to any savings goal, though I find your context to be an interesting read. Also, that’s a clever title!

J Smithson
J Smithson
7 years ago
Reply to  LeRainDrop

It was a great story.
I also read this book
” If You’re Not Rich, Why Not ? ”
by Nicholas Mann.
It was so good.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago

Best wishes and congratulations on the adoption! And thank you for sharing your story. A lot of the strategies you name above are good ideas no matter what people are saving for. I understand your decision to not hold fundraisers, but but on the other hand don’t sell yourself short there either. I would welcome the chance to help make someone’s dreams come true if someone I know held such a fundraiser. You’ve written about how connected and supportive your community is — I think if you let them help they would step up to the plate. Just a thought… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Aberle

I don’t think I could hold a fundraiser either, to be honest 🙂

Tina in NJ
Tina in NJ
7 years ago

Good luck with your adoption. We adopted our daughter internationally ten years ago. The waiting was excruciating, but she was so worth the wait! Once the kids are home, things will settle down, both financially and otherwise. My brother and sister-in-law adopted 4-yr-old twins. It didn’t take them long to learn English and forget their native tongue. God bless.

Miser Mom
Miser Mom
7 years ago

Yes, international adoption is expensive (both in terms of money and in terms of time). We’re working on adopting a child from Haiti, and we’ve spent more than $10K and one year so far, with no guarantee of a successful end in sight. But we also adopted two kids from the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption network. Local kids also need homes, especially older kids. And if you adopt a child from within the foster care system, it’s often free (in fact, for one of these boys, the county is paying *us*). So there’s another reason not to let cost dissuade you… Read more »

TB at BlueCollarWorkman
TB at BlueCollarWorkman
7 years ago
Reply to  Miser Mom

I had no idea adopting cost so much! If kids need homes, why arent’ they just giving them away??!! Adopting local sounds like the way to go, it sounds cheaper and you still get the kid you want, and you help your local world.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago

Sadly, I think it’s a function of supply and demand. Not enough qualified adoptive parents – key word is qualified, for obvious reasons. And, the children in foster care tend to be the children who aren’t “in demand” – that is, a (white) healthy infant 🙁 I think many people are intimidated at adopting an older child, especially if that child experienced neglect and abuse. Another factor is that some adoptive parents fear, on some level, that the birth parents will reappear to claim the child. So believe that adopting domestically from the foster care system means that you could… Read more »

CincyCat
CincyCat
7 years ago

From what I understand adopting domestically also carries a significant risk of the birth mother changing her mind. A friend of mine adopted a baby via a domestic semi-open adoption, and even though the birth mom “chose” her before the baby was born, their state made her wait 3 days before signing the paperwork, and even after that, she still had 6 months to change her mind. Most international adoptions do not carry that risk.

Ramblin' Ma'am
Ramblin' Ma'am
7 years ago
Reply to  CincyCat

I think this is a risk for domestic infant adoption moreso than for older kids. In my state, older kids cannot be listed in the adoption photolistings until they are legally free and the birth parents have surrendered their rights. (Some of these are open adoptions, where the kids will talk with or visit their birth parents once or twice a year.)

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago
Reply to  CincyCat

I can see both sides of this policy. On the one hand, it IS excruciating for the adoptive parents to lose a child they’ve just bonded with, but it is also excruciating for the birth parents to lose that child as well. And, even though the birth parents have placed the child for adoption, they are still losing the child. And, given the range of conflicting emotions a birth parents goes through, having a short waiting period isn’t right, IMO. Further, in the past (and probably some cases in the present) birth mothers were HEAVILY pressured to relinquish their children.… Read more »

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago
Reply to  Miser Mom

And, I think that up until the adoption is finalized the state covers medical costs. I’m basing this on two friends who adopted from foster care and MA covered a lot of the medical bills for their children until the adoption was finalized. This, of course, may vary by state and circumstances.

Meika
Meika
7 years ago
Reply to  Miser Mom

Local kids need homes, but mostly older kids. Friends of ours started out trying to adopt locally, but since they didn’t want to disrupt the birth order of their biological children they were limited to children under four years old. In our state, they were told that they were likely to be on a two-year waiting list and that frankly, they weren’t really needed. They’re struggling through an international adoption now.

BD
BD
7 years ago
Reply to  Meika

I feel bad for our local, older kids here in America who want homes, but everyone here wants an infant. I just don’t understand that mentality. It goes the same for dogs and cats. Everyone wants kittens and puppies from the pound (if they bother going to the pound at all and not some designer breeder). No thank you. I’d rather (and have) adopt an older cat or dog that isn’t going to go nuts like a kitten or puppy does. Likewise, if I’m ever in the position to adopt a child, it’s going to be an older child. They’re… Read more »

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago
Reply to  BD

Oh, that is so sad 🙁 Another problem with aging out of foster care is that the kids suddenly have NO financial support, and odds are they’ve never had ANYONE show them the ropes or provide guidance on personal finance. I’ve heard of a few pilot programs here and there that attempt to bridge that gap. The last one I heard about gives the kids a stipend with the requirement that they attend personal finance classes. A young woman who was in the program talked about how she learned how to budget and was saving up to further her education… Read more »

Julie
Julie
7 years ago
Reply to  BD

BD: I think it is because our culture is obsessed with youth and it troubles me too. It breaks my heart that these kids may know the lengths people go to adopt infants while they have no home bc they are too old/damaged. I recently heard an ad on the radio for a local adoption event and was curious enough to check out the website. There were kids of all ages, some as old as 17 that are looking for a family. Lisa’s reference to the wedding of the foster kids is just another reason they need a family. I… Read more »

BD
BD
7 years ago
Reply to  BD

Julie: Exactly! You know exactly how I feel. It just seems so unfair to the older kids, and I know it must break their heart and wreck their self-esteem too, to see everyone gaga over the infants, while they are ignored. Lisa: Perhaps one day, but it’s going to be a long stretch. Sadly, I’m extremely poor at this point in time (I don’t even have a pet at this juncture in time, because I can’t afford to care for one). Things don’t look like they’re going to get better for me either. I had a bad spell in 2005,… Read more »

Katelyn
Katelyn
7 years ago
Reply to  BD

I understand the sentiment of your post, but adopting older children can be extremely hard on a family. My dad and step mom adopted two children, one age 3 and the other 5. These kids were taken away from the birth mother because of her drug use (meth) and after the adoption it came out that these kids had both been exposed to meth while the mother was pregnant. I’m not saying all the kids in the foster care or adoption system are drug-affected kids. But this adds a whole new layer of issues my dad and step mom have… Read more »

Julie
Julie
7 years ago
Reply to  BD

Katelyn: I am sorry for your situation with your step-siblings, but that is your story. My story is that most of the people I know who suffer from drug and alcohol problems come from loving homes. Can we conclude that children from loving homes are more likely to have issues with drugs?

Miser Mom
Miser Mom
7 years ago
Reply to  BD

I don’t know if this comment is going to go into the right place — this is a response to Julie (74) and Katelyn (73). Yes, any kid could become addicted to drugs/go wrong in some way. It *is* statistically more likely that a kid from foster care will have some kind of trouble though, and it’s important for a prospective parent to consider that. Each of the times we adopted, my husband and I went through all sorts of mandatory classes (dealing with ADHD, post-traumatic stress syndrom, recovering from abuse, etc), and I’m very, very glad we did. Most… Read more »

Alison Wiley
Alison Wiley
7 years ago

My favorite sentence: “Making a difference is always a good investment”. I like your post a lot, both your thrift and your sense of mission.

I wanted to let folks know I’m doing a giveaway of a fifty-dollar Amazon gift card. Come on over, if you like.

And Lisa, you didn’t mention (so I will) that international adoption and biracial families can help create a world less divided by the “us against them” mentality. A number of my friends, including at my church, have biracial families. Diversity is beautiful and makes us all richer, in my view.

Jeremy
Jeremy
7 years ago

Thanks for writing this post. My wife and I are in a similar spot not knowing where the money is coming from but are going forward with the different options you suggested but we are also doing the fundraising. The thing I like about the fundraising is it allows friends and family into the journey with us. Because if it, we have been able to talk to many more people about the process.

Again thanks for sharing. Good luck with the adoption. It’s tough to have to wait for the process.

We are waiting on our immigration approval now.

Sheryl
Sheryl
7 years ago

Starting a family, however you choose to do so, is rarely a frugal decision. Once you recognize that some of the necessary expenses are a little easier to swallow. But way to go on the strategies to help keep the costs down with the adoption!

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl

Very true. My boyfriend and I sometimes talk about having children, and we agreed that if we did we wouldn’t spend on money on many things we currently spend money, e.g., eating out, cable TV.

I think the strategies Lisa and her husband came up with work well for ANYONE starting a family, via adoption or not!

Kelly@Financial-Lessons
7 years ago

I think its awesome of you and your husband to have thought of this for the well being of the children you are adopting. Being prepared and aware of what everything will cost, and wanting to have enough money to give the children the life they deserve is admirable. How much would the grants have given you if you decided to apply for them? They may be worth it.

Lisa Aberle
Lisa Aberle
7 years ago

Grants vary, but can be significant. Showhope.org, for instance, says their average grant is $4,000.

Holly@ClubThrifty
7 years ago

I am so happy for you! I’m sure it will be worth every penny and every sacrifice and then some. Congratulations!!!

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago

I think it’s great that you planned ahead for this expense! It is mind blowing how much international adoption can cost. As a transracial and international adoptee I have to say I’m glad you did NOT go the fundraiser route! Or, more accurately, the fundraising method of opening up a website and essentially begging (seriously – there are people who do that). I can’t quite put it into words, but such behavior offends me. Some of the fundraising you described – making a meal for someone – isn’t offensive. It’s similar to moonlighting to make extra income, IMO. And it’s… Read more »

Andrea
Andrea
7 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Aberle

I have a friend who was adopted from Russia when she was about 7. Her adoptive parents tried hard to help her keep her native language, but she flat out refused to go to the classes, and now as a young adult wants nothing to do with her home country. Just sharing this bit because sometimes kids come with so much baggage, they’d rather not remember any of it, including the language. Her parents tried their best, but also realized that it was more damaging to her to force the language upon her than to just let it go, so… Read more »

Lisa Aberle
Lisa Aberle
7 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

Good to know. We’ll try to be sensitive to their wishes.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

I think, too, like most kids, they don’t want to stick out, and going to Russian/Korean/Chinese/whatever classes does that. When I was a girl I bristled whenever anyone suggested I’d want to go visit Korea, or that I would have a special interest in Korea. (I’m a Korean adoptee, in case you haven’t had your coffee yet 😉 ) I think I got angry because it was another reminder that I wasn’t like my family, and I resented being pigeon-holed or told, explicitly or implicitly, how to feel about my adoption, ethnicity, etc. Now that I’m older – maybe more… Read more »

Ely
Ely
7 years ago

My co-worker and her husband just left for Ethiopia, for their first court date in the process of adopting a baby there. They raised some of the money via garage sales, and she is doing custom nursery paintings – large colorful animal paintings with an African theme. Not begging for money, but allowing people to contribute in different ways. And sometimes people love to contribute – a somewhat distant relative-by-marriage offered them her airline miles, and when she found they couldn’t be used for international travel, she straight-up bought their plane tickets. Sometimes people are just waiting for a chance… Read more »

Colleen
Colleen
7 years ago

Congratulations! I thought this was a great article but I’d actually love to learn more. I’m interested in adoption (probably domestically) and have no idea about the costs or possible ways to defray them. It would be cool to have a follow up post that gave some of the numbers, and grant possibilities, and I didn’t even know there was an adoption credit – I would be interested in learning more about that. Or maybe people could list some of the adoption blogs in the comments section. This is such an overwhelming and large topic so I’m not quite sure… Read more »

Diane
Diane
7 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Aberle

Mind CC-ing that email to me? I’m interested in adopting as well but the costs are mind boggling, especially for someone with a modest income. I know a few people who have adopted, but they all have much larger incomes.

T
T
7 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Can I get in on that, too, Lisa? Thanks!!

Sally
Sally
7 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Do note that the adoption tax credit is mostly set to expire at the end of this year, has not been renewed by Congress past that, and has, by several estimations, only a 5-10% chance of being renewed by the end of the year. (You’d have to finalize an adoption in 2012 to claim it if it is not renewed.) See http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/ for updates. I was very interested in this post because my husband and I adopted (newborn, domestic) in September; our son is now 11 weeks old. We are comfortably middle class, but adoption IS insanely expensive. I think… Read more »

Bob
Bob
7 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Sally – You may already be aware of this, but you can claim the adoption tax credit for a domestic adoption prior to finalization. The catch is that you can only claim expenses you paid the year prior to the current tax year (in your case, expenses paid on or before 12/31/11). Given the cost of adoption and the way costs are spread out, you may have paid enough prior to that date to still claim the full credit.

Sally
Sally
7 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Bob–Though the language is confusing, as I understand it, you can’t claim the credit until the adoption is finalized–the year AFTER the expenses in the case of people who adopt in a two-year process. See the example here under “When To Claim the Credit”: http://taxes.about.com/od/deductionscredits/qt/adoptioncredit.htm. The related IRS page has similar wording. In any case, we were the very rare couple that gets a baby quickly; we had finished with our home study less than two weeks when our son was in our arms, so we had no expenses before July of 2012. Even though it is amazing and wonderful… Read more »

Bob
Bob
7 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Sally – that is so fast! Congrats! Just for others reading, we actually had to do it the way that I mentioned commenting – we filed for the tax credit prior to finalization and claimed expenses we incurred in 2010 for the 2011 tax year. This is the difference between domestic (non-special needs) and international adoption in regards to the tax credit. For domestic adoptions, it is not required to have a finalized adoption to claim the tax credit – we were audited and still got the full amount approved, so I’m sure this is correct. It doesn’t do you… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
7 years ago
Reply to  Lisa Aberle

Me, too please:-) I am so happy for you, and hope to be able to experience the same joy someday. I will be sendings tons of kind, compassionate, and joyful thoughts you and your new family’s way!

Babs
Babs
7 years ago

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing this.

Carrie@LPOHH
7 years ago

This was a great post about the financial aspect of International adoption. We are in the middle of an Eastern European adoption and the cost is large, but you’re right – it doesn’t all come due at once so it’s manageable. The only fundraiser we’ve done so far is a yard sale which was fairly successful and many people were happy to donate their cast-offs for the cause. Congratulations on being so close to the end and good luck with your little ones!

Jacq
Jacq
7 years ago

Do you have a PayPal address? I would like to help you out if that’s okay.

Jeanne
Jeanne
7 years ago

This article hit close to home. Today, my daughter (adopted overseas in April; process started in June 2009…) got the okay for her US visa, and she and I will arrive in the US on my birthday, Wednesday. Could not ask for a better present!

Your life will be enriched, no matter what happens to your bank account. And you two sound like people who can roll with it. Congratulations to you – good luck on the journey.

Helen
Helen
7 years ago

The link to the IRS seems to be for 2011. What is the tax credit for 2012? We just gained a new grandson 6 mos. ago through adoption. What a wonderful gift

Beth
Beth
7 years ago

Wow. I would *never* give money for an adoption ‘fundraiser.’ It’s a lifestyle choice, not a charitible need. It’s no different from me asking my friends to give me money for a sportscar I can’t afford and don’t need. Since the waiting list for all kids is years long, we know there’s more demand than need, so you can’t claim it’s a charitible act you’re doing. It’s an ego-driven lifestyle choice. Wow. I have never heard of such a crass request: asking friends to give you money for a lifestyle choice.

Lib
Lib
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

To counter your point, I must point out that there are many lifestyle choices where it is considered quite acceptable to expect cash contributions from your loved ones. Marriage is a lifestyle choice (one that not everyone can make) and people are expected to give money or gifts. Having children at all is a lifestyle choice and guess what? Gifts. Same with Baptisms, Bar Mitzvahs, going to college, etc. All are lifestyle choices that people regularly make and expect gifts in return. That being said, I do agree with a bit of your sentiment. I would have a hard time… Read more »

Katie
Katie
7 years ago
Reply to  Lib

But you’re willing to give baby shower gifts even though those parents could have adopted older kids instead? That seems a bit hypocritical.

Julie
Julie
7 years ago
Reply to  Katie

It is the intentions that are different. Having a party to celebrate the pending birth of a child is different than having a party in order for a financial gain.

Separately, people don’t throw baby showers for themselves, it is typically a friend of the parents-to-be who throws it. Because to throw a baby shower for yourself would seem like you are soliciting gifts.

KT
KT
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Yeah, I had a tough time with this too. Accepting money for a “want” from the community makes me a little queasy. And holding a fundraiser? Ugh.

Katie
Katie
7 years ago
Reply to  KT

Again, I kind of wonder if you give baby shower gifts.

KT
KT
7 years ago
Reply to  Katie

No, I don’t. Choosing to have a child is your own lifestyle choice-I shouldn’t be expected to contribute to your choices so you can afford it.

Jenne
Jenne
7 years ago
Reply to  KT

KT:
You don’t *have* to contribute to a fundraiser, whether it is for a political party, providing a gift for a colleague’s retirement, medical research, etc, or paying off unexpected healthcare costs.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

@Beth – One thing that became brutally apparent to me when I was teaching is that some people who can easily have kids should not have kids. (I’m talking abuse and neglect here.) That, to me, is the ultimate “ego-driven lifestyle choice”.

After reading this discussion, I’m on the fence about adoption fundraisers. I don’t think I would hold one myself, but I also don’t think only rich people should get to adopt. It’s a complicated issue, isn’t it?

Holly@ClubThrifty
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Maybe I am a weirdo but I would be thrilled to give to a friend who was having a fundraiser to raise money for an adoption. I don’t give handouts very often and am very frugal but I would be enthusiastic about the cause if it were for one of my friends who wanted to be a parent.

LeRainDrop
LeRainDrop
7 years ago

I’m 100% with you, Holly! Adoptive parents ought to have the joy of new parenthood celebrated, just as biological parents would, and as a friend, I would want to contribute to their happiness. Yes, I’d be turned off by an entitled attitude, but I would not expect any of my friends to act that way.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago

One thing that struck me was the examples Lisa gave — garage sales, bake sales, cooking for someone. These aren’t people knocking on doors asking for cash. Every fundraiser I’ve been involved in has required a lot of work. If people choose to make a cash donation as a gift, then why not? Parents are parents no matter how they grow their family.

If people have a garage sale to pay off their credit card debt, why is it not okay to do the same to raise money for adoption?

Juli
Juli
7 years ago

I agree! I would much rather donate for an adoption than buy overpriced cookie dough to build another new playground at the school.

Jenne
Jenne
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

The fact remains that children who are adopted via local OR international adoption are not customized creations who didn’t exist before they were adopted; they are children who need homes.

Laraba
Laraba
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Obviously it is totally someone’s decision whether to support an adoption. However…the desire to have a child is a deep one in the hearts of many. As has been said repeatedly, adoption is a HARD road. My husband and I are blessed to conceive easily and have birth children…some people cannot have birth children, and long, desperately, for a child. We would gladly financially support that very legitimate longing.

Lisa
Lisa
7 years ago

I’m right in the middle of a domestic private adoption right now, and I really salute you for going the international route. It is the longest, most frustrating process I have ever encountered, and that’s with an in-state adoption! It’s also the most amazing, rewarding thing I’ve ever done. That said, you do have to be prepared for the expense. Even domestically, the final price tag is going to top $10K after the lawyer, the home study, the court fees, etc. And you have to realize that even though you might get something back via tax credits and employer assistance,… Read more »

Jenne
Jenne
7 years ago

This is the most positive and least mean-spirited post I’ve seen on this blog for quite some time. Thank you.

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

Thank you for the article. My wife and I are about at the point of starting the process, but need to make drastic changes in our financial lives.

Laura@financial freedom
7 years ago

This post was so touching! My aunt and uncle adopted a girl from China 12 years ago. They went through so much, including months delay due to 9/11, but it’s all so worth it! I love my cousin. She’s beautiful, smart, and fits in perfectly with the family. It has made me think about adopting internationally one day as well. There are so many children out there that need a home!

Lisa Aberle
Lisa Aberle
7 years ago

To all who are in the process, I am happy for you! (I wanted to reply to each of you individually, but I thought it might get annoying to other readers). Anyway, I hope it all goes well for each of you and that there are fewer bumps than normal in this long process.

Melissa@LittleHouseintheValley
7 years ago

Thank you for sharing. We often thought of adopting, but the financial aspect always kept us from pursuing it. We are blessed to have biological children, but we always wanted to adopt. Unfortunately, that probably won’t happen.

SweetCoffee
SweetCoffee
7 years ago

I have a question about the website and I’m unsure of where to post it:

Is the search function gone from the archives section? I have used it a ton in the past to find relevant/related articles or to look up a specific article where I couldn’t remember all of the title.

Thanks!

Lisa Aberle
Lisa Aberle
7 years ago
Reply to  SweetCoffee

I asked about this, too. It is gone for the moment, but I know the editor has asked for it to return. I hope it does, because I used it all the time!

Maybe Ellen or Jen the editorial elf will chime in.

Jen
Jen
7 years ago
Reply to  SweetCoffee

Hello,

Thanks for your question. Yes, the archive search is currently disabled. The best option at present is the gray box that says “category” on the right rail, about a 1/4 of the screen down (depending on your browser view). This “category” menu can expand and you can search articles by relevant category.

I miss the archive search as well and we hope to have it back on the site in the future.

Jen the Editorial Elf

Patrick
Patrick
7 years ago

Congratulations on your adoption, it will be February before you know it! The money you need, doesn’t stop after the adoption though. You might want to save for roots travel, medical costs in case of special need and maybe for extra visits to his or her home country or birth parent research. In our country (Netherlands) we had a financial tax compensation for adoption costs, arranged by our government. Maybe there are similar compensations in your country? Anyway, what I realized with our own adoption, in the end, when you are at home again, your financial funds may be low,… Read more »

Bob
Bob
7 years ago

Congrats on your upcoming adoption. We adopted about a year ago (domestic infant adoption) and struggled with the financial aspects for both practical and philosophical reasons. We felt very uncomfortable with the idea of fundraising, primarily because we felt it perpetuated the myth of adoption as charity (especially with our chosen path) and we wanted to make sure we felt good about our actions in pursuing adoption since one day it would be our child’s story to tell. We ended up borrowing money for the adoption and just made paying it off a priority and cut all non-necessary expenses. It… Read more »

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
7 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Ugh, it’s mind blowing how tactless some people can be 😛 “How much did it cost you to get your child?” Ugh ugh ugh! That is another bit of advice I’d offer to adoptive parents – come up with a game plan on how to handle those questions, and how to talk to your child about that stuff if the cluess asks you in front of your child! (It happens.) Because, of course, kids aren’t necessarily going to understand adoption fees as something other than a “price.” And no one wants to feel like they’ve been bought 🙁 [Similarly, no… Read more »

Rachel Meeks
Rachel Meeks
7 years ago

This was encouraging to my husband and I as we try to conceive our first child. We’re terrified of the money aspect. But it’s still just one step at a time. 🙂

Rachel
Rachel
7 years ago

Congratulations! We also adopted internationally and didn’t fund-raise. We accepted help when it was offered and drained our savings account and saved, saved, saved! Our son was worth every penny. I love that we can tell him that. He had a rough start in life, but it is NOT because he is not valuable. (We found our son on Reece’s Rainbow, a special needs orphans advocation organization)

mike
mike
6 years ago

Hi,
My wife and I are in the process of a international adoption. We will probably be flying in about 1-1.5 years. Do you recommend a travel rewards card that we could get? Hoping to have our spending from now until flight to lead to savings for the 2 flights we will be purchasing. Thanks for any help.

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