How'd you get here from there?-Part II
This seems like as good a point as any to talk about the financial piece of our adoption. It's funny, but it's not something that really concerned us too much. I suppose that sounds very flippant, but that's not how it's meant. In a similar sense, we didn't really think too much about the exact *number* of children we would be parenting after the adoption was final. At our adoption shower, a friend of ours even commented, "Wow. SIX kids...have you guys (read: completely lost your minds?) been thinking about what that will BE like?" My husband and I looked at each other and smiled, "Nope, not really, " we answered. Again, this is not too say that we didn't THINK about what we were undertaking, but we just jumped in feet first with confidence that it would work out okay. Some would call that foolish, but we prefer to think of it as a leap of faith.
So, that's the context in which we approached the financial aspect of the adoption as well.
There are so many options out there for adoption financing: loans, grants, fundraisers, savings, etc...a very thorough and extensive discussion can be found on Erin's Transracial/Transcultural Adoption Blog. She also has a section where she talks here about the cost of adoption as a barrier. It is also important to do your research and ask for recommendations about different agencies costs and services provided. Some agencies have lower fees, but "hidden" costs. Some have higher fees, but the quality of the services are worth the extra cost. Some have been in the business longer than others. Our agency has a real commitment not only to the children being adopted, but also act as advocates for those children who are not yet, or will never be, adopted. I think this speaks volumes about their service, even before you see a fee schedule. And, bear in mind, things are on a schedule. Not all fees are due at once, and you have some flexibility about when to pay depending on how quickly you choose to move through the process.
I don't think I am alone when I say that we found once God firmly put adoption (and this specific adoption, in particular) on our hearts; the money worked itself out. No, we didn't inherit a windfall from Great-Aunt Hildegarde, but we did see possibilities for funding that we hadn't considered before. And, speaking from the back end of our adoption now, we have taken full advantage of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit, as well as my husband's employer's generous adoption reimbursement program (which many companies offer-check with your HR person). In the end, with the tax refund and the reimbursements, we will not have paid ANYTHING out of pocket for both of our adoptions, AND we have two beautiful new deductions that the federal government will continue to incent us for having each year at tax time! It could be just enough to fund another adoption in the future...the hardest part for us was yet to come...choosing our country program!