“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”-Romans 12:12
Wow, Life is crazy, you guys. Five years ago Michael responded to a call where he was running on foot and was hit by a car while on duty at work.
That same month I found out I can’t have any more kids biologically.
I bring both of those things up because the anniversary of both life changing events is very recent, and because so much has happened in between that time and now, including an official autism diagnosis for Blake.
We’ve been married for almost 16 years, and I could write a book about our life and everything that’s happened. It’s full of love, hardship, scares, and God’s beauty in the midst.
It’s also full of an adoption story.
One that has yet to be completely written. But, it’s coming.
This adoption journey has been one of much needed patience. I knew going into this it was going to be long, there would be a lot of waiting around, especially of other people handling the process, but I just didn’t know how much patience was needed until we started.
I love Romans 12:12 because Paul continues to tell us how we should act emotionally and spiritually when living our lives to be more like Christ.
Michael and I are certain that the Lord has directed us to adopt, so, while we wait, it can sometimes be hard to follow this command that God gave to Paul to preach, to be joyful for things that haven’t yet occurred. But, I know we serve a God who already knows what is to come. And though I do not know the timeline of when Mason #4 will enter our lives, I have such faith and conviction that God already knows, and that gives me the kind of peace that can only come from this life event being rooted in Him.
We talk of the adoption often among the 3 of us. Blake is excited. I know the transition, when the time is finally here, is going to be difficult for my little boy who struggles so much with change, but, we are prepared and we stand ready.
I love being a part of a church community where so many adopt, and we have so many resources available to us with stories from others. I’ve also been able to have hard conversations with people about what it’s like to have a black son, and/or be a part of a transracial family.
I know this isn’t going to be all rainbows and butterflies. Not only is stepping into adoption hard, but we also are learning what we need to do as parents to raise BOTH of our sons in the world we live in today. I’m grateful for people who have allowed me to ask questions and speak vulnerably in this space. So many have asked us why we are adopting outside of our race. I do intend to write a whole blog about this, but, the short answer is, that when we filled out our application we said we were open to any race, because, we are! Every kid needs a home! And God honestly just opened the door to Haiti. Since then, I have been studying the culture and I am so in love with the people of Haiti already and all that they are. I ask that you not only keep our adoption process in your prayers, but also the country of Haiti.
So, where are we at in the process?
We completed our individual interviews with our social worker. Michael met with her one-on-one for 2 hours, and then I did the same. Right after that interview we paid $11,150 to our adoption agency. This large sum of money will be what is sent to Haiti with our application, clearances, home study, psychological evaluations, medical forms, and so much more. We have one more social work visit in a few weeks, and while we await that we have a few more things on our “to do list” to complete before our packet is sent to Haiti.
- Local background checks
- Psych evaluations for Michael and I
- Physical exams from our doctors
The paperwork packet that is sent to Haiti is called the “dossier”. I often have people asking me why it’s so expensive. I get this question, because I wondered the same before we started. Here’s the breakdown of what the $11,150 covers for the dossier.
Agency Fee II AGCI U.S. Expenses $3,500
Document Authentication AGCI (Authenticator*) Translation & Document $900
Translation of Dossier AGCI (Translator*) Translation & Document $500
IBESR I AGCI (IBESR*) Translation & Document $1,450
Program Fee II AGCI (FSP/Program*) Foreign Country Program $4,800
The IBESR is “Institut du Bein-Etre Social et de Recherches” (Institute of Social Welfare and Research) (IBESR) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The IBESR is the office that approves the families and matches the families then to children.
(I plan on doing another blog post with frequently asked questions we get and can address some of the questions then, such as, “How do they match certain families to particular kids?” So, if you have any questions you want to know, send them my way! )
I wish I could say the $11,150 was our last big payment. The truth is, we owe about $17,110 more.
I want to go ahead and address one of the questions we’ve received, and not wait until the FAQ blog post, because it’s an important part of this blog post I’m writing now.
“Why are you doing fundraising for an adoption. This must mean you don’t have the money to raise another child”
It’s a valid question. I get it.
Here’s the answer as best as I can get it out to you. The month to month expenses of having another child isn’t what’s difficult. We can do that. What we do NOT have is $40,000 just laying around. That’s been the hardest part of this journey, trusting that the Lord will provide. Because, when he first made it clear to us that He wanted us to adopt, the answer was very clear that he wanted us to do international adoption. Which, if you don’t know, is way more expensive. Our first question and concern was, “Lord. Where are we going to get that kind of money?” Through prayer and in talking with others, the answer was, “Do not worry. I will provide for you.” And so, we started our journey trusting his plan. And NOT having $40,000 to do this.
And so far he has done just that. Provided. AND I have so much joy in my heart knowing that he will continue to send people in our lives to help complete his work.
This is NOT our doing. To him be all the glory, because, how we raised over $11,000 so far (albeit, even if it’s already gone, it went toward its intended purpose), is beyond me. We are so grateful and humbled by everyone.
With that said, here are the remaining fees.
What is remaining is about $17,110. And that’s just an estimate, because inevitably other things will pop up, and there are also things in this where prices aren’t listed which aren’t accounted for.
We have our psychological evaluations coming up, which will be around $1,500 for us, and, tonight I paid $150 for background fingerprinting. What’s pretty amazing about paying the $150 tonight? We had almost exactly $150 in our adoption account. Talk about God providing EVERY PENNY so far!
I’m not the type to beg and plea. But, I am the type to trust in God’s constant whisper to me that he’s going to provide. The moment I started to become concerned tonight that we are going to have to pay $1,500 in fees to pay for psychological evaluations and other things to come up VERY soon, Michael reminded me to trust. And with trust comes the way we’ve raised money so far, simply informing others of our intentions and journey.
If you’re new to our journey you can read about the beginning of it here. Which also explains our fundraiser where you can become a piece of our story with our puzzle!
And now for the super uncomfortable part….
if you’re feeling called, we would love your support. We have 161 more puzzle pieces left (we started out with 520!). These last 161 pieces will help us to raise $3,220 out of the roughly $17,000 we owe. We are already praying about other creative ideas to fundraise the remainder of the money.
We are asking for $20 to be a piece of a story to bring our son home. With each puzzle piece purchased, your name will be written on the back and the puzzle will be displayed in a double sided frame. This way we will always be able to see who helped us to become a family of 4.
Via Paypal- firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is what our puzzle looks like.
If you’re unable to help monetarily, we understand! We would also adore your prayers! I’ve created prayer cards that you can print so you can pray for us. You can also share this blog post and our story with others!
We are overjoyed for what is to come. We are another day closer to coming for you, Mason #4!