So many of you have reached out to us about our adoption. Whether you reached out to lend your support, pray for our family or inquire about adoption for your own family?
It’s been refreshing to see that so many of you are INTERESTED.
We started our adoption journey in January of 2012.
We never imagined that 3 years and 2 months later we would still be waiting for our new child. We’ve had friends that started this process with us and after us who have already got to bring home their son or daughter. We’ve seen stories of countless adoptions that have gone much much quicker than ours.
But we have also witnessed adoptions that have gone much slower.
Right now, this is our reality. And we are faithful that it’s the right reality.
I wanted to take some time to answer some of the common questions that we get about our adoption in hopes that it will help you if you are thinking about adopting.
One important thing to remember is that every adoption is different. Every country is different when it comes to adoption. This is simply our experience going through the Philippines adoption process.
Ignore my crazy kids in these photos, but you know I can’t write without including images. 😉
Why did you decide to adopt?
This is probably the most common question I get about adoption and it used to be the hardest to answer.
The short answer? Adoption is something that God placed on my heart.
The long answer? I was at church one Sunday and during worship I had my eyes closed, hands raised and all of the sudden I had this overwhelming feeling of what it felt like to be an orphan.
Lonely. Scared. Neglected. Confused.
That was the moment that my heart started to feel called to adopt. It wasn’t that I even knew what I was feeling meant. I just remember leaving service that Sunday feeling emotional and passionate about orphans. I really didn’t know what it meant at the time. But what I can say is it was the beginning of something that my heart couldn’t shake.
How did you get your husband on board?
I was scared out of my mind to mention adoption to my husband. At the time our kids were 6 months, 2 and 4.5. I knew he was going to think I was a crazy person.
When he came home from work one day I told him that I needed to talk to him about something. I remember him looking at me very oddly, like….am I in trouble? Haha.
And then the words came out of my mouth…
“What do you think about adopting a baby from the Philippines?”
I remember very clearly that his response was not an immediate no. I felt hopeful just for that simple reason.
But it also wasn’t an immediate yes.
He suggested we pray about it (which in his mind also meant – give me some time to process this).
I felt very strongly convicted that this was our path. We prayed about it, but it wasn’t long before I was calling adoption agencies. To be honest, I was calling them before I had his complete approval.
I think he knew that because I was so convicted? It must be a God thing. Because I typically don’t “act fast” on anything.
Why did you pick the Philippines?
Jeff is half Filipino. His mom was born and raised in the Philippines and still has family there.
When I started feeling called to adoption, the Philippines just made sense for us. We love the idea of bringing more of Jeff’s heritage into our family.
Where did you start when you made the decision to adopt?
If you are currently where I was 3.5 years ago and thinking that you would love to know more about adoption but don’t know where to start? I understand.
I was clueless on where to begin.
The first thing I did was go online and google “Philippines adoption”. I started reading different resources and eventually I landed on the ICAB website (the Philippines government who oversee adoptions). They had a page that listed what U.S. agencies their country worked with.
I started going down the list calling the U.S. agencies one-by-one.
Something unique about our journey is that when we started this process, the Philippines had a moratorium on adoptions from the U.S. Only a few smaller agencies were allowed to send applications and they could only send 10 applications per year. We learned that this was because they were so behind in matching children and were placing a hold in hopes of getting caught up.
The first 13 agencies I called all told me NO. They said, “I’m sorry, but the Philippines program is not accepting new applications.”
I refused to take no for an answer because I was certain that if God was asking us to do this? The Philippines was where we were supposed to be doing it from. I kept calling.
I finally found a smaller organization in Minnesota that told me YES. They explained to me that certain smaller organizations were allowed to send 10 applications per year and they were one of those agencies. They also told me they had not fulfilled their 10 for the year yet.
I wish I could say that from there it got easy to understand, but that would be a lie.
Since we live in Illinois and they are in Minnesota, we had to find a state agency to do our home study. Your home study (which is required for adoptions) must be done in your own state.
So, to make it more clear for you, we have a local social services agency who helped us complete our home study. They don’t work with international countries specifically. That is why we also need the adoption agency who had the relationship with the Philippines.
What are some good questions to ask when calling agencies?
Do you work with programs in the (fill in the blank with whatever country you are choosing)?
How many children did you place last year?
How many children from each of the programs in which I am interested in? How long have you been placing children from each program?
What is the total cost of adopting through xxxx program?
Is international adoption stable in my country of choice? Do you have programs in other countries I could switch to if regulations change or if a moratorium is declared?
How much does adoption cost?
Again, don’t forget that this is DIFFERENT for every country. I will try to break it down the best I can, but since we are not completely done with our process this will just be an estimate of what we have been told.
I want to be completely real with y’all on this.
Application Fee – $250
Preparation for Adoption Fee – $2,250
Post Placement Service Fee – $250/visit and we are required 3 post placement visits – $750
Cost to update home study yearly – $350/year – for us we are at $1,050
I800A Filing Fee – $720
Biometrics Finger Printing Federal – $170
Update to I800A (second time is free, third time) – $530 ($360 update fee/$170 biometrics fee)
Adoption Agency Costs:
Application Fee – $500
Dossier Fee – $3,200
ICAB Processing Fee – $2,000
Child Care Support Fund – $1,000 (due on accepting referral)
Program Referral Fee – $7,900 (due on accepting referral)
Travel Costs (flight) – $6,000 – $10,000 (this all depends on plane costs)
Travel Costs (hotel) – $1,500 – $2,500
In-Country Costs – Responsibility of adoptive family
Total Costs listed (using highest plane ticket and hotel number) – $32,820 —> I am certain there are other costs involved, but these are the MAIN costs.
One thing I feel STRONGLY about is that God is calling us to pay for these expenses on our own.
Meaning, that I every time I have prayed about fundraising or doing an adoption related auction, I very strongly felt the Lord saying that we are capable of paying for this on our own. I know many people are not capable of coming up with that much money on their own so I think fundraising is a great way to fund an adoption. But, for us personally, for now I feel like God is asking us to use our personal savings to bring this sweet child into our family.
Why does it take so long to adopt?
The ultimate question that I wish I had an answer to. Unfortunately, I don’t. Each country has their own set of rules and regulations in place and each program is different. We were told that the estimated wait time for the Philippines was 18-24 months.
We have currently been approved through the Philippines program since November 26, 2012. We have been waiting 27 months.
One thing I can say is that the Philippines had loose laws in place when it came to birth parents being forced to make a permanent plan for their child. Those laws have currently been updated (as of the last few months), but we haven’t seen it’s effects just yet. I hoping that this will speed up the process a little bit for the Philippines program and anyone who will be adopting from there in the future.
We are hopeful that we will get our referral any day.
Will you change your child’s name?
I’m a type A planner (for those of you who don’t know me well). I plan everything out.
But I feel like this experience is different for me. There are so many factors that we don’t know.
We don’t know whether we are getting a girl or a boy. We know that they will be between the ages of 1 and 3, but we don’t know the exact age.
We don’t know if they will have a name given to them by their birth parents or by an orphanage. We just don’t know much.
And for me? It’s hard for me to make a name decision without knowing more about our child. I feel like if their name was given to them by an orphanage then yes, we will most likely change it. But to what? I don’t have a clue.
We’ve thrown around a few names here more recently just because we feel like our time is coming, but it’s all just been in good fun. Nothing too serious.
If you ask the boys…they will give you all kinds of answers on what we should name our new baby.
Including: Baby King, Epic Baby, Emma, Road Racer, and Lollipop.
The only thing I can tell you is that as soon as we see their precious picture, we will be able to make that decision.
Thank you to everyone who is praying for our child. For our family. For our adoption. Your support is more than any monetary donation could ever stand up to.
We are anxious yet trustful and we know that God’s timing is perfect. We have faith in Him and we are confident that Jesus will be glorified throughout this entire process.
I wish I could tell you that after three years my patience is wearing thin, but it’s not. I’m more confident in God now than I ever was before.
When it’s time…we are ready.