Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Next Step

Exciting news to share!  We got an email from our case worker that our home study is done. We have to wait for the main office at Madison Adoption Associates to review the home study to make sure everything is right, and then it will go to IL DCFS for final approval.

This is such great news!!!!!

As soon as we have the final draft of the home study we can move on to the next step in the process. 
Our next step is applying for I800a and this can take 2 whole months.  :(  Those 2 months will be so hard to get through. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to start that part of the process by the middle of May.

Monday, April 13, 2015

So Just How Much Will This Cost????

Trust me, just like you guys are wondering, so were we.  In many ways we still are wondering how much it will all end up costing. There are so many different things that play a factor in the cost of adoption. So what could be involved that makes it add up so quickly?

Application fees, home study, education training, passports, fingerprints, in country fees, travel, child's visa, agency fees, certification, apostilling, translation, authentication, court. See why it can get overwhelming to think about all we have to do?                  One.   Step.   At.   A.   Time.

We are fundraising to help with the costs of the adoption. I know some people feel strangely about fundraising, and if you aren't okay with it, that's fine, just pray for us. We can use your prayers just as much!  We try to think of fun, different types of fundraisers where to person donating has a chance to win something, or is actually purchasing something with their donation. We just want everyone to know that we appreciate the help that has been given and are so thankful. We'll get him home no matter what. We would do anything for any of our kids and this includes him. He not only needs a family, he needs medical treatment and we can provide that for him.

Here is a breakdown of some of the fees just to give you an idea:
Application Fee - $350  (paid)
Home Study - $3,450  (paid)
FBI Fingerprints - $210  (paid)
Passports - $220 + $50 processing fee  (paid)
Placement Agency Fees:
At Commitment to child - $4,000  (paid)
I-800A - $720
Dossier Submission - $5,750
After Trip 1 - $4,000

Additional expenses for us will be his medical appointment and TB test that he needs for his embassy appointment before coming home trip 2, his visa $230, our airfare for trip 1 and trip 2, hotel and food for trip 1 and trip 2

Our in country travel is paid for in the agency fee's above so we don't have to stress about that in country. It is one of the countries that is less expensive to adopt from, but by the time we have finished we will have spent between $24,000 and $28,000 depending on what time of year we travel, if there are hold ups with paperwork, if we have to move due to the military before he comes home.
If he isn't home yet when we have to pcs with the military, this will cause a hold up and increase in our fees. We will have to apply with a new home study agency that is licensed in the state we move to, and get an amendment done to our home study and send new paperwork off to Bulgaria.

I know it's a lot, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what we are working on. I'll be updating this post as we pay the different amounts so stay tuned.  :)  Thanks again for following along with us.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Drawing for the winner in one week!!!!!!!

Need a vacation????  Please consider entering our Chicago Vacation Giveaway. It is just $5 to enter and you can enter your name as many times as you wish.  The trip is for May 30th and 31st and is valued at just under $1,000. This is in their 2 bedroom Presidential Suite. There is so much to do around this area and it would be such a fun getaway.

Please donate here and comment below to let me know that you donated and how many times so I can enter your name into the drawing:

Quick update

We received an email from our home study agency yesterday evening letting us know they received our FBI fingerprints and State fingerprints. So, this means we are waiting on NC and CA to get with the ball game and hurry up!!!!!  :)  Either way, it's movement in the right direction, and I'll take that any day.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Where we are at in the process

I think the two questions that are the most common are:
  1. So what's new, what have you heard?
  2. How much is this going to cost you guys?  (I'll do a separate blog post on this later this week.)
So, back to question #1,  :)  Here is a list of the "steps" we will go through before bringing him home.  Each one checked off is celebrated!!! (and marked in blue)

  • Apply with the placing agency  -  Done Feb of 2015
  • Apply with the Home Study Agency - Done Feb 2015
  • Submit commitment paperwork to Bulgaria asking for permission to pursue the adoption of our little guy. - Done Feb 2015
  • 1st Home Study Visit - March 7th
  • 2nd Home Study Visit - March 23rd
  • 3rd Home Study Visit - April 4th
  • 4th and FINAL Home Study Visit
  • Request back ground checks in all states we've lived.
  • Get FBI and State level fingerprints.  Request our passports.
  • Medical Appointments for us.
  • Submit Home Study to placement agency for review. Once placement agency okay's it send it off to DCFS IL for them to approve. (this can take over a month) IL is one of the few states that requires this. Aren't we so lucky?!?!
  • Gather all Dossier paperwork so that it is ready to go to Bulgaria once Home Study final draft is received.  (working on this now)
  • I-800a application can be completed once we have the home study done.
  • Wait, Wait, Wait this part can take up to 90 days
  • Give our case worker all of our paperwork to send to Bulgaria once we have I-800a approval. She will send off and it will be translated in country.
  • It will be translated, authenticated, and registered with the MOJ (Ministry of Justice)
  • Wait more
  • Receive our invitation to go on trip #1
  • Come home and wait. While we are waiting between trip 1 and trip 2 we are completing more paperwork, and updating fingerprints and medical clearances. In Bulgaria they are processing his adoption. The time between these two trips can vary but generally is 4-6 months.
  • Trip 2 Go Get Our Boy!!!!!!!!
There are a lost of things that will happen during all of these steps and I'll blog more about them when we are actually on those steps. Honestly it's all a bit confusing to me and I'll understand better when we are going through that part of the process much more and be able to explain it better.

Currently we are between home study visit # 3 and # 4. We have to wait til Nate's clearances come back for California, and both of our clearances come back from North Carolina. We are also waiting on our FBI and State fingerprints to be electronically sent to our home study agency. Once this stuff comes in, she can write up the draft to be sent to our placing agency for review.