Hello and Happy Thursday!
It has been awhile since I have posted on here. I know some of you are aware of our adoption updates and others are not. So, update I shall!
Andrew and I were working hard back in February and March on social media, fundraising, and outreach to help with our adoption of Oliver. We were looking at a hefty price tag of approximately $45,000. I did so much research on how we could ever afford something like this, especially since we had less than 1 year to pay the money. We knew that Oliver was worth every penny, but we wondered if we were going to put ourselves in debt that would be harmful to our family and new life with our son. We didn’t want that to happen.
One evening in March, we had a mandatory meeting with a local couple that had adopted two children through the same agency we were using for our home study. They were very nice and helpful throughout our meeting, answering every question we had to the best of their ability. Their situation was a little different than ours. They went into adoption already having two biological children. Also, they went through a program called Fos-Adopt. Have you heard of this? We hadn’t either.
Fos-Adopt is a low-legal-risk program that will place you with a California foster child that fits your criteria (age, gender, race, special needs, etc.), with the goal of adoption. This is different from being just a foster parent because there is a much lower probability that these children will be unified with their biological families.
In a way, this program is more risky than international because there is always a chance the child could be reunified with their birth parents. On the other hand, the wait time and financial burden is much less than international adoption. Needless to say, we were intrigued by this new found program. This family had adopted two children through this program, in a matter of a couple years. Their first child was placed with them and the adoption was finalized after only six months. The second child took a little longer to be finalized, 18 months, due to birth family complications. Theirs was a promising story.
Then we asked, “How much does the Fos-Adopt program cost?” The adoption agency employee was at the meeting with us and she provided us a breakdown of all the associated fees. She summed it up with, “Approximately $3,000”. Our initial response was, “Ok, that’s for the first part. How much after that?” But that was it. The entire adoption process would cost us approximately $3,000. How in the world did we not know about this program??? We were both in complete awe at this news. We left their house that evening with mixed emotions. On one hand, we had grown feelings for Oliver and had been planning on making him our son. On the flip side of that coin, this Fos-Adopt program will still provide us with our first child and we can afford it without going into debt.
We discussed our options for the next couple of days and ultimately decided that the Fos-Adopt program was the best choice for our family.
I had a really tough first week or so after that decision was made. My heart hurt for Oliver. For us. All the hard work we had done to adopt him and bring him into our home was done. Halted. We contacted everyone that donated money and/or items to sell and offered to return everything, since our plans had changed. People were so understanding and generous. Most of them had us keep the money/items to use towards our new adoption plans. The way we had to start looking at it was our goals didn’t change, just the path in which we were taking to get there.
As for Oliver, he will always hold a special place in our hearts. We started this journey with him. We will keep his pictures and videos and continue our hope that an amazing family will adopt him soon. For never meeting someone in-person, he sure did leave an impression.
So, here we are. July 13, 2017. It has been about four months since our abrupt change in trajectory. We have completed our information session, adoption preparation classes, huge stack of paperwork, and we have paid our fees up to this point. Right now, we are waiting to be assigned a social worker who will conduct our home study. At this rate, we could be placed with a child in as little as 3 months. 🙂
Thank you to everyone who has supported us through this journey. We appreciate you!