In the short time that we have been publicly linked to adoption we have had several people email, call, or ask us questions about the details of our adoption process.. Recently it has been more and more frequent and I have realized the desire for information from others. We believe in adoption and honestly want to see as many people get to adopt as possible, so I thought I would make a blog post and share our story. These are the details including the honest financial truth. I have made a timeline that may help answer some of your questions. From the first initial meeting to explain the process and bringing Mercy home from the hospital was almost four years to the day. Much of this wait was saving the money to actually begin the official process.
-Ocotber 2008- we met with a private adoption attorney who walked us through the independent adoption process and told us the cost up front. We did this early so that we could get a savings plan in place. We knew we would still have one more biological child which turned out to be Canaan (11/24/09), but wanted to do our homework early.
– October 2008 thru February 2010 we saved enough to begin the process
– February 2010- signed papers with Home-study Services of Ohio. They are out of Canton, Ohio and travel all over the state.
– April 2010- finished all our home study meetings and classes and can now officially accept a baby. Our homes study has a two-year expiration date.
– August 2011- we did a private Facebook fundraiser for our adoption which eventually would raise $7,000.
– July 2012- we came to a point where we realized that trying to adopt independent (on our own) through networking was very difficult and we needed to pick a public agency soon.
– August 2012- met with a family that has adopted twice through Adoption Link and highly recommended them. We were able to see their profile books and hear first hand stories of their experience.
– August 2012- transferred our home study paperwork to Adoption Link and made profile books. This took three weeks to complete.
– August 2012- within days of signing with Adoption Link we received multiple calls and emails for babies that needed homes
– September 2012- we were picked by two different expectant moms and interviewed with both. Neither was a match for us.
– October 29, 2012- we received a call from our agency director that a baby girl was born the night (28th) before and her birth mom picked our family on the 29th. We were asked to come to the hospital in Dayton immediately to pick her up. We were in shock because we had never met this birth-mom or new she was a possibility.
– October 29th– 30th– went to Dayton and picked Mercy up and brought her home from the hospital
– November 2012-May 2013- we have a social worker come to our house once a month to check in
– January 2013- we hired a lawyer from Cincinnati to handle our finalization paperwork
– May 2013- we will be going to the Greene County Courthouse to finalize our adoption
There are a few tips that may help if your are looking to adopt:
1) Pick an agency that is highly recommended
2) Call or email people listed by the agency as references
3) Ask a lot of questions
One of the biggest obstacles in adoption is the money. The first question I asked was “how much is it going to cost?” To be honest, it is expensive, You should have a plan in place and know how you are going to pay for the adoption when it happens. Sometimes, like in our case it happened without warning and we needed to be ready. We decided that adoption was our number one saving priority so we did a fundraiser and Mark picked up some side projects over the last four years to pay/save for Mercy’s adoption, God is good, and when we got the call to come get Mercy we had the exact amount of money we needed. Here is a cost breakdown of our expenses:
Home Study Services of Ohio- (which includes the back ground checks)- $1300
Adoption Link fee schedule- $ 16,290
Legal Fees to finalize $1200
Total $ 18,790
I know this post may not have answered all your questions, but I hope it gave some direction and maybe you want to check out the agencies we went through. If you have more specific questions nothing is off limits and we want to be an open book book to encourage your adoption. You can Facebook me (facebook.com/kristinartrip), email me at kristinartrip(at)gmail.com or tweet at me @kristinartrip if you want to know more.