Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kind of a Rant. A L-O-N-G one. You've been warned.

Does anyone mind if I rant, rave and otherwise lash out right now?

I want to go over what is holding us back. 
When we first decided to adopt, there were a few reasons. These were the biggest.
1) We had always wanted to, since being kids our selves. We talked about this well before we even got married.
2) Instead of the heartbreak of failed fertility treatments, we could give a home; a mother, father, brother and extended to family to a child whose mother was choosing a different future than she could provide for her child. In return, we get our dream of having a larger family + the addition of having some extra family members in the form of the child's biological family. (Or at least we hoped to gain a loving open adoption situation)

Kevin and I believed adoption to be the best option for our family. Fertility treatments held no guarantee anyway, and we believed that an expectant mother considering adoption could see the love we have to give.

We selected an adoption facilitator because the fees were on par or less than some adoption agencies. We also felt that a facilitator would have better outreach to birth families. We qualified for a grant through them, because we went through their African-American Enrichment Program. We chose this not because of money, but because we are an interracial family, and felt that we would be good parents to a bi- or multi- racial child/ren.

We have been open not just to newborns, but infants up to one year old; multiples; and sibling groups where the oldest child was the same age or younger than our firstborn.

We paid $13,000 for their services.

To adopt, you must have a home study. This is done by a licensed social worker, who may or may not  be affiliated with an adoption agency. Our was not, both the home study and the update were done by independent social workers. We submitted to home inspections, interviews, local, state and federal background checks. We bought fire extinguishers, fire escape ladders, and made fire escape plans that are posted in our home. We had medical examinations as well.

For this, we paid $1,000 for the original home study. When our wait went over one year, we paid $500 for it to be updated.

Kevin and I were optimistic. We thought that we would be chosen relatively quickly, and perhaps complete our adoption in a year or so. When that didn't happen, we didn't give up.

Finally, after a few close calls, we were matched with R.
This means that we found an attorney, and he spoke with us as well as R. We paid a $4,500 retainer, with the hope that we would not go over that in our adoption. When R decided to parent her daughter, we were entitled to a bit of a refund. About half of that we got back - it was just enough to cover the expenses we incurred driving to the birth, hotels for the time we were gone, food - etc.

 So, at this point we've paid $16,500.

Please note that this does not cover incidental expenses - printing our profiles cost $500. We are billed monthly for our 800-number access. We paid the fees for the background checks.

Because of this (incredibly stupid and unfair) law that New Mexico passed, retroactively - we are now prevented from working with agencies or facilitators outside of this state! This means that the $13K we paid to Lifetime - I guess we are just supposed to eat that, according to the State of New Mexico. In R's situation, her state allowed non-residents to finalize there. This law hadn't yet passed, but if it had, we still had the protection of not having to finalize here.

Without realizing that the law did in fact pass, we were chosen by expectant mother, S. S lives in Oklahoma, which does not allow non-residents to finalize. This means that we would have to file a case here in New Mexico to see if a judge would allow our adoption to go forward. Because of this, the legal fees are higher than just completing the adoption.

A conservative estimate from the lawyer -$4500 for the adoption itself, and $2000 or more for the court case before this child is even born.

Do you see what we're up against? This puts our adoption total at $23,000!

And after the failed placement - we don't have the money for the retainer any more. The lawyer requires a retainer of $3,000 to start work on our case, the remainder to be paid before finalization - or whenever the $3,000 runs out. We could *hope* that some other families or adoption agencies would want to get in on the lawsuit against the state, but there is no guarantee that would happen, so we can't count on it to lower those expenses.

We were going to use a credit card for these fees, which is not the most financially sound decision, but the lawyer doesn't accept payment by credit card.

How can they (in general) expect the average family to afford this? We always hear about children who need homes, babies who are abandoned - but it is almost financially impossible to adopt! There is an adoption tax credit - after the fact. Employers sometimes offer benefits - AFTER the fact. There is not much help in the moment, when you have to pay the fees. There are some places that offer grants, but they are few and far between. And so many families want those, not many get them. We applied for several.

We are considering at this point holding a fundraiser or two to help raise the legal fees so that we can go forward. But in this situation with S, it is against the clock. Because we have to fight with the State to see if they will allow placement to go forward, we don't have the time to fund raise. The lawyer needs to file the documents yesterday in his words.
I plan to call another lawyer that we spoke to in the first situation to see if her take is any different. Hopefully it is...but still, I have to wonder where the money will come from.

Our first idea is to hold a dinner of some sort - a soup and baked potato bar, perhaps - at our church. We would spread the word at church, and through friends. It would be held just for donations - and hopefully we can fund the food to get it done!
A bake sale was also suggested, but I am not sure of the logistics.

This is hard.
How do we explain to S 
that we might not be able to do this?
How do we live with knowing 
that it came down to 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just like that....over.

Back to square one.
Spoke to the lawyer today,
and he does not accept
credit card payments for the retainer. 

We're tapped out of cash from the failed adoption. 
We had to borrow some of that as it was.
The IRS is holding the Adoption Tax Credit
and we don't know if we'll be getting it this year yet. 

So, financially, for this adoption situation,
we're done for. 
Kevin is calling Lifetime today.
Hoping that since they aren't able to help us
in this lovely state 
(sarcasm font needed),
that they will put our contract on hold
until the Air Force moves us out of this state
and we can get 
ANOTHER home study done
wherever we end up. 

This should also give us time
to straighten out our finances
and have the cash on hand.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Starting to Get Ready

At first, I was super bummed out
about the things I had 
been given....
But then I went through everything,
and realized that
except for the totally awesome
with custom made buttons from
and the yarn from DiscoBaby Knits
is very gender neutral,
and will totally work for a

I have things knit up
(which was meant for a boy, but I like it for both genders),
Nurturing Threads Iced Giraffes. 

I am not sure what I plan to do with 
the romper 
(which was knit with yarn from Western Sky Knits)
or the DiscoBaby Knits yarn.
They're SUPER girly.

All of the diapers I got will work...
but not the covers. 
Have to get some boyish colors.
And we saved some clothes from Monkey,
but only things we really loved.
Plus, the seasons are off. 
Monkey is an April baby....
I guess some serious selling will 
start happening soon. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Going For It

It was a hard and scary decision. 

But we ARE going for it!! 

I talked to S for awhile the other day. 
It was a nice conversation. 
She told me that her reasons for choosing adoption.
She has the support of most everyone in her life, 
which I think will make a difference for her,
especially in the aftermath of the adoption taking place. 

We will remain hopeful.
We will also remain realistic. 

She did share a pretty awesome story of picking Kevin and I. 
Apparently, she has been perusing different adoption
professionals websites, checking out families.
She had a good feeling about Kevin and I, 
and liked the fact that we are an interracial couple. 
She printed out our online profile to show her mother.
While she was telling her mom all about us,
her mother mentioned that she had also been looking at 
online profiles and had found a family
that she liked as well. 
She told S, 
"It sounds like the same family."  
Her mom also printed the profile of the family she had seen.
S got her profile out, and so did her mom.

I thought that was a really neat thing.
It will be a good baby book story.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Match?!

Lifetime called us today! 
I actually didn't even realize that I had missed a call, 
until the stupid voicemail icon wouldn't get off of my screen! 

I called back as soon as I got the message. 

An expectant mom chose us.
I'll call her S here. 
The baby is a boy. 
Due August 5. 
I was told that she found us on Lifetime's website, 
and that we were it for her baby boy. 
They sent her paperwork,
and she called back to make sure that we hadn't been matched in the meantime, 
because she didn't want to work with another family!  

I don't know what to think!
Part of me is ecstatic, and so happy.
Another part is terrified. 
I do not think I can go through 
another failed adoption. 

We spoke to a lawyer,
who told us that our state has changed it's laws,
and this is a problem for us. 
They've made it illegal
to work with adoption agencies 
outside of this state. 

We have to make a decision on this almost immediately. 
Moving forward with this situation
will mean that we file a petition
with the courts immediately 
to try and and get around this law.
It would be argued that
A) It's unconstitutional.
B) That we signed a contract nearly two years ago with the adoption 
facilitator who is licensed in California. Why should this 
new law HERE and NOW affect us?
C) That before this law went into affect, 
we had a failed adoption.

In effect, the state is punishing us because we chose to use a facilitator, 
outside of the state, 
and had a failed placement. 

The judge could rule against us, and say that we can't go through with it. 
If it is granted, and the baby is born, 
and the adoption is finalized;
the case could still be appealed. 

We are still recovering financially. 
This would be really hard financially. 
This will be really hard emotionally. 
What if the judge allows it, 
or the law is overturned, 
only for the placement to fail?
There are never any guarantees, 
I get that. 
Believe me. 

I had no idea
that this much of me would be ripped open
and potentially put on display. 
I want this to be it. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Been Gone

Because sickness has been making it's rounds.
After Monkey got better, 
the universe apparently decided it was my turn.

Female issues that NO ONE wants to know about, 
(trust me). 
And then Monkey had a well visit -
but given his recent hospital stay, 
this traumatized him.
And now I am getting over the flu!
Yucky, yucky, yucky.

We were also slightly busy. 
The Nana came to visit. 
This was originally planned to meet 
Baby II,
but the tickets were already bought
and she had promised Monkey that she would be here
for his 
so she came anyway.

The party was awesome, but as you may imagine,
I haven't downloaded the pictures yet. 
 (I really should get better at that, no?
One day.)

Monkey is taking swimming lessons this summer.
We are only two lessons in,
but he seems to be doing well.
The first was hardest,
but after this last one,
he even asked to go back. 
We'll see on Monday. 

Kevin is leaving in two weeks.
Buy our guesstimation, 
he will be gone until early August. 
Luckily, only to Texas.
We'll still be able to talk frequently. 
However, I am glad that I am not going. 
I don't know that I would like to see
San Antonio again right now. 
Mentally, I had planned for a visit 
with R during this time. 
Clearly, not necessary. 
Still, would rather not think about it. 

On the adoption front, 
I need to update our profiles.
Lifetime says they are running low. 
I might do that this week 
so that we can get them out 
before Kevin leaves. 

As a matter of fact,
that will be my goal.