Adoption is expensive.
I don't feel that the company we're using is completely out of reach, as far as affordability, but it is still going to require a lot of sacrifice to achieve our dream. However, I always tell myself this when things are tough: Nothing ever worth having comes easy!
To adopt through Great Wall China Adoption (GWCA, as I will refer to it from here on out), the initial cost is the $250 application fee, which is non-refundable. After the app is approved, there is a chunk of $3250 due for the contract fee. This is for the least expensive plan; it can go up to as much as $30000! We will be doing the least costly plan...
We must do a home study, which is required for any type of adoption. A case worker visits the A-parents home and makes sure everything is alright. For example, we have to place smoke alarms in each room. Our dogs must be current on vaccinations. We must have running water and electricity! The cost for a home study can range from 1-4 thousand dollars. This is included in the $3250 we will pay, thankfully. THEN there are additional costs in-between for other legal things, which will be roughly an additional $2K. Soon after is the rest of the contract fee, another $3250. If we decide to let the agency do all the complicated paperwork, then it is $900, which we will probably do since it is very complicated and time-consuming. Who has time to do paperwork when you're having to take on a second job just to afford it??
Finally, China requires a $5100 donation to the orphanage that the child has lived and was cared for at. Looking further east, there is the trip to China itself. Plane tickets are about 1100-1500 per person. Expenses inside the country are even more.
This is a lot to consider. My husband's job does not allow room for a second job because the hours through the week are so varied and he only knows his schedule a week in advance. So that leaves me, of course.
I have a Mon-Fri job working for a doctor, but it will not be enough financially to meet the expenses of adoption. I accepted a job at a local hospital working every other weekend on an as-needed basis. Right now, I am on day 8 of work. It makes a difference, not having a day off. I am tired beyond belief, and I have trouble remembering what day of the week it is. I keep telling myself I need to go to the gym, just for a little while..but my body protests!
I don't know what will happen when I continue my education to leave the status of LVN to be an RN. It will be more difficult to pull in extra money then. It will be hard enough to continue at a full time basis. That leaves about 7 months of working hard. Then I have to decide: use the money to pay for the adoption or pay off the debt? It would be reasonable to pay off the debt first, however the wait time to adopt from China is 2-3 years now. If I wait another year, it will just be that much longer before our family is complete, and THAT I can not accept.