JR and I have been talking at length about what our plan for this final adoption attempt should be.
We have given up on the domestic adoption system, we've been abused too thoroughly to go that route on what we know is our very last chance to become a family of 4.
So domestic adoption is out.
We don't want to wait the 4-5 years that an adoption from China is currently expected to take.
Korea will not allow us to adopt from their country because JR is 11 years older than me. Yep, even though we are both younger than their age limit, even though we have been married for over 6 years, even though we fit every other criteria they have our age difference prevents us from adopting a Korean child.
India and Thailand will not allow Westerners to adopt infants, only toddlers and older children. We really want an infant.
Russia expects us to make multiple trips to their country in an effort to adopt. Maybe if we didn't already have child, this would be feasible but with Grasshopper in the picture, no way.
Nepal is only just opening to intercountry adoption again and is wicked expensive.
Vietnam is no longer allowing intercountry adoptions.
Same thing in Guatemala.
Kazakhstan wants you to spend 4-6 weeks in country completing the adoption. How do people do that?
I could go on and on about the various programs we've looked into, the agency representatives I've spoken to or emailed, the nations whose systems have either rejected us or whom we've had to reject. But I won't bore you with all of that. Suffice to say that my keyboard and mouse have been very busy over the past week or two and that I cannot imagine how people undertook this kind of endeavor pre-internet. Cannot.imagine.it.
The good news is, we've found a program (that I'll call The Land Far Away) that looks like it will work for us. We've found an agency that we're becoming comfortable with. I've emailed with several families who have either already completed adoptions from this program via this agency or are currently pursuing adoptions from this program via this agency.
The news is good. We can complete an adoption of an infant in approximately one year (although wait times are increasing as I type) and it will cost, all told, about $20,000. Yes, I said that's good news. Shows how warped your mind gets when you get sucked into the adoption world, doesn't it?
So now we just have to save up the money. In an economy that's in the tank. Won't that be fun?
I've been pinching pennies anywhere I can, and putting them into a high-interest savings account. I'm selling out on this here blog, and get a little money whenever someone shops Amazon through one of my links. I'm also selling off large portions of my book collection on Amazon and doing surprisingly well. I am amazed at what people are buying!
Our biggest fundraiser that's in the works is going to be a yard sale that we've decided to hold in May. We live on the corner of a very busy street and have had successful yard sales in the past, and this time I have lots of friends and family promising to donate items for us to sell. We get money for our adoption, they get rid of their clutter, what could be better?
And that's where my brilliant brainstorming ends.
There are grants out there to help people pay for adoption, but you have to be well-into the process before you can apply for them which makes me a little nuts. "Wait, I have to spend lots of money, and commit to spending lots more, before I can find out if you'll help me?" I mean, I can understand not wanting tons of applications from people who aren't really committed to adoption yet, and I certainly understand not actually writing anyone a check until they're into the process, but jeez. Also, most of these grant programs are really fuzzy about what their requirements are and who qualifies so there's no way to even guess if we might get a grand or two that way.
So far we have about 1/3 of the total amount needed. Neither JR nor I are comfortable with actually signing papers and starting the process until we have at least 2/3 or preferably 3/4 of the money in an account and his business feels stable.
So that's the plan, such as it is. As a certified control-freak, this process is never an easy one for me. But I'm doing my best to control those things that I actually can, and sending lots of prayers to Ethiopia the rest of the time. Won't you join me?