There are still so many unknowns where finances are concerned, but I believe we are 25% funded. I figured this was a good time in which to discuss a few things finance-related.
First, because we have asked for financial support -- and will continue to do so (Pampered Chef, anyone?) -- I wanted you to know that we have a significant financial buy-in with this adoption process. I really don't like asking for financial support of any kind. I'm not sure if anyone really does. But because we've asked, I need to be transparent with you. Know that we are not relying on fundraising as our only means of funding the adoption. We have personally contributed a bulk of the funds raised, but we don't have all the money we need -- or else we wouldn't have asked in the first place.
Second, this process is largely about education and I'd like you to know where the money goes. There are three main ways funds are spent, the first two being the most expensive: agency fees, travel expenses, and "at-home" expenses.
Agency fees are set per our contract, so no surprises there. Those fees are broken down as follows:
- Application fee (paid)
- Home study fee, due at the beginning of home study process (paid)
- Program fee 1, due at completion of home study (paid, even though we're not close to that point yet)
- Program fee 2, due at referral acceptance (roughly 1/3 paid; upcoming fundraising efforts will go to this fee)
- Post-placement fee, due at referral acceptance
The travel expenses are up in the air. I'm really skimming over the process here, but at the point we receive travel approval, we probably won't have much notice to get accommodations at the best price possible. We will have to buy plane tickets to fly to China, hotel accommodations in a variety of locations in country, most likely fly to our child's province, most likely fly - with our child at this point - to the province where the U.S. Embassy is located, and then all three of us will fly home -- all on short notice. And then there is most likely going to be an orphanage donation to be made at that time as well.
Then there are the "at-home" expenses, for lack of better term. I will need at least 2 weeks off of work for travel, plus time afterwards to get us all acclimated to life again. I'm anticipating 2 months off of work. While I can take FMLA and use up all of my accrued time at work, it's not going to cover 2 months off. Insurance doesn't cover any of these expenses and unlike many mothers who have babies in the hospital, I can't claim short-term disability either when I'm off of work.
I hope this is helpful. Please know I will try to be as open as I can throughout this entire process, so don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have. And again, thank you for all of your support thus far.