Friday, November 21, 2014

Adoption from the 2 year old point of view

Me: Are you excited about getting to be a big sister some day?
Baby Girl:  YEAH!!
Me:  do you know what's going to happen when your brother or sister is born?
Baby Girl: yup
Me: what's going to happen?
Baby Girl:  a phone call.
Me:  well.. Yeah we will get a phone call and Dad and I will go meet the baby.
Baby Girl: then Baby D comes
Me: no-  baby Ds mom and dad is C and L.
Baby Girl: we can't have him
Me: no
Baby girl moves on to being silly.

So she gets parts of it.  I sometimes wonder if she thinks babies are ordered like a pizza on the phone.  I think she realizes that she grew in D but I don't think she understands why some parents parent and some create adoption plans which makes visits w families w babies awkward at times.  She loves her cousin as well as my friend Cs son 'baby D' and she would like both of them to come live with us.

She also has suggested the names: monkey and gaga
She typically thinks she is going to have a sister but often refers to the baby as a 'he'

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Finance and adoption

Having a baby is exciting.  Having a baby is expensive.  Adopting a baby is VERY expensive.

The average adoption fee for a private adoption is $33,000.  While I will not divulge our personal adoption fees - its not cheap.  Our agency uses a sliding scale based on income.  We currently fall on a low end of a bracket so we are paying 1/4 of our before tax yearly income on baby 2.  For Baby Girl we paid when all was said and done 1/3 of our before tax income (Baby Girl was adopted out of state and thus was not on a sliding scale, we also then had to pay our in state adoption agency fees to complete the after placement legal mumbojumbo).

We currently are only excepting in state placements.  This means 1) lower fees because its income based 2) we wont have to pay hotel/travel expenses and be in a panic trying to find a place to stay like we did for Baby Girl and 3) and I think most importantly we will be closer to the birthfamily which we hope translates into a close relationship.  It also means a longer wait time, but thats OK.  We currently are at exactly 1 year of waiting with the average wait time for our agency is between 18 month-2 years.

Last time we saved for adoption fees.  It was just three of us and while a baby is expensive we kept costs down by using cloth diapers, accepting any and all hand-me-downs, and we didn't have any daycare expenses.  This time we will have to pay for Baby Girls daycare for my three month maternity leave and potentially depending on time of year will have to pay for daycare for the baby to hold his/her spot.  So this time around we are not only saving for the adoption fees but three months of our lifestyle.  Student loans and daycare eat up most of our monthly income.

So I was panicking for a while because I thought we were saving but the spread sheet with our adoption savings wasn't changing.  About a week ago I realized I was inputting the savings into the wrong field and so when I corrected that I found our savings jumped $3000!!!  So in addition to that a few other things have happened that are getting me excited 1) our state is implementing a program in which they will pay for up to 10 hours of preschool starting next school year- yeah for preschool next year!! 2) I stopped putting money into our HSA as we have our full deductible saved for next year so I'm putting more money towards our student loans.  These two things means by mid year both of our undergrad student loans will be paid off, my car loan will be paid off AND assuming we get what I'm predicting in taxes back our adoption savings account will be met.

Finances are what stress me out the most.  I can take a screaming baby at 2 AM.  I can change a diaper with my eyes closed.  I know Baby Girl will regress but I think at the same time will bloom.  I'm ready for the baby stuff.  I'm ALMOST ready for the financial stuff.

Baby 2- you can come any time this winter*/spring!

*After February would be preferable but I'll take what I can get... A due date would be AWSOME.