Thursday, February 23, 2012

A breakdown of our adoption costs, if you're curious

I always knew international adoption = $$$, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across a breakdown of that, so I’m going to try to do so in this post. {But first, let me be honest: we need $1,870 $100 by the end of the weekend. See more info about that at the end of this post.}

Before I list the costs, though, consider this: if someone you know bought a vehicle for $20,000, you might say, “hey, nice car!” You probably wouldn’t say, “Geez, that’s a lot of money. How can you even afford that?” (I know some of y'all are impressively frugal, so you might think that, but most of us wouldn’t say it.) However, when someone is adopting and the cost is the same, that censor of "maybe I shouldn't say that" seems to disappear.

I don’t mind. Actually, I expect it. Because we’re having to ask others for financial support, we're opening ourselves up to a little more scrutiny. If I have to ask others to consider supporting our adoption, I want to be as transparent as possible. So feel free to ask away, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions about the cost! 

{And for your reading pleasure, here’s my all-time favorite post about the cost of adoption from Stephanie at Ni Hao Y’all. She uses a vehicle cost analogy too, but hers is much better than mine.}

Before I list our expenses, let me add this disclaimer: these are just our costs. Every adoption is different. Every country is different. Two adoptions in the same country can have different costs depending on the region, the agency, the orphanage, the judge assigned to the case, and a whole host of other factors. That disclaimer given, here's the breakdown for us...

Home study fees
US CIS paperwork fees
Translation fees of documents from English to Chinese and vice versa
Wiring fees
National insurance in Taiwan
Paperwork and agency fees in Taiwan
Cost of full-time care in the children’s home for Zoe Amanda from her birth until the time we bring her home
Travel for me and Lee (5 day trip, including airfare on short notice)
Re-adoption paperwork in US (required because we won’t meet Zoe Amanda before the adoption is final)
Required post-adoption visits from home study social worker
$500 (2 at $250 each)

Yes, that's a lot of money. Some of it will come from our savings, and some may be recovered via tax savings (though the exact amount won’t be certain for a while because part of it may be on the budget chopping block), but we still need to raise a big chunk. We had planned not to have to raise many funds because our timing would have given us another year or two to save, but God's timing was different from ours. We've had to take several huge steps in faith as we work to bring Zoe Amanda home, but we think she's worth more than a car, don't you think?

Please pray that the exact amounts we need will come in as we need it and that God would increase our faith in His timing and provision throughout this process!

If you'd like to contribute toward these expenses to bring Zoe Amanda home, instructions are provided in the upper left-hand side of the blog. You can donate directly to the children's home - which goes toward the Taiwanese costs (childcare, paperwork, translations, etc.) - or to us via the Paypal link - which will go toward the US-based costs (travel, paperwork in the US, etc.). Of those costs, nearly $9000 need to be paid by the end of the weekend; we have a sizeable chunk of it, but
we still need $1,870 $100. Before Monday.
And then - assuming the car being sold by our friends for our adoption funds sells for what we think it will and assuming our fundraising night goes as well as we're hoping - we'll need to raise another $6,000 via donations before we travel to Taiwan.

Would you consider making a donation? If you could help in any way, we'd greatly appreciate it! 

{And if you can't give but would be willing to add a fundraising button to your blog, you'll find the code you need here.}


  1. Hey Shannon- when I click the picture to go to paypal, paypal gives me an error message... Want to provide the email address it's routed to? :)

    1. It should work now. I'm not sure what the issue was - but I rewrote some code, and it's good now! I need to update the code in the previous post, but the button in the corner should work now!

      And - in case it doesn't - the email it goes to is shannondingle (at) gmail {dot} com.

      (And "email Tori back" is still on my to do list - hopefully later today! Robbie is mostly done with naps, and I haven't figured out when to catch up on emails now that I don't have that time. :))

  2. Thanks for sharing the breakdown. Caleb and I have been SO curious about how it works! (For future little Robinsons maybe ;))

    Even as a former social worker I just never understood the breakdown.

    Once I get a bit more time, I will add your fundraising button to my blog, just in case we have a little bit of a different audience, any little bit helps!

    1. You're welcome, Laura! Some agencies don't provide the breakdown, so I think some adoptive families have no idea how this works either. (And as one more note of explanation, "agency fee" is a fancy way of saying "paying the folks who are coordinating everything for their time and advocacy with the paperwork and in the courts.")

      A lot of money-saving blogs post about how you can save to buy a car outright without any financing, and I think we'll apply the same principles to be able to keep on ongoing adoption savings account that can either be used for our expenses if God calls us to adopt again or be used to help others pay for their adoptions.

  3. I just fixed the button - it should work now!

  4. Hey Shannon! It's Lise from your Impact group in 2005? Maybe? Haha, it was the flamingos and you were still pregnant with your (first:) ) daughter. I was wondering when the benefit/fundraiser night was. I'd love to come!

    1. Lise, it'll be at the Chick-fil-a at Falls Village on March 22 from 5-8pm. I would LOVE to see you there! :)

      I've enjoyed reading about your love for Germany on Facebook - Lee's mom is from Germany and came to the US as a preschooler, so your posts help me learn a bit about our family heritage.


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