We have met with her twice, received her and her mother in our home, and are now officially in a match to adopt Grace, the little girl she is carrying. She is due December 30. (gulp!) So this Advent has taken on an extra layer of meaning, and we are certainly identifying with the many emotions that Mary must have felt when an unexpected gift of a baby fell into her lap, too. We believe God is at work in this since we did not initiate it, and we are simply being asked to respond with open hearts.
We are also scrambling to find a few basic baby items such as a bassinet and car seat, arrange for parental leave from work, and get our paperwork, reference letters, background checks, and financing in place. Our agency, Lutheran Social Service, has quoted our fees to be $11,750. Some of this will need to be paid up front and the remaining balance at the placement of our daughter in our home. Since the baby is due in two weeks, it's basically going to all be due very shortly. LSS is the agency that worked with us when we adopted Auggie and they are of the highest quality, and have earned our trust and respect.
LSS has also told us we will not get everything finished with the tight timeline, so we have been advised to hire a lawyer who will go before a judge with documents to allow us to bring Grace home from the hospital before the home study is complete. In calling three firms, we are learning the range is from $2,000 to $4,000 in legal fees which is on top of what the adoption agency is charging.
We are ministers, working full time in the Catholic Church, with modest incomes. Yet we want very much to build our family with the addition of a baby sister for Auggie, and can readily imagine Grace and her birth mom in our lives. To be honest, we feel funny about asking for financial help like this, and don't at all expect to raise the full amount. But we would be so very grateful for whatever amount can be raised to help us with this dream--to bring a second child into our family through adoption--through the generosity of friends, family, and perhaps even kind strangers.
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