Hello world! It is now time for another adoption update. Well, technically the one-month mark will be April 2nd, but since today is March 29th it is close enough.
I’ll start with my puzzle piece fundraiser. Since last month, we have only sold 2 more pieces. Which leaves 455 pieces left for sale at $20 apiece. If you wish to purchase a puzzle piece to help fund out adoption expenses please see our crowdfunding page.
During this month, we finally were able to receive our homestudy write up. Which means, that apart from our birth certificates (more on that later) we are basically ready to go with submission on our homestudy! There were some obvious parts that needed to be corrected, so we tackled those first, as they were the easiest. Then we spent the next couple of weeks reading over it carefully and making any changes where necessary. It is a rather long document. It has to cover every detail about our lives, like where we have lived since 18 (which, for me is A LOT of addresses) who our immediate family is, their jobs, ages, what kind of people they are, how they disciplined us, such things. We even had to provide details about our siblings. We also had to sign away our right to privacy. We will not have our privacy rights back until after the adoption is finalized. It sounds scary, but they aren’t going to advertise us publicly. It just means that they can talk about intimate details of our lives between agencies/people without having to always seek our consent.
Reading the homestudy was both boring, and interesting. Boring, because I already know all these things about myself, and having to read it multiple times to make sure there is no mistake makes me tired of hearing about myself. Not only that, but at my job, I have to introduce myself to all my classes every year (about 22 classes) and it gets old. It was also interesting because I have never read anything that painted someone in such a positive light that wasn’t an adoring fan of a celebrity. I especially liked the descriptions of the home. Whether or not she actually meant it, I don’t care, I just like that she even said my decorating, as minimal as it is, was tasteful.
Another thing that was part of our homestudy was to complete a living will. As we don’t have any assets apart from skates (which I will take with me should their ever be an evacuation), so making the will was ridiculously easy. On the site, it also asked if we desired to make funeral arrangements, and I got so excited and got a little carried away. Let’s just say that Spiderman might be a part of it. The most important part of the will was appointing godparents, which we did. I am not sharing whom because it doesn’t matter. We did carefully consider who we would choose to ensure the right caretakers of our adopted child.
Anyway, after we checked very carefully our homestudy, we sent it back to our social worker to make any final corrections. I haven’t heard from her since I sent it back, but it is not unusual for her to take a week to respond to me. She is a very busy woman.
Now for some semi good news. The checks for our birth certificate copies have cleared! This is excellent news! Just hearing that the checks have cleared gives me hope that they will be in our possession in min-April. With those in hand, we can successfully send in our paperwork to our social worker in Japan and begin scheduling our homestudy. EEEK! I am so excited I can’t wait. This news has seriously improved my mood, along with the blossoming cherry blossoms. I love them, and I love this news.
I know last month, I talked about saving $500 every month, so I am expecting you to be asking if we have $1500 in savings this month. The answer to that, is no, we don’t. Not because I went on a crazy shopping spree, but because I sustained a sports injury. I got hurt BAD and the only way to afford the treatments was to dabble into our savings. It was either that, or suffer extreme pain and little to no mobility for days on end. I couldn’t drink or eat anything due to the injury, I had to see someone. Unfortunately, that means we have been set back on our goal. About $367 short of our goal for the month. We received a couple of donations this past month and those helped pay for our food and transportation, as I could not ride my bike. Don’t worry, I am fully recovered now and there is no need to worry about me. I still see the doctor, but it is every other week now, instead of every day or every other day.
Speaking of money, some people have been asking why I don’t apply for adoption grants or loans. The thing about those is you have to have a completed and approved homestudy. We don’t have that yet. We won’t have that until USCIS gives us the glorious stamp of approval. That can take months. Not to mention that we have to front the USCIS application fee which is around $1000. Let’s just hope and pray that we don’t have to pay that AND save for the Japanese homestudy at the same time. I don’t know how we can afford to pay for things then.
I knew going into this that it was going to be expensive. Originally, I was planning on doing everything myself and not asking for donations from anyone. However, we quickly realized that that was impossible unless we were rich because we were already $9000 invested and still had another $20,000 to go. We were sucked dry by that point. There was no way we were going to be able to do this on our own without some sort of assistance. Therefore, that is why we decided to open a crowdfunding page with YouCaring. It may have been bad timing with the holidays right around the corner, but now is the right time. Tax refunds are being issued and many people want to either save or donate a small portion to a big cause. As expats, we aren’t qualified for any refund or tax credit. We have to pay money out of pocket to have our taxes done and get no money in return. But the common citizen does. Please consider donating to our cause. I wouldn’t be asking if we weren’t already in a desperate situation. We are in jeopardy of not be able to move forward with the adoption. If this USCIS application fee comes due at the same time as our Japanese homestudy, then we will have to forfeit the adoption and I don’t want to do that. There is a child out there, who needs a family, more than we need money. We don’t know who he/she is, be we already love him/her. We pray and them all the time, we think about them all the time, we make plans as a family all the time. Even a donation as small as $20 can make a difference. I have 1000 followers of this blog. If each person were to donate $20, then that would be my goal right there!
Please consider a donation. We can’t do this without you.