Adoption Time Line and Expenses

Adoption Time Line
I’ve tried to keep an accurate record of most of the cost for the adoption process for those who may be interested in International Adoption.  I'm sure I've left off some costs, but the majority of expenses are listed here on my time line.  When I was beginning my research, I found it really helpful to know beforehand what all the costs associated with adoption would be.  

I was blessed many times over in my journey through receiving a grant to help with travel costs, receiving "unexpected" money...especially at the end when things were really expensive, and having a money basket at my shower where I collected about $1,200 to help with travel.  Many people said that this would happen and I doubted the reality that God would give so specifically in many cases, but as usual HE never fails and HE did provide even to the last cent. 

2003                                Single friend adopted a daughter from Russia, started looking into international adoption
2004                                Started getting Finances in order, through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University
2/21/05            30th Birthday, Significant “Soul Searching”
Fall 2005         I felt definite “tug” into motherhood, ready to have a family, realized I could be a single                         mom if that is what God had planned for my life.
 12/3/05           Attended AWAA meeting in Chattanooga by myself
12/13/05          Attended another agency meeting with mom
1/1/06              Officially decided on AWAA, my friend Candace is adopting with them also!
2/1/06              Completed Tax Return and had enough money being refunded to pay off car and pay for online application!  God is good!!!
2/11/06            Completed online application!!!!! ($250)
2/16/06            Mailed in Statement of Sexual Orientation and Acknowledgement of Policies and    Procedures to AWAA.
2/22/06            Received Adoption Approval Letter and was placed on the Singles Waiting List!!!!
3/3/06              My niece, Madison Elizabeth Maze was born!  I love her as my own daughter and can’t wait for her and Molly to meet!
3/19/06            Began decorating nursery for Molly and Maddie to share
5/7/06              “Announced” that I’m adopting for the first time to my Sunday School Class!  It’s so good to share happy news with people.  It’s been hard containing my news since December
5/22/06            Still waiting to be released from the singles waiting list.  It’s really hard to wait when you                         want to begin the paperchase!  Emailed Leah, the singles coordinator and she said it would be a couple more weeks until the next batch is released.
6/2/06              Mission Trip to Gulfport, MI to help victims of Katrina
6/12/06            VBS at Haywood
6/19/06            Started keeping Maddie for summer
8/1/06              First round of Hep B shot
8/12/06            Still waiting…I was hoping to be into the paperchase this summer, but God has other plans.I am now hoping to be released from the waiting list in September.  I’m concentrating on                         paying off debt, sticking to a budget, and saving money for the first payment.
9/5/06              Second round of Hep B shot
9/22/06            Leah called today…I’m officially off of the singles waiting list!  Exactly 7 months from                              today!  I’m so excited!!!!  Praise the Lord!
9/23/06            Faxed in the release form for single applicants and mailed in the signed copy of the policy and procedures.
9/28/06            Mailed in signed agreement to AWAA and paid initial $2,000 fee.
                        Ordered 3 Long Form birth certificates from ($30)
10/3/06            Received birth certificates ($19)
10/4/06            Email from Rachel…let’s get started!
10/5/06            Met with Rachel for the initial meeting, went over paperwork
10/6/06            Faxed in order for TBI background checks for Mom and Me ($58)
10/7/06            Got Passport Photos Taken and Mailed in Application ($112)
                        Mailed in I600A ($685)
                        Express Mail Fee ($14.40)
10/10/06          I600A form arrived in Memphis at 11:18 a.m. and was signed by D. Howard
10/10/06          Received Dossier Guidelines Packet
10/11/06          Received TBI Background Checks
10/18/06          I received my Fingerprint Appointment, but mom had a slight glitch with hers…we will                         have to resubmit her birth certificate and marriage license ASAP.
10/19/06          2nd home study visit with Rachel, paid Home Study Payment ($1,500)
10/20/06          Dr. Visit…flu shot, HIV test, TB test, Hepatitis Test
10/21/06          Mailed mom’s info to USCIS
10/22/06          3rd home study visit with Rachel, Dr. visit to check TB test results and pick up notarized form and letter
11/5/06            Received passport!
11/13/06          Home Visit with Rachel
11/22/06          Mom and I get fingerprinted in Nashville
1/12/07            Received Form 171H from USCIS in Memphis!!!!! 
1/13/07            Mom and I attended Maddie’s first “recital” then we went shopping.  I overheard a lady talking about adoption and introduced myself.  It turns out she is a single teacher also and we’re both using AWAA!  The conversation got more interesting when we discussed  names…her name is Maribeth Horner and her daughter will be Holly Horner and my daughter will be Molly Maze.  My…what us teachers do to our children with the name thing!  Maybe Holly and Molly can be friends!  One last thing I’ll take as further confirmation from God is that in the midst of our conversation a ladybug flew into my hair!  Of all things????  Thank you God for confirming my decision for me today!
1/19/07            Had all documents certified and authenticated in Tennessee ($42.00)
1/23/07            Made copies of all documents at Kinko’s ($20.24)
1/26/07            Sent Dossier via Fed ex to Leah at AWAA ($10.68)
                        Made the following payments:
                        Mid Payment ($2,000)
                        Translation Fee ($695.00)
                        Post Placement Deposit ($1,000)
                        Courier Fee ($150.00)
                        US State Dept. Fee ($91.00)
                        Chinese Embassy Fee ($260)
2/2/07              DTC (Dossier to China)
2/25/07            LID!!!  It’s official, I’m logged in!  The current wait time is about 2 years, I’m hoping for a speed up, but trust the Lord knows best.
6/2/07              Received a $3,000 grant from Steven Curtis Chapman’s ministry, Shaohannah’s Hope. Praise God for this confirmation and help!!!!
7/12/07            Brown Envelope Received!
1/3/08              Re-fingerprinted at the Office of Homeland Security (expires 4/2009)
2/14/08            Received updated 171H (fingerprints)
4/13/08            Ordered updated background checks for mom and I ($58)
7/15/08            Homestudy Addendum ($179.38)
7/20/08            Updated Homestudy ($625)
7/30/08            Received updated I 171-h (to expire 01/2010)
7/2009             Bought our first house!
10/22/09          Homestudy Re-evaluation ($461.25)
10/23/09          TBI Background Check ($29)
11/06/09          Special Needs Application Approved
12/21/09          Mailed I600a renewal ($8.55)
12/21/09          I600a renewal and fingerprint fee ($750)
2/5/10              EA…Electronic Acceptance of Cao Xiao Tong!!!!!
2/5/10              Translation Fee ($400)
2/25/10            Pre-Approval
3/8/10              LOA/RA recieved (Letter of Acceptance or Referral Acceptance)
3/10/10            FED EX signed LOA to AWAA ($26.66)
3/10/10            Care Package sent to Molly ($46) 
3/10/10             Final Program fee to AWAA ($2,000)
3/10/10             Post Placement Fee to AWAA ($385) 
3/16/10             Fax Visa Application to AWAA for review ($17.24)
3/22/10            Vanderbilt International Adoption Clinic pre-visit ($475)
3/22/10             Fed Ex VISA applications to AWAA ($38.81) 
4/19/10             Delta airline tickets for Molly and me ($2,030.50)
4/28/10             China Hotels, in country flights, and group meals ($1,833.00)*  This would have been more, however I had received a $3,000 grant that went towards this cost.
4/28/10              Money (cash) for China...this includes the orphanage donation, Molly's Visa, Medical Exam, Notary fees, Passport, misc. paperwork, personal spending money, etc.  ($8,000) 
4/28/10             Leave for China
5/3/10               Molly Day!!
5/13/10            Return HOME!!!!!!!!! 

 As I look back on my journey I give all thanks and praise to Jesus who laid it on my heart to pursue adoption and has provided and guided me throughout the entire time!  

"I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me"
--His eye is on the Sparrow
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