I saw this picture tonight of a little girl and my heart started beating considerably faster.
I look at adoption listings all the time, on several sites and linked from some adoption blogs I read. A picture has never made me have a physical reaction before, not like this one.
It sounds stupid really, but…I don’t know. This little girl just looks like she belongs in our family. Something in me recognized her.
She’s four years old and in a Russian orphanage. She has spina bifida and can’t walk. She also has bad vision, and no bowl or bladder control. Honestly, those feel like special needs I could face without being overwhelmed.
When she turns five she’ll be sent to an institution, where the majority of handicapped children die in the first year due to horrific conditions and malnutrition. I watched a BBC documentary about this once and now I can’t undo what my eyes saw. There’s no erasing those horrors from my brain. :(
Since she isn’t severely handicapped they may keep her a bit past her fifth birthday, but time is ticking away for her. She will turn five in March.
Rosie saw her picture over my shoulder and said, “Mom who is that girl? I love her!”
I’m not sure Tyler would be on board with this plan. Simply because he’s overwhelmed as it is trying to provide for our family. But…he does want to have another baby so…you never know.
International adoption is incredibly expensive, with Russia being one of the most expensive. It costs $30-40,000.
How scary, right? Must resist the urge to run away.
I think we could make it happen with some serious planning and prayer.
We’re planning on using Christmas money and our tax return to pay down our lingering credit card debt. Then I will feel a lot better.
We meet the income requirements to adopt–125% of the poverty level for your family size including the child you want to adopt. The only catch is we do not meet the requirements if I were to become pregnant. It’s $32,712 for a family of five and $37,000 something for a family of six. We don’t make $37,000 a year. (Yet.)
If we decide to do this I will have to use birth control or something…! Not a fan of birth control over here.
We would need to find about $2,000 to pay for a home study. Once our home study is approved we can really get things rolling and apply for multiple grants. Just an hour of googling found quite a few places to apply for grants that come in amounts of anything from $300-$15,000! You are apparently more inclined to receive grants based on your financial need (huge) and if your child has special needs (yep).
I also discovered several places that do interest free adoption loans. We can get an interest free loan for the amount of our adoption tax credit ($13,000) to put towards our adoption! Then once we get the tax credit we can instantly turn around and pay it off.
And then there’s good old fashioned (and somewhat intimidating) fund raising for the rest. Not to mention praying for miracles…
It takes 9-18 months to adopt in Russia from what I’ve gathered. There’s lots and lots of paperwork with fees for each thing. And two trips to Russia, which are rolled into the total cost of the adoption…
I’ve also considered what we would do about her special needs once we adopted her. In the short term, until Tyler gets more raises at work, we don’t make any extra money. However there is a Shriner’s Hospital in our town and they treat children with spina bifida regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Little nagging voice asks me why I would adopt a child I can’t fully afford, but the louder voice points out she would have her head shaved and be rocking back and forth on a cot in a horrible institution within just one short year without a family.
I would temporarily give up my dreams of moving to farm land, and the new camera I was hoping to save for. I would give up having another baby right now. I would go into debt a million times over.
I don’t have any fantasies about this being easy and wonderful, I know it will be hard and challenging in multiple ways. That’s ok with me. I also know for sure that Rosie would be up for the challenge, and even benefit from it in the long run.
Maybe this is all for naught. It could just be that she’s cute and that attracted my attention. She clearly reminds me of Rosie.
I don’t know what will happen. Either Tyler will say absolutely no way, or we will try it and it won’t work out, or…?
Lots of prayers going up from me.
If she’s not ours, then I will pray a thousand times a day that she finds her family before it’s too late.
I’m absolutely not breathing a single word of this to our families. (Unless, um, they read my blog…!)
They know we aren’t rich, they know how hard it is to take care of two little ones, and they will poo on the idea of not only a third child (biological or adopted), but especially a third child that we go out of our way to get knowing that it won’t be easy.
Too bad for them–they don’t realize that the biggest struggles in life usually end in the best rewards. Easy isn’t always better people!
If anyone wonders why I might want to have a gazillion children, this my friends is why…pictures from this afternoon and evening:
(The black and whites are Instagrams, the rest aren’t.)
Dress up this evening…
Princess Rosie in her carriage.
(By the way, if anyone wonders why she’s in a diaper the antibiotics I’ve been taking are upsetting her belly, poor thing. She can’t always make it to the potty on time.)
That was one of my favorite stuffed animals as a kid, he’s still hanging around getting the love.
This one cracks me up!
I heart my fat little tourist. (And my prissy princess too!)