Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Yet another update!

Hello, again! Just another quick update for those who have been asking where I'm at now in the process. My dossier was officially registered in country in mid-July. That means I'm on the waiting list for a child. The wait time currently is about three years. But sometimes things move faster, and I could receive a referral at any point. People have been known to get their referral in as little as 5 or six months. So basically.... I hurry up and wait. ;-) And when the time is right, I'll have my kiddo.

While we're waiting, as you know, I've already had two fundraisers. Thank you to everyone who participated by either purchasing or sharing. You're all awesome. I'm happy to announce that I have my next plan up and running ---- and this one won't cost you anything! :-) It's super easy for you and just in time for holiday shopping. Follow any of the below links, make whatever purchase you were going to make anyways, and I get a small amount back. I will use all of the income I earn to help with my next fees. It's a win/win for everyone! As always, I appreciate your love and support in getting my baby home. Whenever that may be.

To help get you started with shopping I've put a few additional search links here:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Still Waiting....

Hi, friends. I was told by my agency a few weeks ago that the current wait time is averaging 8-12 weeks to get my dossier approved in country. As of today, I am 4 days away from hitting 12 weeks. Ugh. But who's counting? Oh. Right. I am. What does it mean when I get approved? I will officially be registered and waiting for a match. That means I could receive a referral for a child at any point after that. (However, some people wait up to three years to get their referral!)

This is where I humbly ask for your help. Bringing an orphan home is very expensive. I've already paid quite a bit towards my U.S. legal and governmental fees and for some B fees. But at any time I could get that call that there is a child waiting for me! And I'll have to come up with over $7000 to accept and move on in the process. So I'd love to start saving now. I will be doing several small fundraisers over the next year. If you'd like to help, I will be eternally grateful. And if not, your well wishes are still appreciated. :-)

I've had a puzzle designed (see the picture below). For each contribution that is made, I will be writing the donor's name on the back of one piece. When the puzzle is completed, I'll put it in a double-sided frame so my future child can see the names of everyone who helped bring him (or her!) home.

I have a new fundraiser up and running right now selling T-shirts that I created to benefit my adoption. I have two weeks to sell a minimum of 25 shirts. Unfortunately, if I don't reach 25 sales, I don't receive any of the money I've made. If you'd like to help, but don't want to make a purchase, please share on your social media. ------>  T-shirt Adoption Fundraiser  <------ I know it may not seem like much, but every little bit helps me get closer to bringing a child home. Forever.

Thanks friends.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Surprise Update!

I've been waiting for what seems to be forever (it's really been only a little over a month......) to hear from my agency with a dossier update. I finally got one Tuesday! My completed dossier was mailed to B on Friday. AND IT WAS RECEIVED IN COUNTRY ON TUESDAY!!!

Next steps- translation, B approval, and then registered. Once it is registered, I am able to receive a referral for my kiddo at any time.

As always, thanks for the support through this long, emotional process. As I explained in the last post, the adoption process is very expensive. If you'd like to help bring an orphan home, I've set up a paypal fundraiser. The link is on the sidebar. All donations will be used for my adoption expenses to bring my baby home. Thanks, friends! You're amazing!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Popular Question..... and a Thirty-One Fundraiser!

I get asked a lot of questions about my adoption. And I'm ok with that! A question that comes up frequently is "How much is this going to cost you?" I know some adoptive parents are offended or hurt by this question. To me, I know it is just out of curiosity and no one is asking it to be rude. It's expensive. Yes. But so is giving birth. And I can't think of anyone ever asking me how much it cost to deliver my biological daughter.

So I want to set the record straight. I am not paying for my child. No adoptive parent does. The cost comes from agency fees, legal fees, the piles of documents that must be filled out, checked, checked again, and translated, the homestudy, and travel fees. That all adds up - to a lot.

I thought I'd break down some of the costs, just to get it out there in the open. Every adoption is different. Each agency has different fees, domestic and international adoptions have different costs, and travel fees vary significantly. But the following breakdown is a rough estimate of mine. As you can see the fees add up to about $30,000, with travel being about 25% alone. And none of these fees are for "a child"!
  • Agency Fees (includes fees for my agency, Hague training courses, Dossier assistance, homestudy, and post-adoption reports) - $9000
  • USCIS Filing (includes fingerprints) - $890
  • Foreign Adoption Program Fees - $3000
  • B Legal Coordination Fees (includes translation of documents, legal and court fees in country, and a translator for my trips) - $8250
  • Travel (two trips for a week each, the second trip has a child's one way ticket home!) - $7700

Which brings me to my next bit of news. Very exciting! Another adoptive momma has graciously offered to help me with a fundraiser to help bring my child home. She is a consultant for Thirty-One and will be donating her entire commission from any purchase you make to my adoption fund! That means 25% of your purchase will go to my agency to help with my fees. The sale will go on for a week and a half. Please feel free to share the blog with anyone you think may be interested. As I've said before, I appreciate the support I receive from all of you. Any help you can offer to help me bring my kiddo home would be unbelievable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. :-)

If you're interested in doing some shopping, follow this link!

If you make a purchase online, please email Paula O'Brien at kaz_mom@hotmail.com to verify she received your order. You must choose "ship to customer". The fundraiser will end April 12, 2014.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Moving on!

I received my I-800A approval notice from the Department of Homeland Security! This approval says that I am approved to adopt a child from B that meets the criteria I requested (age, gender, and health status) and that once the adoption is finalized in B, and I bring my child home, he or she will immediately become a citizen. Without this approval, I would not be allowed to bring my child home.

With this in hand, my dossier was FINALLY completed. I sent out the dossier to my agency last Tuesday. What a relief to know that (for now) the mountains of paperwork are done. The agency received the packet on Thursday and by Friday they had already sent out the documents to different agencies. All of the paperwork that had been notarized here (pretty much EVERY page in the dossier) has to go to Florida's Secretary of State to receive an Apostille. The FBI background checks (yes, seriously- we had to do those) go to the U.S. State Department to receive their Apostille. This form will be attached to each of my papers, verifying the signature or notarization on it. I am told this process should take about two weeks and then my completed dossier will be sent to Bulgaria!

As always, thank you again for your well wishes and continued support. It means everything to me as I pursue this dream.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An Update

On January 13 I finally made my announcement. Only a few of my closest friends and my family knew about the adoption prior to that. I was waiting for my home study approval before spilling the news. When I finally got the letter, I could hardly contain my excitement and took to Facebook to share it. I was overwhelmed by the wonderful support and notes of congratulations I got. It took most people by surprise but everyone was so positive and happy. It means so much to me.

I've had many people ask what's going on and what step I'm in, so I thought it would be easiest to just explain it all here.

So from start to finish- I picked my country and agency and submitted my initial application. Once that was approved, there was an agency contract to sign and return. My agency is based in Texas, but also licensed in Florida, so they assigned me a social worker to do my Home Study. She was AMAZING!!!

So, next began what is known as "the paper chase". Wow. Piles and piles of paper. Licenses, certificates, statements,  multiple background checks, photocopies, originals, doctor appointments, letters, references... It was a headache. Some of the forms had to be in duplicate (or even triplicate)- one for the home study and one for the dossier. Then there was meeting the social worker in our house for an interview. After that, she completed and approved my home study.

While all of that was going on, I was also gathering the same forms (and more!) for my Dossier- my official packet that will be sent to B. That includes more contracts, licenses, background checks, family photos, my home study, and plenty more. It also will have my approval from USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration). I have to have pre-approval from them since as soon as the adoption is finalized, my child will be a US citizen. Right now, that is all I'm waiting for. The dossier is complete and ready to be sent to my agency as soon as I receive my approval from USCIS. I did my fingerprints today for that and should hopefully get my approval forms in the next two week!

After that, my dossier goes to my agency. They spend some time authenticating the paperwork (it has to go to different branches of the US government to prove that it is real) and then the papers will be sent to B. There, they will be translated and gone through again, and I will have to be approved by them to adopt one of their children. Once that happens, I wait. And wait some more. They say the wait could be upwards of three years. But B, is starting to move a little faster. So fingers crossed that it won't be that long.

And for those that are wondering, we have not specified male or female and have requested a child between the ages of 2 and 5.

I want to say thank you, once again, for the continued support. It means the world to me. This is a long and difficult process. Not a day goes by that I don't think and wonder about my child. But I know things will happen when the time is right, so I'm trying to take it day by day.