Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why does it cost so much to adopt?

Why does it cost so much to adopt?

I've always thought money should be talked about openly. Maybe it's because I've never had any and it seemed only fair to openly discuss how much my boss was making and everyone down the rungs. Keeps people honest.

Naturally, there's a lot of curiosity around the adoption process. And now that we have a window into it I'd be happy to share what it costs and where the money goes. For better or worse. Note: this is one agency and other agencies and other programs cost differently.

Today we sent out a check for $6200. Split pretty evenly, it covers the cost of the social worker to inspect our home in a couple of weeks, the first adoption agency fee, and 3-post placement social worker reports.

  • The social worker spends time discussing the reality of bringing home a child into our lives. What will we do when he is sick? Who takes off work? What day care is available in the area? Do you have a dependable car and license? Then she worries about safety. Are the dogs safely secured? Will there be a fence to protect Junior from toddling off into the river? Do you have fire extinguishers and fire alarms? Is your water safe to drink from the well? 
  • The adoption agency employs several people in charge of several international and domestic programs. They are like attorneys or real estate agents who know how the system works and how to move paperwork smoothly with the fewest hang ups. I am SO glad I don't have to learn this process on my own. 
  • After the child is adopted there are 7 post-placement reports. A social worker comes to check up on us and the child at home and discusses how things are going. Is the child safe? What problems have we encountered. She will help us resolve any of these problems. There are 3 visits within the first year, then once a year until he is 5 years old. 
It strikes me that all people having babies ought to go through this process. We have already been to a two-day adoption seminar ($300) that educated us on common problems with adopted children - from identity issues, to whether we should keep the child's Ugandan name, to understanding our own expectations of this child. 

The next chunk of change is due in a month for about $8-9000. SEND IN ORDERS FOR MORE PET PORTRAITS! This one will be a struggle.

Granted, our adoption is moving faster than most folks' because our baby is an infant. $3000 goes to the adoption agency to process our U.S. immigration paperwork. $5000 goes to pay for the orphanage to raise our child for 6 months until we bring him home. It seems to be a good orphanage. I'll tell you more about it later. Other fees go direct to the U.S. immigration folks...I'm not quite sure yet.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Big batch of paperwork due Monday, including fingerprints, background check, signed contracts, proof of health, job, marriage, happiness and an autobiography. I was born in Calfiornia two years before Eric showed up in Montana...

Orders for paintings are coming in! Thank you everyone! It looks like the flow will be at a sustainable pace, but feel free to spread the word. I'll publicize more if we get a lull, but things seem to be good now...

Monday, February 18, 2013

This is us. Thank you for following us on this journey to adopt a bebe in Uganda! I'll keep posting things along the way as they get more interesting...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

How to Order a Pet Portrait:
  • Add to cart the size of animal portrait you wish to purchase. 
    • Decide whether you want the image to be sandblasted or not (regular). 
    • Hop through Pay Pal's steps to pay for it
  • Specify a few more things to us in an email at
    • Send headshot of your pet
    • Choose Size: 10" x 10"or 24" x 24"
    • Choose Sandblasted or Regular
      • sandblasting comes with the name of your pet
    • Name of your pet
    • Specify floating head or classic. 
      • Only head on portraits have the option of being floating in space (without a neck) 
Expect 4 weeks for delivery, a little longer for sandblasted portraits. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This is a painting Eric made of my brother's dog without sandblasting (regular).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Here's a portrait Eric painted of his sister's dog. (10" x 10"). This one is sandblasted. 

Monday, February 04, 2013

We are trying to raise money to pay for the adoption fees by selling painted portraits of YOUR pet.

We heard adoption takes forever so we set out on a 2-year plan to save our own money and afford the 25-35K adoption fees. Then an infant became available. OUR baby if we can pull the funds together. Naturally, there's a rush because he was just born and needs mama care. I'm aching you guys...

And we thought, we're entrepreneurs at heart, let's make this work! Let us provide you with a painting of your pet, and in exchange you will help us bring home a baby before he is 6 months old.

Eric has been painting/illustrating with enamels on wood for the past 10 years. I'll post some samples of his work. But also check out

Ugandan dinner #2

Bufuke: mung beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peanuts

Ugandan dinner #1

Our first Ugandan meal: lamb, onions, garlic, tomatoes, plantains
The adventure begins with a weekend long adoption education seminar...

Friday, February 01, 2013

Our maybe baby...Eric and I decided to invite one more living creature into our big family- this time...probably the ultimate adoption EVER.

But we have lots of paperwork to do, and fast! We're missing out on all those first moments since he was born in December of 2012.