“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”

James 1:27

Our cell phone number in Ukraine is: +38 097 828 9477. We are 8 hours ahead of Texas time. We can receive text but cannot send them. You can also reach us by email at joniredding@hotmail.com.

Money Stuff

Adopting Internationally is expensive!  We believe that God has called us to adopt from Ukraine and we are trusting that He will provide the money for us to do that!  For those of you considering adoption I thought you might like to see this list of expenses our agency sent us:
When to pay
Paid to
Agency Fee, Part I
With application
“Adopt A Waiting Child”
Agency fee, Part II
Within 30 days after application
“Adopt A Waiting Child”
International program fee, Part I
$2,000 +
3% bank fee
With Home study submission
“Adopt A Waiting Child”
International program fee, Part II
$8, 900
Upon receiving an invitation to travel
Paid in country in cash or
by check to AAWC+3% bank fee
Additional expenses:
Orphanage donation *
During travel
Child`s medical and visa
During travel
US Consulate
USCIS (for a family)
With I-600A filing
Some other expenses:
Home study
When start Home study process
Home study agency
Dossier notarization/apostiling
During dossier preparation
Secretary of State
International travel
Before travel
Travel agency
In-country travel
During travel
In country services
Lodging, meals, misc.***
During travel
In country services
* The Orphanage donation is paid directly to the Orphanage and is being used to help with Orphanage’s needs. The Orphanage donation could be higher for two or more children. ** Depends on how many trips a family will have.  ***Estimated amount based on a family of two people/one trip, including lodging and transportation of the facilitator. If you would like to adopt more than one child, the fee for adoption of the second child is $4,000+3% bank fee. Adoption fee for each additional child is $1,500+3% bank fee. If a family makes an additional trip (except of those required during the usual process) there is additional fee of $1,500+3% bank fee.

We are estimating the cost to be about $25,000.  It could be less than that if anything ends up being at the low end or it could be more depending on many things including travel.  We will definately be taking 2 trips because we just can't be gone for 6 weeks.  The good news is that there is a $13,000 tax credit for families who adopt.  Actually I think that expires soon but they will be voting and hopefully extending it.  We hope to find a no interest loan to pay for that portion because we can pay it back as soon as we get the tax refund.  That leaves us needing $12,000.  We are cutting expenses in order to come up with as much of that as possible. For the rest we will look into grants and fundraisers.  I'm hoping to have some time to research these today.  We sent the first check for $1500 already so we are down to $10,500.  We want to be completely transparent with our finances so check back often for updates.  We are excited to see how God will provide!

12/2/2010Yesterday we had a trunk show at my friend Lori's house.  I brought home $500!  Some of that will go to ordering the items that I sold but the rest will go directly into our adoption fund.  I will let you know how much that was when I place my order.  Thank you to everyone who placed orders!!!  What a great start!

Update 1/4/2011
I think our thermometer is a little confusing.  We have spent money already and we are saving money too but I'm not sure where to put that on our thermometer.  So, I am just including donations and fundraisers on the thermometer for now.  I will try to give more detail here.  We have received 2 donations and they have both had perfect timing - they total $250.  Awesome!  Also Jody won his fantasy football super bowl so we put that in as a fundraiser.  That was $235 (you can read more about that on the blog).  Then I made  $512 in profit from monogramming close to Christmas.  So, that puts our fund up to $997.  Our expenses have been $2408 so far.  We will need to pay $890 this week to USCIS and then $2000 soon as our 2nd agency fee.  We are trying to think of a fundraiser.  I have done a little research for financial options but I need to spend some more time doing that.  We can't apply for anything until we have our Home Study completed and that should be this week.  We don't really have a backup plan and between our house project last year and our adoption expenses so far, we have gone through our savings.  I know that is terrible that we don't have savings but we have worked really hard to stick to the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt and stay out of debt.  The only debt we have is our house and the extra loan we had to get to pay to finish the house after a few unexpected expenses.  We were just beginning to really work on our emergency fund when God called us to adoption.  I have found an adoption loan that charges 8.75% apr.  I also read about an interest free loan that I am going to look into also.  We will possibly borrow the $13,000 that we know we will receive back for our tax credit in 2012 and whatever else we don't save or raise.  We have been so diligent about staying away from loans that its a little scary to take out a loan and have debt.  I'm just trusting that this will work out somehow!

Update 2/1/2011
Wow, we have received $7250 in donations during the past few weeks.  I just can't even believe it!  Read more about it on the post from 2/1/2011.  God is so good!   We are getting close!  We did pay the USCIS $890 and our 2nd agency fee which was $2000.  I added up our expenses again and realized that the estimated travel expenses are for 1 trip to Ukraine.   We will have to do it in 2 trips so I need to add $2000 to what we need.  I'm changing the thermometer from $12,000 needed to $14,000.  I'm not quite sure how I should estimate all of this.  The agency estimates $150 per day  for lodging, meals, ect.   Some of that we will have from our regular budget, we will just be buying food in Ukraine instead of New Braunfels.  

Update 3/24/2011
We are now up to $13,305!  Wow!  We are so close!  Our garage sale was a huge success and we raised $2000.  Only God could do that!  We've had several more donations - some even from complete strangers.  Isn't that just amazing?  I can't remember everything that I've already listed that we have paid for.  Quite honestly I'm not exactly sure what we've paid for so far - I know we paid $2060 to someone in Ukraine a couple of weeks ago.  I think maybe our facilitator who translated all of our documents?  We will pay $8,900 when we receive our invitation to travel.  We have been approved for a loan of $14,500 at 8.9% interest.  We will only have the loan for 1 year until we receive our adoption tax credit.  We will get $13,000 from the US governement and $1500 from Texas.  We need to get all of our paperwork complete so that we can actually get the money.  We will be working on that next week.