One of my new favorite “big kid” pictures. My beautiful niece Jessica.
You may remember her sister from a shoot we did several months ago:
We heard today that our photo album made it safely to Malachi’s orphanage. The girl who delivered it said she saw him but didn’t get any pictures because he was getting a bath and was not happy about it. She said she’ll go back for pictures. Not sure if we’ll get them before we leave, but it is nice to hear that she saw him.
I was looking at plane tickets last night. Prices have gone back down, thank God. Hopefully we won’t have to buy our tickets too last minute and will be able to get a decent deal on them.
I can’t wait until after the new year so we can get back to officially waiting for a court date! LOL.
No court date yet, but we did talk to our lawyer today and he says we should have one soon. He said we should be in Uganda by the end of January. We are hoping and praying that really happens. We’re not holding our breath, but getting a bit excited. :) Will keep everyone updated!
Merry Christmas everyone!
I hope all my blog readers had a wonderful day today. We had a good one, all things considered. I have been pretty upset the last couple of days. We had thought our sweet Malachi would be with us for this Christmas. I couldn’t help but think about him today. Wonder what he might be doing. If they do anything special at the orphanage. If he’s happy, healthy, feels loved….
We know that there is an American girl at the orphanage right now volunteering. She is supposed to be delivering a small photo album to Kai for us. I hope we’ll get some pictures of him sometime soon. What a Christmas present that would be!
We had a nice time today seeing all of our families. We went to Keith’s moms house this morning and had a chance to spend some time with his family. Then we headed back to town and had dinner with my family. It was a pretty laid back day with LOTS of food. :)
K. called me this morning and asked me if I was coming down to watch them open gifts, so I got up and went down to spend Christmas morning with them. They had a great time and got a lot of fun things that they were very excited about. I love the excitement of Christmas morning and the kids joy as they open their gifts. It is so fun to watch.
I took Christmas pictures of the kids the other day. Here are some of my favorites. F. was NOT being cooperative that day, so I had a very hard time getting decent pictures of him. Thats why there are more pics of K. than F.
I’m off to watch Sherlock Holmes with my sister. Time to fight the crowds! :) Christmas day is a big day at the movies around here for some reason. We’re going to the late movie so hopefully it won’t be too crazy.
Keep praying for our adoption and for our friends the Matt’s and the Metz’s. They are both away from their sons in Uganda this Christmas as well and it is so hard. We’re praying we all hear good news very quickly and that our boys are home SOON!
No new from Uganda today. I’m checking my email every 15 minutes or so during the day. Praying we hear something soon regarding a court date.
I have so many new readers – so many people who are coming here for Uganda adoption stuff. I realize I haven’t talked about this much in the last couple of months. For years my love, efforts and energy has centered around Haiti. For all my new readers, I know you may not see it from my recent postings, but I have a serious love for Haiti. I took my first trip to Haiti in June 2003. I went back for a week each in July, August, September, October, November and spent the month of December 2003 in Haiti. When my parents and I met K. (my now 7 year old Haitian sister) in June, I fell completely in love with her and couldn’t stand to be away from her. It was also the start of my love for Haiti. I have been back again and again since that time. Something about that country…it get’s in your heart and soul. (If you ever have a chance to go to Haiti – GO! It will change your life. I can hook you up with some awesome people in that country. You’ll love it. )
My last trip to Haiti was in October 2008 when I took Schnider home. I haven’t been back since and that stinks. I think this is the longest I’ve ever gone without a trip to Haiti since I first went.
While I was in Haiti this last time, I stayed with some AWESOME people with an AWESOME organization called Real Hope for Haiti. We LOVE RHFH. They are doing great things in Haiti. Their two main programs are a Rescue Center for sick and malnourished children and a medical clinic. They also do school sponsorship, community development, sewing programs, provide clean water to their community, pass out food boxes, clothes, shoes, toys, etc. They also keep track of my sweet Schnider now that he is back in Haiti with his family. I am so grateful for them. Please consider supporting these amazing people and the great work their doing in Haiti.
Here are some videos I took last time I was there:
Shortly before I was there, they had some big time, devestating flooding that washed the roads out and destroyed MANY homes.
Babies in the Rescue Center:
The kids in the rescue center got to watch TV while waiting to get weighed in.
Toddlers in the Rescue Center eating breakfast
Low Cost Adoption Options:
OK – here goes! I’m SURE there are more options than what I have listed here. Feel free to shoot me an email and give me your other tips and options. :)
Gotta start with this! :) Independent adoption from Uganda. Our adoption fees (total including paperwork, homestudy, USCIS, lawyer, travel, etc) will end up being between $12,000 – $14,000. Personally, that is pretty much the lowest, non-special needs international adoption I have ever seen. One thing that makes our adoption fees so low is that we didn’t have to travel twice to Uganda and we’re using a lawyer that only charges $2500 for his services. The other lawyer that many families use in Uganda charges $5000 – $6000 I think. Even using that lawyer the fees are still lower than many international adoption programs. Agency adoptions through Uganda seems to be a bit cheaper than other agency international adoptions – but not a lot. You can find links to various Uganda adoption blogs on my sidebar. I would be happy to talk to anyone interested in independent adoption from Uganda. If interested in agency adoption through Uganda you can check out Generations Adoptions, Holt Int’l, or Lifeline in AL. There may be other agencies with pilot programs.
I recently became aware of the option to adopt independently from Rwanda. Fees seem to be close to what we are paying in Uganda. This family is in Rwanda right now bringing their son home. They have a detailed timeline and fees on the sidebar of their blog. My friend Tiffani has a list of Rwanda Adoption blogs (agency and independent) on her blog side bar.
Of all the agencies I’ve seen – AAI has the most reasonable fees and a stellar reputation. They have sliding scale based on your income and reduced fees for special needs, HIV+ and older children. Their Thailand program has very low fees. They have programs in Ghana, Ethiopia, Thailand and China I believe.
WACAP offers grants for many of their older and special needs children. Last year their African American Infant program had a great no-interest loan offered to families adopting babies through their program. This was the first program we signed up with. They have international programs in Ethiopia, Korea, India, China, Kazhakstan, Russia and Thailand.
Brittany’s Hope offers grants to many special needs children – sometimes these grants are up to $8500. This would greatly reduce the fees of many of these children. Many of these children are with Holt International. We considered a couple of children through their Korea program. Holt offers a fee reduction for many of their special needs children on top of the Brittany’s Hope grant – which made the fees very low and reasonable.
Reece’s Rainbow often has grants on the special needs children they advocate for.
We also looked into domestic special needs adoption. Spence Chapin has a great infant special needs program called ASAP. They list special needs infants available for adoption pretty regularly. They have a gorgeous baby girl on there now who has been waiting for a while. CHASK also lists children in need of families on their website -some of these are children whose current adoptive families are disrupting their adoptions, but they also occasionally have infants born with medical needs that need families.
And I can’t forget the thousands of American children waiting in foster care to be adopted here in the US. There are often no to little fees associated with these type of adoptions. Adoptuskids.org is a great place to search for available children in the US that need families. This link also has a bunch of photolistings for children that need families in the US. We didn’t have the greatest experience inquiring about children in the US fostercare. I’ve probably inquired about a hundred children in the last couple of years and only a handful of social workers have gotten back to us. We have friends who adopted through foster-adopt in our area and they say that a good social worker is the key.
Ok – what did I miss??