While international adoption is a journey, I have no interest in turning mine into one of spontaneity. In fact, just about the last thing I want to do is find myself somewhere down the road, in the government office of a foreign country with no idea of what to expect.
To that end, reading the adoption experiences of others in blogs like these has been probably the most informative media I’ve come across in the 6 months since I started this adventure. So in 2013 it is time to pay it forward and share my own. And so it begins…
In June of 2012 frustrated with the world of foster-adoption I began to research international adoption. I was advised to first choose a country and then look for a reputable agency. Bulgaria immediately came to the forefront of my attention. After a few weeks of exhaustive and often unfulfilling research I chose Adoption Ark in July and it was one of the greatest decisions I could have made. Shortly thereafter I chose a homestudy agency in my home state and by early August we were underway.
My homestudy was completed on Halloween 2012 and the following day I began the great paper chase to compile my dossier. FBI paperwork submitted in early November was returned mid-December. INS paperwork submitted at the same time had me report for biometrics in mid-December and granted me approval one week later. I had all my paperwork notarized by Christmas Eve and apostilled a few days later. My dossier was completed and submitted to my adoption agency on New Year Eve 2012.
I hope to adopt a sibling set of 2 children under the age of five. I am more than willing to accept children with medical or other special needs. That said, the wait will be long to meet my children: 2-3 years from the time my dossier is registered in Bulgaria with the Ministry of Justice.
Waiting shouldn’t be a problem. I plan to keep busy. Goodness knows, there is tons to do around here before I become a Mom.
I work full-time and am solidly a middle-class American. I will have no difficulties financially-speaking raising two children on my own. International adoption is expensive, and even though I haven’t fully worked out the details of how to do it yet my savings and a loan from my 401K has gotten me this far. I am beyond thrilled that Congress passed a fiscal bill last night that makes the adoption tax credit PERMANENT (yeah!). Reducing my household budget expenses has also been huge (bye-bye Cable TV, hello Hulu).
So welcome to my journey to bring my family home from Bulgaria…to Maine!