By Diane Ponist
There comes a time in your adult life, when you are ready for the next step. At some point in your relationship or sometimes no relationship at all, you decide you want to have children. Some people imagine the “perfect” life with one boy and one girl. Others don’t plan at all until an unplanned pregnancy, they realize– this is the next step for me. In my case, in which seems to be completely opposite of most people, I always wanted to adopt children.
I have always wanted children, as long as I can remember. I always wanted to give a child a home that didn’t already have a place to call home. A huge benefit of the process is I had no choice but be prepared to have a child when the time came. Don’t get me wrong, my wife and I tried artificial insemination several times, unfortunately that did not take. My wife Kristin shared the same passion for fostering/adoption that I did, but she also wants to experience giving birth, I completely understand her wanting that. When for almost a year of trying and no luck, we made a joint decision that we were meant to adopt first.
We researched costs of international and domestic adoption. After our wedding, there was no way we could afford to adopt at the cost that was being asked. Years ago, I tried to foster and that ended badly. I didn’t want to put my or Kristin’s heart out there again to break the same way. It’s hard to let go of a child once you fell in love.
We began by calling a random foster/adoption agency and my wife, Kristin told them what our intentions were and found out how easy the whole process was. We could do something called matching! Matching is finding a child in the Foster system that is considered a Foster child but legally free for adoption. So we jumped right in, a case worker came over that same week and performed a home study.
We found DeAndre in only 3 months from a state adoption website that had a listing on only some of the children available for adoption within the state. From that we have become obsessed after hearing many horrible stories of what these foster children have been through. We are determined to save as many children as possible. I will warn, you have to be able to build some sort of wall to foster a child, that “just in case factor”, you have to be able to let go. We currently have 1 adopted child, 4 foster children and growing. We have learned that if they are only here temporarily, it is worth impacting their life for that time.
It cost very little to get all background checks, training, credit reports (which they only look to make sure you are paying your current bills) and had a suitable room for a child. That process took about 90 days, than we were ready to find our first child. We also learned that any child you adopt from the Foster system comes with a monthly subsidy to help with costs until the child is 18 years old. Not to mention the adoption tax credit that is available after an adoption is completed. It’s more than affordable this way, we high-fived when we first heard thiS!
What we are doing is extremely rewarding. The process is fairly simple; it’s not at all as hard as we originally thought. You don’t need thousands of dollars or perfect credit. You can be single, not married or not even in a relationship. It you can’t biologically have a child or don’t want to take that route, there are many children dying to just be loved. Every child deserves a forever family.
Here is a breakdown of costs:
Background checks are under $100
Training is usually free, we paid a fee of $1000 only because we wanted children under the age of 5 years old
Total was around $1100 and was all refunded in the federal tax return. The agency also covers the cost for the attorney to complete the adoption