Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thank you!

We have had a whirlwind (roller coaster?) week at the Bonfig house!  We apologize for the delay in posting updates this past week.  From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank each and every one of you who took part in our adoption fundraiser last weekend! 

It has truly been a blessing to witness all of the support we have from our friends and family!  We were overwhelmed by the donations…we were amazed by the people who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the soup supper…. we were touched by the generosity of those who organized, contributed, and participated in our fundraiser….and we were encouraged by the heart-warming and kind words of support!

We appreciate the prayers being offered.  Thank you!

We appreciate those who shared a financial donation.  Each and every donation was a great blessing. Thank you!

We appreciate all of the item donations we received from local businesses and friends/family for the raffle/silent auction, it was a great success.  Thank you!

We appreciate the immense time commitment our family put forth to organize this event.  Thank you!

We will never be able to fully express our gratitude, but please know:  YOU are the reason our fundraising event was such a success! 

We’ll post more about how the money will be applied in regards to our adoption costs. We've even got some pictures to share!

Until then, we would ask for your continued prayers as we move forward on our adoption journey. You never know what twists and turns may be on the horizon...


THANK YOU!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Match Made in Heaven


We've MATCHED!!!

We were chosen by a birth mother in Texas.  Our baby is due December 19th!  This means, if all goes well, we will be picking up the newest addition to our family from a hospital in Texas in mid-December! We don't know yet if it will be a boy or a girl, but we may find out later this month.  We are very excited to expand our family and Finnley is VERY eager to become a big sister!  


Adoptive couples must always decide whether or not to share with friends and family that they have matched, since the birth mother can, of course, change her mind at any point before the birth. After some discussion, we decided that any birth has risks and this news was too exciting to keep to ourselves!  Also, we learned through our experiences with recurrent miscarriage that each positive pregnancy test was exciting, even if we tried not to get too excited since we knew the chances of miscarriage were high. This situation is similar, we know there are risks, but we are very excited and want to share our news with everyone! We also know that the support of friends and family can lift us up if this situation ends in disappointment, which is unlikely!



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Q & A

We have had some questions regarding our adoption plan and how the whole process works – we’ll try to address some of the general concepts in this post, but if you have other specific questions, please feel free to ask!

QUESTIONS WE HAD TO ASK OURSELVES

When we first started to seriously consider adoption as a path to grow our family, I immediately envisioned us adopting a baby with a cleft lip from China (Christy).  Special needs international adoption was our initial preference, but after some research we realized it wasn’t a great fit for our family (traveling out of country for 4-6 weeks at a time, specific qualifications that we didn’t meet for certain countries, etc). 

After we decided to pursue a domestic adoption, we had to decide whether to go through the foster care system or to adopt privately. This was a difficult decision, because we know there many children in need of a stable home in the foster care system. In order to adopt through the foster care system, we would have to be willing to take a child up to 8 years old…  At this point, we do not feel like foster-adopt would be a good fit for our family due to the issues related to foster care adoptions not being permanent for a significant period of time (which seems like a lot for Finnley to comprehend and for our hearts to handle!) and we have concerns regarding bringing a child older than Finnley into our home.  We want to adopt a child that is ours permanently from the very beginning!


So, once we decided on a domestic infant adoption, we were all set, right?  I wish!  Now a whole new set of decisions needed to be made!  Go through agency?  Adopt privately? Utilize a consultant?  Who will do our home study?  How do we find an ethical agency/attorney that will care for our well-being, as well as that of the birth family?  How do we raise all this money?  Open or closed adoption?  What race are we open to?  What about special needs or prenatal drug exposure? 



OUR ANSWERS

We are hoping to adopt a newborn infant and ideally we will be able to take the baby “home” directly from the hospital.  I say “home” because once the baby discharges from the hospital, we still have to stay in the state of his/her birth until the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) clears and allows us to travel out of state with the baby…typically it take a couple days for ICPC to be approved, but it can take up to a few weeks depending on how long the paper work takes.  During this waiting period, we would stay with the baby in a motel or with friends/family depending on where our baby was born.

We are open to adopting a baby of any race/ethnicity and we are open to the possibility of a special needs or prenatal drug exposure situation.


Our adoption will most likely be semi-open, at the very least, meaning that the birthmother will choose us and we’ll keep in touch through letters and photos after placement. We hope that knowing that her baby is happy, healthy, and loved will reinforce the good decision she made.


There are basically two ways of adopting domestically:
AGENCY ADOPTION:  In an agency adoption you work with one particular agency that has a limited "pool" of birth moms.  The agency does your home study with their specialists, after that they help you create a profile and they start getting your info out to prospective birth moms. Once you are matched with a birth mom, you meet her, and start to build a relationship with her. If she chooses you to parent her baby, the waiting game starts. Once the baby is born you travel to wherever the baby was born, the birth mom signs paperwork upon discharge from the hospital (usually 24-72 hours depending on delivery type) and the birth mom may have a certain time frame after birth in which she can change her mind depending on the state laws.  Once that period of time is up the baby is irrevocably yours.  You still have to go through legal paperwork and several post placement visits from your home study specialist before the adoption is completely finalized, but legally the baby is yours.
PRIVATE ADOPTION:  The actual adoption process runs just the same as agency adoption. The only difference is that you aren't working with an agency; you are responsible for all the paperwork on your own. You have to market yourself, get the word out to as many people as you can in hopes of finding your own birth mom. Once you find a birth mom everything pretty much runs the same. Think of the movie Juno :)


We will be adopting through an agency or an adoption attorney, but instead of applying to just one agency and limiting our exposure to birth moms, we chose to utilize an adoption consultant.  There are many benefits to working with an adoption consultant, which Susan describes perfectly on her blog: http://gracefilledmess.blogspot.com/p/why-hire-adoption-consultant.html.  They are NOT an adoption agency, but for a fee they walk you through the whole adoption process from beginning to end (whether that is 6 months or 2 years!).  Their clients usually matching with a birth family within 6-10 months, versus the 3-4 year wait we were quoted by a local adoption agency! We have been VERY happy with our decision to use an adoption consultant!


With our recent fundraiser announcement, the question of cost has come up as well. We broke down the average adoption costs in our previous post, but this was something we definitely had to think long and hard about before committing to our adoption plan (and the financial aspect is what scares away many families that consider adoption!).  It is a lot of money.  And, like most people, we don’t have $30,000 sitting in the bank (if we did, we’d both be driving much nicer cars!). But, when we are talking about something so valuable (our lives, the baby’s future, the birth family, etc) the cost associated to ensure everything is done with excellence is completely worth it! Taken in context, we know very few people who can afford to walk out of the hospital with their biological baby if insurance wasn’t covering the cost of the medical expenses.  Bottom line: adoption is costly.


Choosing adoption as way to grow our family is a passion of ours and we feel strongly that God has guided us to this path. When push comes to shove, we can find ways to pay the total costs of the adoption without any support by taking out loans, but that would come with a significant financial burden that could result in reducing our own charitable contributions, etc.  We also know that we have an awesome community of friends and family that share our passion for our choice in adoption and may want to be able to help eliminate some of this burden. Supporting our fundraiser is a personal choice that no one is obligated to participate in.


So, if private adoption is so expensive, why don’t we just go through the foster care system where adoptions are free?  As we mentioned above, foster care adoption is not a good fit for our family at this point in time. It is something we may consider in the future, but it isn’t right for us now.  One thing we discovered over the course of our adoption research is that any state assisted adoption is anything but free, with each child in the foster care system costing the state multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars….it’s just covered by tax dollars.  Private newborn adoptions are actually must less expensive, it just doesn’t seem that way because the costs come at once and up front; and it gives the financial responsibility of adoption to the individuals rather than the government. 


What other questions do you have for us?  Ask away!  We are excited to share our journey with all of you!