Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Update on Paul's Adoption

Good news! The House Family's dossier (huge package of documents you need to compile for adoption) has been translated and (finally) registered with the ministry that handles adoption in Paul's country. This means it is now in the system to be reviewed and to assign the family a travel date for their first trip to meet Paul. How exciting!

On his facebook page Paul's adoptive Dad posted:

So, we need (6) round trip tickets and (1) one-way ticket. That is close to $13,000. If you or someone you know has United and/or Continental Airlines Miles and want to sponsor us through a 55,000 mile puchase of a ticket in our name, please let us know. We already have (2) potential donors.... 5 more!

Anyone out there have United or Continental Miles to spare? It couldn't go to a better cause.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Papa's Story: The Worst of Days

Just keeping it real, but wishing it didn't have to be. Below is a link to read about child who died before his prospective adoptive family could complete the journey.

Please say a pray for this family and for all the children waiting for their families to come and bring them home.

A Papa's Story: The Worst of Days: "What an incredible spring morning--the magnificent sunrise over our shimmering pond was exquisite. The chirping birds were happily going abo..."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rituals in adoption

There is a sort of coming of age ritual for many parents in families formed by adoption. It comes at a time when your child has an understanding of adoption that lets him (or her) know that the pool of potential parents was not limited to just the parents who raise him.

It usually manifests itself in the middle of a...discussion (we'll call it) with parents when it occurs to the child that perhaps, if he had different parents, he would not have to brush his teeth, take a bath, go to bed at 8 o'clock, clean his room, do his homework... Perhaps, if he had different parents, he would have an i-pod touch, his own handheld gaming device, be allowed to play Call of Duty, engage in on-line gaming with total strangers, and...

The particulars of the cruelty to which the parents are currently subjecting the child are not really important. The important part is that the child--in an "Ah ha, moment"--realizes that, for him, things could have been different. The ones born into the family, well, they didn't really have any other options, but for him...suddenly, the opportunities seem endless. (And yet, in a cruel twist of fate, instead of ending up in Buckingham Palace, his cousin's house, or some other home with reasonable parents, he ended up in a place where the parents are Luddites obsessed with dental hygiene. Life can be full of disappointment.)

How proud the parent feels when, hearing the child testing this new concept with a few loving words like "I wish you never adopted me", she is able to calmly respond: "We can talk about adoption later. Right now it is time to get ready for bed, and you need to brush your teeth."

I didn't know this day would come so soon, but I didn't laugh out loud (hey, you gotta give the kid points for trying), and it shows he understands something about adoption (which is pretty advanced, I think). So all in all, I am feeling pretty good about it. Rituals are important, and sharing them lets us know that we are not alone.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fly me to the moon - Edited Version

So the first version of this post gave the retail costs of flights listed on the internet, which indicated that it would cost more than $2,500 just for Paul's one way ticket home. The good news is the actual cost should be much less. (Doing a happy dance here) BUT, the cost of three trips to EE is still high, and every family traveling to bring their children home can still use our help. For the new and improved version of this post, read on.

Fly me to the moon, let me play around the stars...everytime I sing that song the lyrics are a little different, but it always feels good. Imagine playing among the stars?

Know what else makes me feel good? The House Family has completed their paperwork and submitted it to Paul's country. This is a time of waiting, and right now they are are just waiting to hear on their travel date! (I get teary just thinking about it.)

Paul's country traditionally requires two trips, but some regions (like the one where Paul lives) are now requiring adoptive families to make three trips.

With the cost of fuel and airfare constantly rising, the cost of travel is huge.

So, who wants the honor of buying Paul his ticket home? It could be YOU! Imagine what a privilege, what a thrill that would be? It would be like dancing among the stars!

Do you have transferable frequent flier miles? Would you be willing to donate them to cover Paul's trip from an institution in Easter Europe to a home and family?

If you can't do it on your own, how about sharing the privilege with family and friends?

If you and 24 friends have $100 each to contribute, that would be $2,500 toward the travel costs?

How about you and 99 friends giving $25 each?

Or 250 friends could get together and contribute $2,500 for just $10 each! Now that could be a challenge for someone with 250 facebook friends.

Imagine Paul flying home to his family. Now imagine that you were able to play a part in flying him home. Fly me to the moon...you'd be singing that song for weeks.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Cost of International Adoption

Why does international adoption from Paul's country cost so much? I don't really know, but here is an estimate of adoption costs from that country, which does have some of the highest costs around.

Homestudy $750-$3,000
Documentation Authentication $1,000-$2,000
I-600 Visa Application $500-$600
Postage/Telephone $200-$500
Application Fee $150-$600
Program Fee $16,000-$28,000
Child's Passport/Visa $300-$400
Child's medical exams $200-$500
Gifts $100-$200
Post Placement Reports $400-$1,000
Airfare $2,000-$6000
Other Travel $5,000-$15,000
Driver interpreter $2,100-$4,000
Average Cost $30,000-$40,000

Source: http://theadoptionguide.com/tools/planner/budgets.php

Now why did I share that with you? To help you understand the importance of supporting those who are working so hard to bring children from institutions into families.

Paul's family, Charlie and Melissa House, have raised $19,747 of the $33,000 cost of his adoption. Their goal is to raise $25,000. That is only $5,253 more. Can you believe it? Only $5,253 stands between Paul and home! Let's do something about it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Okay, I admit it. I've been a total blog slacker. Family, work...LIFE, got in the way.

That is so appropriate, because this blog is about LIFE. It is about life in a family for children whose first families and cultures had no place for them.

Today, as it has been on many days, this blog is about the LIFE of one little boy and one particular family.

The boy is that little sleepy-head in the picture, Paul.

The family is Charlie and Melissa House, who have persevered through disappointment and heartache to the point where their paperwork is complete and submitted to the country in Eastern Europe where Paul lives. (You can read their update here).

In this process the projected cost of thier adoption has changed. It has increased from $30,000 to $33,000. (I updated the thermometer on the side of the blog to reflect this change).

Why is it that the cost of adoption never goes down? Why does it cost so much to ransom a child from life in an institution? I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know that the value of a child's life is beyond cost. Paul's value is priceless.

Charlie and Melissa are now only $2,000 from their original fundraising goal. The increased cost of Paul's adoption makes it more crucial than ever that we help them to meet that goal. We can do it. After all, Paul is priceless.

ipad 2 giveaway

The Senti family is doing an ipad 2 giveaway to help raise money to bring home this little cutie.

Adding a Senti: 4 days left!: "Only 4 days left to have your chance at winning the ipad 2! Just click HERE to make a tax deductable donation and get entered into the giv..."