Sunday, March 4, 2012

Counting the Cost

On our refrigerator, I have a quote that I clipped out a few years ago from an ABWE magazine.  It says, "God's way becomes plain when we start walking in it." (Roy L. Smith)  At no time in my life has this been more true than through the process of adopting our daughter.  For years Brian and I had been talking about adopting.  We had been looking into the process, talking to people we knew who had adopted, and had been saving money.  For many people, the cost of adoption keeps them from pursuing it.  I have to admit, at first the cost of adopting was a hindrance to our moving forward.

To adopt from China, as well as other countries, there are financial requirements.  You have to prove your net worth and income, including the income per person in your home.  As we looked into the costs associated with adopting, there were many things to consider.  How will we pay for the necessary fees?  Will we be able to afford to have me be a stay-at-home-mom?  What may be involved financially with our child's special need?  My "Worry Warthog" personality wanted to plan out where every penny was going to come from before beginning the process.  I remember Brian saying to me one day, "Let's just begin the process and see where the Lord leads.  If the doors keep opening, we'll know that we're in His will." 

Well, God kept opening the doors and here we are, right on the edge before jumping out into becoming a family of three.  The Lord has been faithful to us throughout this process.  We see it in many ways in our lives.  One way that He has shown His faithfulness to us is through His financial provisions.  There have been many of you who have been praying for us and even giving financially to us.  We were able to set up an account through Lifesong for Orphans for tax deductible gifts to be given on our behalf.  We have had family and friends who have decided to follow the Lord's leading in their life and have sacrificially given to us.  We are so overwhelmed with the generosity we have been shown.  We know that God has called us to adopt, and He has been truly faithful to us. 

So, I know that many of you are asking yourself, "What does it cost to adopt a child?" or if you know, you might ask, "Why does it cost so much?"  "Is it rude to ask these questions?", you wonder.  Well, to satisfy the curiosity that many of you have, I want to explain the cost of adoption.  The amounts listed below are what was supplied to us by our adoption agency.  They are specific to China.  As with other countries, including domestic adoptions, the cost will vary.

Adoption agency application fee: $200.00
Agency contract fee: $3400.00
Pre-Adoption training fee: $300.00
Home study fee: $2000.00
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services processing/fingerprinting fees: $900.00
Dossier/notarization/authentication fee: $4500.00
Translation fee: $1000.00
Visas: $360.00

Subtotal: Fees paid before traveling: $12,660.00

Airfare/lodging/food for Brian, Erica and Shen Yao: $7500.00
Orphanage donation: $6000.00
In country fees (Shen Yao's passport, notary fees, medical exam, etc.): $1550.00
China Facilitator: $350.00

Subtotal: Fees for travel: $15,400.00

Post placement homestudy fees: $1500.00

Grand total: $29,560.00

Many people comment on how expensive it is to adopt, but as you can see when the fees are broken down, the cost makes sense. 

For those of you who may be considering adoption, I would encourage you to trust the Lord for the finances.  I am not advocating that you jump blindly into the process without counting the cost, but when it comes down to it, if you are in God's will, nothing is impossible.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  His will cannot be limited by our finances. 

We are thankful to the Culver's in Hartland for allowing us to have a fundraising night this coming Tuesday, March 6th between 5pm and 8pm.  They will give a portion of all their sales that night to our adoption fund.  We'll be there and would love to see you.

If you are interested in contributing to our adoption fund through Lifesong for Orphans, you may send a check to them with "Preference: Peterson #2518 adoption" in the reference section of your check.  (Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use.)
                                   Lifesong for Orphans
                                   Attn: Peterson #2518 Adoption
                                   PO Box 40
                                   Gridley, IL 61744

God is faithful!!!


  1. Thanks for the breakdown. It helps your dad and me also to be able to give information when we are asked. The costs really add up in a hurry. We are praying about Tuesday. Wish we were there to participate in the fun! Cannot wait to see the travel itinerary posted. I look at this daily!!!

  2. Love you and Shen Yoa! Can't wait to meet my beautiful niece!! (neither can her cousins!!!)