Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Our $660 Decision

When we originally completed all of our paperwork for this second adoption, we indicated that we were open to a girl up to age three with a minor or correctable special need. When we were going through the Kyrgyzstan adoption process, we were originally hoping for an infant, but we ended up with 2-year-old Jonas! So from our experience with him, we knew it actually wasn't scary to bring home a toddler. He caught up and caught on quickly, yet there was still enough "baby" in him to satisfy that parenting desire. We assumed we'd get a referral of a girl of about the same age, perhaps even younger.

Well, near the end of July, just before our dossier was going to be sent to China, we got an e-mail from our agency saying that they had a file they wanted to talk to us about. We called and were told there was a little girl living in one of their partnership orphanages whose file was being prepared. The coordinator said that the girl had a minor heart condition that had already been repaired (so she fit our desire for minor/correctable needs), but that she was older than we were open to on our paperwork. "She'll be turning four at the end of the year," we heard, and immediately thought of Jonas's fourth birthday on December 23rd. At that point, she couldn't reveal the girl's exact birthdate, but she laughed and said, "Well, there are a few days difference between them!"

We agreed to look at the file, knowing that there was no harm in checking it out. Our agency is very understanding of clients saying "no" to files that don't feel right, so we didn't feel any pressure or stress about looking at it. Their theory is that one family saying "no" allows the child's meant-to-be family to say "yes." Our coordinator said that she'd send the file that evening (including pictures), and we could think about it for a few days. I refreshed my e-mail feed every two seconds all night long until I finally had to go to sleep! I woke up early the next morning, and it was finally there.

Zack and I opened the attachments and looked at the pictures and video together. We often get asked if we knew right away that Jonas or this girl were "our children." And I know several adoptive parents do feel something special when they see their kid's picture for the first time. That's not the case for us. Personally, I just kind of think, "Hmmm...okay..." That's what happened for both Jonas and this girl. Maybe it's just my rational, left-brained personality...I don't know. For what it's worth, when we met Jonas in person, I did feel like, "Okay, this is definitely MY son!" So, sorry to disappoint, but we didn't see her picture and fall in love and say, "Let's do it!"

AAC Adoption Agency Fee Sheet
We talked about it for a few days, and we came to the conclusion that the only reason in the world to say "no" to this file was because of her age. We researched "artificial twinning," which is what we're doing by creating a family with children of the same age. We contemplated what our family would look like with two children of the same size, possibly in the same grade, who would be reaching milestones at the same time (driving, going off to college, etc.). But in the end, it came down to the fact that here was a basically totally healthy beautiful little girl without a family. How could we say no? Why should we?

So we said yes. And that decision cost us $660! We had to pay $300 to get a home study addendum, since our original one said we were approved for a child up to age three. We also had to pay $330 to USCIS for a Supplement 3 to our I-800A form. Basically that means that the US immigration department had approved us to adopt one child up to the age of three, and that needed changed as well. Pretty ridiculous, eh? We were originally quite annoyed and wondered if it was a sign that we shouldn't go through with it, but we're trusting that when this girl joins our family, we'll understand why she was meant to be a Keys kid, and that we'd gladly pay $660 to have her be ours forever!


  1. I believe that any kid in the world would be lucky to be a Keys kid! I think it's pretty cool that Jonas will ha a sister who will be able to go through the same milestones with him. Seriously so excited for you guys!

    1. Thanks, and TJ will have another playmate!

  2. Oh I love this! The best spent $660 you will ever pay! Like you, I didn't have that "gut feeling" I have heard parents talk about. We sat on the photo we had of our daughter for 2 weeks! It happens both ways. Congrats!