Tuesday, March 6, 2012

fundraising transparency

If this is your first time visiting our blog, welcome!!  This has been our life before our adoption process began and will continue to be afterward.  So if you're looking for only adoption focus, you may be getting more than you bargained for!  We don't believe our family is complete without adoption but, by the same token, our adoption does not define our family.  However, at this point in time, we know that fundraising to complete our adoption is on the front and center of our minds and lives.

As you probably know, our adoption is going to cost us anywhere from $25,000-35,000.  In case you're wondering, I'd love to break down our estimated costs for you so you know where this money is going.  If along the way you have any question for us about the money, please let us know.  We believe that if we are asking you to support us, you have the right to know how your money will be used.
Agency Fees (includes application, humanitarian aid, Uganda program fee, shipping, and their general knowledge and guidance.) - $7500 
Home Study Fees - $1800
Dossier Preparation (citizenship and immigration services, adoption clinic seminar, parent training, official documents, fedex fees, etc.) - $1650
In country expenses - based on 25 days in country (Airfare, child's medical exam, parent visa, accommodations, food, guide service fees, transportation, official fees) - $12,200
Post Adoption Services (US court adoption, citizenship certificate, birth certificate, court cost) - $3850
Total:  $27000

Some of these numbers are set and will not change.  Other aspects of this list can fluctuate drastically depending upon how much time we have to be in country.  As stated above, these numbers are based on 25 days however, most times, the initial dates set for plane tickets are not kept because there is no way to determine a true schedule.  This means a change fee will be incurred for tickets.  In addition, the likelihood of only being in country for 25 days based on how things have recently been in Uganda is unlikely.  It is much more likely for one of us to be in the country for 6 weeks which obviously adds to our travel costs.

So that's the reality of the enormous cost for this process...BUT, there is some good news!

First, based on money we have been graciously given and money we had saved and set aside for this process, we have already paid our home study fees, half of our agency fees and over half of our dossier fees.  This means thus far we have paid out of our pocket or gifts approximately $7000.  Also, because Amanda has been traveling for work, we have been able to set aside skymiles which, by the time we expect to travel, should cover at least one full roundtrip ticket and either one other full roundtrip ticket or the oneway ticket home for our James.  Either way, this will be $2500-4000 off our total cost.  Thus, at this point, we have cut our total cost down by at least a third if not more!!

You may have heard about the adoption tax credit that has been $13,000 in the past few years.  Unfortunately, in 2012, that is only applicable if you qualify and have a tax liability and in 2013 it becomes only a tax credit if you adopt a special needs child out of domestic foster care.  Thus, while we at one time believed this amount would be helpful to apply toward our adoption, by the time we finalize our adoption we will no longer qualify.   

This is where you come in!  We have some creative ideas of how to do this fundraising thing including a silent auction, selling t-shirts, selling some of our own goods, car washes, support letters, and some amazing business who have already promised to sponsor some events for us!  We hope that the tax deductible account set up for us by Lifesong for Orphans helps you by becoming a charitable donation fund as much as it helps us reach our goals. And yet beyond the monetary support, we desire your thoughts and prayers for the country of Uganda, for our baby James, and for our family as we move through this process. 

We want to thank you so much for your love and support and please, if you have any questions about where we are, what is going on, or how we are doing, ask us!!