Stymied by the System!

 Many of you know we are in the middle of trying to adopt a baby brother (you can read about it at www.babybrother.wordpress.com) I posted this today on that blog site (created by my daughters) but thought I would post it here as well.

I know you have not heard from me in a month – but I am “back at it” and will be posting regularly again – I will also be back posting many of our Christmas family traditions that I didn’t get to over the holidays for you to enjoy and perhaps get some new ideas & inspiration for your family. Here is the post about our adoption roadblock.

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 Ok….for two months we have been walking through this very complex adoption process – but for us it feels like an eternity!

 We have:

  • gotten complete physicals for both Dan and myself
  • collected & copied all nine birth certificates for our family & our marriage certificate
  • completed 35 pages of an application & questionnaires
  • written complete & thorough autobiographies of both Dan & my lives from birth to present including our self analysis of our life experience
  • taken a complete family photo (with our daughter Michelle in it – she was only home for 3 weeks) and had copies made
  • photo copied all of our most recent bank statements & IRS forms
  • signed & notarized release forms
  • created a “Dear birth-mother album” with pictures & words describing our family, our home, our lifestyle & our extended friends & family
  • received a background check & fingerprinting.

While it has all been very time consuming we know it will all be worthwhile.  BUT now we have a HUGE roadblock towards this adoption!

We cannot seem to get anyone to do our home study for less than $4,000 – that is in addition to the fees we will have to pay the agency of $7,000+.  We have raised $5,900 to date but that will not come close to covering both the adoption & the home study. 😦

I have been in contact with eight different agencies and have gotten the “run around” for days, before they finally end up declining to do our home study or want to charge us between $4,000 – $6,000.  The agencies that would “only” charge $1,500 are all licensed with the State of California & refuse to do our home study.

WHY you ask????

 This is why – We are again being stymied by the California State foster care/adoption “rules” of only two children per bedroom.  Those agencies feel like they can’t do our home study because we don’t meet that requirement.

It doesn’t matter that we have the happiest, most well adjusted children and could provide a warm, loving, supportive, fun filled home for another child. (such a joyful home & good family life that our dear friend, after reading our “Dear birth mother album” exclaimed, – “The birth mother is going to want you to adopt her!”) 

It is simply based on a stupid (sorry I am using such strong language but that is how strongly I feel about this) rule that you can only have two children per bedroom.

Let me share with you about our home.  It is not big by United States standards – we live in 1400 square feet –but it is more than enough room for us all to be comfortable.  We have:

  •  a fabulous kitchen (thanks to a flood 3 years ago & a $20,000+ State Farm Insurance remodel!)
  • a dining room with a large dining table that we eat dinner together by candlelight every night.
  • a living room that is almost always clean (because it is Mom’s sanctuary) and is where we hang out & talk, sit by the fire, play the piano, read or look at photo albums.
  • a large “bonus” room that is a combo of Mom’s office homeschool room, storage and could be used as a bedroom if we ever “had” to (and is always a mess!)
  • And three bedrooms – The Master Bedroom (a whopping 11×12 room with a tiny bathroom) Our king size bed takes up the whole room and the baby sleeps in a pack-n-play in the corner.
  • One bedroom we have chosen to have as a small cozy TV/play room – with a sectional sofa – we all love this room. (although unless we come up with about $15,000+ to turn the garage into a bedroom/bathroom by the time the boys turn 3 it will change to the “boys” bedroom)
  • The “girls” room – Yes we currently have 5 girls in one room – BUT it works & they would not have it any other way.  After all what do you need a bedroom for other than sleeping & dressing?  We have two “Hollywood Bunks” in there that sleep three each and we have four dressers & a closet. You think that’s crazy – check out how well this works!
  • And we have a LARGE backyard (bigger than any of those “new”homes being built in our area) WE have a covered back porch and a yard big enough to play croquet or badminton or even a small game of kick ball AND a full size swing set & fort. 

 Yet with all that – we do not qualify in the State of California. (The Brady Bunch wouldn’t qualify either!)

Don’t get me wrong – we can adopt in California.  We just can’t adopt through the licensed agencies here.  If we did a private adoption with someone we “met on the street” who wanted to give us their baby we could adopt simply with a legal document filed with the state.

Or we can pay $4,000 – $6,000 to get a home study done through a private adoption agency and move forward with our adoption plans through Tennesee…UGH!

So here we are – with the following options (and dropping it is NOT one of them!)

  1.  Contract with the agency who will do it for $4,000 using much of the money raised so far (we have already spent hundreds just completing the application process) and trust God that He will provide the rest for the adoption agency in Tennessee.
  2. Ask all our friends and blog subscribers if they know a licensed social worker in the Northern California area who would do the home study for us at what we have “budgeted” for ($1,000-$1,500)
  3. Hope someone has nominated us for Extreme Home Makeover and that they are on their way to re-do our home within a weeks time! (although the girls would still all request to be in their own room – and that’s a FACT!)
  4. We suddenly receive some inheritance or win the lottery (even though we don’t play!) and have $15,000 to spend on finishing off our garage and turning it into 2 bedrooms. 
  5. Got any other ideas???  Or perhaps you know someone who could help us with the home study – we are a family who would LOVE to open up their home to a child in need!

If no other great ideas/solutions come our way, I guess we will once again walk through a door completely by faith and do the $4,000 home study…trusting God to provide the rest of the adoption money we need!

Pray!

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8 Comments

Filed under Determination, Endurance

8 responses to “Stymied by the System!

  1. We just adopted our daughter from China in May and are starting the process again to adopt a little boy. I am here to tell you that we had to do just that -trust in God that the funds would be there when needed and as always they were. Will will be doing that again also. Please check out our website(of which needs an update) and if you would like to email me back please do. We will keep you in our families prayers!!!
    P.S. I sure wish I could make the weekend in Aptos that sounds great!!!!

  2. I have friends who are adopting. He is a pastor, so they have limited funds. A family member of theirs offered to host a Yard Sale with the proceeds to go into an adoption fund for them! We passed on the info to as many people as we could and got lots of donations- and we all got to clean out and de-clutter our homes!! They raised $1800 and are able to proceed with the adoption process- and many people were able to be helpful to them…it was such a blessing to be a part of it!
    My prayers go with you as you seek to bless the lives of needy children, Debi

  3. Kathy

    Beth, you and your family are always in our prayers. We all think that it would be great for any of your options to come true but that trusting in God is the best. He will provide. Keep your faith and allow Him to do his wonderful works. God Bless!

  4. Dearest Beth,
    I have read “Monday Motivation” for the past five years. I always found myself inspired to try a new scrapbooking approach to my Creative Memories business, even though I really did do it for the amount of product I used and could get at a discount! I recently had physical problems that had me go inactive as a consultant.
    I understand your need for that child – how blessed you are to have a husband with the same desires for taking care of all of the children as you do-!
    The solution I found to my challenges was an incredible company – dedicated to taking care of distributors like I’ve never seen before.
    I started with MonaVie, which is a MLM company like Creative Memories, but so much more. I did it because the product helped me with pain I was suffering, and felt it was too good to pass up. Check them out at mymonavie.com/renettenme and tell me what you think- I am only 3 weeks into working with them, and the future looks unlimited. It could be the solution to all of your challenges you are facing.
    God Bless-
    Renette Christensen

  5. Dear Beth,

    Our daughter and her pastor husband were going through the same “stuff.” While in the waiting stage, our daughter’s OB/GYN (a Christian lady) called them about a teen just down the road who was pregnant and might consider adoption. LLLOOOONNNNGGG story, but they have a beautiful 5 mo. son, Jonathan, which means God is gracious, I believe, AND the birth mom has become a Christian and is growing by leaps and bounds. They went through Bethany Adoption Services and I don’t know about the “fees” for the home study, but will pray for your hearts to be filled once again at the provision of God!

  6. Lynn Taylor

    Hi Beth,
    Your mom sent me the site so I could see the house and learn of your efforts to adopt. I surely hope all works out for you. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Dear Beth,

    I wanted to write you to let you know that I can completely empathize with your situation and your frustration. We did foster care in the state of Michigan for 5 years. In order to house the children in our care by their standards, we needed to have a 5 bedroom 3040 square-foot home. Each child needed a minimum of 40 square feet of living space in the bedrooms. Our bedrooms were big enough to hold three children in each (the 2 per room limit you have in CA is ridiculous)!!! Once our adoptions were all final we moved to a much smaller house and we have three bedrooms. One boy’s room (with PLENTY of room for our 2 sets of bunk beds and our four boys) and one girl’s room with our three daughters in it. We have the a small but modest bedroom with our queen-sized bed and lots of living space without the upkeep of a monster home. Adopting through the state was a long and stringent process for us. We are so glad to be on the other side of it and to be out from under the surveillance of the state agencies. God WILL provide a way, of this I’m sure. Be encouraged … you will be in my prayers.

    Warmly,
    Dana

  8. JenniB

    Beth – I have also followed you since my days as an active CMC. I know that you are a prayerful family, and I can’t help but wonder if this roadblock could be a way of God telling you that this isn’t what He wants for your family. I can tell that all of YOU want it, but what about God? Is it possible that your desire is so great that you only think it is what God wants?
    Just another perspective.
    God Bless!

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