The journey toward adoption can take you along a path you would never expect to go and experience depths of emotions that you could never otherwise feel. Denise and I have been following this path for the past year because we desire that our family be a living metaphor of the gospel. Tuesday we received the news that a birth mother, Charity, in Ohio had chosen our family to raise her baby. The past two days have been a scramble of phone calls, emails and text messages between ourselves, Charity's social worker, and our adoption agency. Due to the fact that Charity will be having her baby in Ohio we will be working with her adoption agency Loving Choice. It is as if we have been drinking water from a fire hydrant of adoption law. Our heads are swimming in paperwork, our hands are tired from scribbling notes, and thumbs sore from texting. Here is what we have learned....
1) We are responsible to pay nearly $16K when the adoption paperwork is signed 72 hours after the birth. The expected due date for the baby is September 16th. The is roughly 6 weeks.
2) Charity will be giving birth in Ohio and we must drive there to pick the baby up and sign the necessary paperwork. However, Ohio law stipulates that a baby that is to be adopted cannot leave the state until the adoption paperwork is filed through the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children. This can take from 1 week to 1 month depending on how quickly the paperwork is processed over to Florida. Thus we will be required to stay in Ohio longer than we had anticipated.
3) Our adoption agency Embraced by Grace will be handling the finalization of the adoption in the Florida courts. They will be responsible for the home studies, required post placement visitations, and representing us at our finalization court date.
Needless to say there is a great need and very little time. We believe that the Lord has orchestrated leading Charity to our family and believe we would not be faithful to turn our back on this child. Before we began this journey a friend told me, "If you know that the Lord is leading you toward adoption and finances are the only thing holding you back then go for it. The Lord will provide." We believe this is the right thing to do. Yet, I realize some may say, "Why didn't they calculate the cost before they started this?" We did. We have also invested a great deal of our own money. We expected a birth mother from Florida through Embraced by Grace. God brought us a birth mother from Ohio through a mutual friend. When we began this process we were told that we would qualify for a $13k interest free adoption loan that would have covered most of these expenses. However, two weeks ago we were informed that the fund had dried up. We are applying for new adoption loans and grants but many take 2-3 months to be processed if we are approved. Since Charity could realistically give birth in a few short weeks the money will not be to us in time. We will also need to spend a good deal of time and money waiting in Ohio until we are cleared to leave the state. These have all been unexpected despite our most careful planning.
We are humbly asking if you would join us in our journey of adoption financially. We will be planning a fund raiser in the next few weeks (details coming soon) to help raise money for the unforeseen expenses. There are two ways you can help support our journey. First, you can donate by mailing a personal check to our adoption account* or use the Paypal link on the top-right hand corner of the blog. Second, if you prefer a tax-deductible gift you can mail a check to Loving Choice who will apply it toward our costs once the adoption is official.** They are a very reputable agency who has been placing babies for 93 years! If you have any question please feel free to contact us.
Finally and most importantly we need your prayer. We need wisdom to navigate the waters of adoption law. Strength to push through weary days and sleepless nights. Faith to trust our Heavenly Father who is guiding and directing this process from beginning to end. Please prayer for Charity as she nears the end of her pregnancy. She will be doing the most selfless act a mother could ever do. She desires to give her baby the gift of a safe and loving family. Pray also that she sees the hand of God and comes to trust the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray that we not put our trust in money, social workers, or in our own strength but in God alone. Thank you.
Chris, Denise, Anna, and Andrew
soli Deo gloria
** Loving Choice will accept checks made payable to Community Services of Stark County with Partyka Adoption in the memo line. Your check will be held until the finalization and if the birth mother changes her mind they will return the money to you upon your request. They also accept Mastercard and Visa payments. The mailing address is Loving Choice Adoption & Parenting Services, 625 Cleveland Ave NW, Canton, OH 44702. Their contact telephone number is 330.455.0374.