We met with Mike for about an hour and kind of went through the whole process. It’s tricky because the only certified Wisconsin caseworker left recently, so LDS Family Services can’t be the one stop agency we’d hoped it’d be. However, they can help with the costs of a home study, education classes, etc. The Church has deals worked out with Lutheran Social Services and some Catholic charities so that they can accept the LDSFS services instead of their own agency’s. However, that lengthens the process because the paperwork has to be transferred and filed and everything has to be done a certain way. Mike suggested that we go with another agency but still take advantage of itsaboutlove.org, the Church’s listing of adoptive parents. If we do everything (home study, classes, post-placement visits, etc.) through Lutheran Social Services, it’s $13,500.
I’ll let you take a moment to wipe down your screen after the inevitable spit take that just happened.
That’s about what my entire college experience cost. That’s close to how much we get in loans each year. That’s roughly a round of IVF. And we basically have to double that to not only get a baby, but to show we are financially stable enough to provide for a baby. It’s overwhelming. It’s terrifying. But it can be done. It has been done. We just have to overhaul our budget and save like crazy.
After our meeting, we went to the magical place that is Chick-fil-A. It’d been months since my last fix and I was craving it all morning! The girl who took our order had an adorable Southern accent and when I told her I liked it, she explained that she was working the drive-thru and saw us park and noticed the North Carolina sticker on my car and had switched to register so she could take our order and ask where I got it! She grew up in Greenville and started singing It’s a Small World when I told her I was from Wilmington. She was back at the drive-thru when we left and waved at us through the window. NC love is a beautiful thing!
The rough part now is deciding whether we want to pursue adoption or IVF. I hope and pray every single day that everything will work the way it's supposed to and we won’t have to make that decision right now, but I’m all too aware that we may have to choose sooner rather than later. I’ve been brainstorming ideas for fundraisers because regardless of our choice, we’re going to need some financial help. There are also grants and scholarships for both adoption and IVF, so we’ll try our luck with those too. Either way, it’s going to be an uphill battle and we need to be ready.