Thursday, April 26, 2012

Christmas Promise

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  Galatians 4:4-6


Facts and Figures
Lets talk about finances, what are the truths and myths. It is true through foster care you get a financial stipend. When you go through an foster /adopt agency they take a bit of that to help run their program which I see as fair being as they work hard on your behalf through the process. So in California the monthly stipend is $621 per child per month with an agency it's something like $595. In your paper work you have to prove that you are making enough money to support yourself without that stipend. So for example if my bills were $1,500 a month I have to prove I'm making at least $2,000. Miracles never stop coming, I could have not gotten approved solely on this requirement but somehow God made the numbers work. As most of you know children especially those on formula eat up that check in 2 weeks so while it's not really enough it helps for sure. The first couple of months that you have the child you are required to spend at least $100 worth of clothing per month and when you turn in receipts they reimburse you.
As you go through the process there's a couple myths that need to be busted. First, when you adopt a child from the system you continue to get the stipend until they are 18.  The year they are adopted you get an adoption tax credit which is less the foreign adoption tax credit but it's still really good. Also for your legal costs you will eventually get reimbursed up to $400 which normally is the exact amount the lawyers charge for finishing up the paperwork.
The foster child will remain on state services after it's adopted unless otherwise stated by the adoptive parents. So they get WIC, and Medical till at least 18 years of age if not longer. If they have any learning services or disabilities the compensation pays for continued care of therapies needed. It's amazing the way this system is set up, it really helps people who may not have much financial support to be able to adopt. To me this would be the only way I would be able to adopt!

Tax information on adoption:

 Thoughts and Journal Entries
December 2010

   Dear Jesus,
         It feels like this process is taking forever. I just want my baby when will this paperwork end?
   Dear Aileen,
         You'll be getting a Hispanic baby girl, she's not even born yet so chill out.

Yes, these were the conversations that I had with God over and over again during the holidays. I spent the time with my family and since my mother passed, holidays have not been the same.

This was the first Christmas that my father brought his girlfriend and her son to meet the family. While they are nice people it was different meeting them for the first time on Christmas day. I kept thinking about how my life would be so different by next Christmas. It would be fun to have a Christmas that was happy and exciting again. A place where the innocence of a child brought the joy out in the holidays. 

As I prayed over and over about this whole pursuit I felt the Father smiling and just kept saying you have no idea what I have planned for you. Really it was simple for me, all I had done was say yes and He did the rest. Obviously there was work on my half doing the paperwork, getting prepared but there had been amazing grace over it all and it really didn't feel hard at all. I've found radical favor in the eyes of the agency. There were things in my home study which I thought for sure would have prevented me from being approved but so far the home study social worker has said she doesn't see anything wrong. This time next year I will have a baby I just know it! I can't wait it's going to be so exciting.

Opening my presents on Christmas Eve I found myself being delightfully surprised by my sisters gift. She had gotten me baby girl onesies. As I looked at the pattern I thought wow this is really happening and my sister really believes in my dream. It's really amazing to have family believe in you. Even having friends believe in your dreams and support them is phenomenal. What I haven't mentioned yet is that my roommate has really laid a lot down for me to have my dream. She had to fill out paperwork and had been interviewed. She stood the test of being inconvenienced by baby locks and inspections. I'm just so grateful for every one who believes with me through this journey. In this holiday season I became more resolved to finish the race I had started.  

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