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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

As promised -and looking more hopeful- the cost breakdown that includes some grants from the agencies. We still have lots of work to do! Now that our dossier was logged into China last week we were able to send some questions so we can get an update! We look forward to sharing it with you in about 2-3 weeks! Thank you all for checking in and thank you to those who have helped us get closer to bringing Gabriel home!



New Home study, facilitation, and 3 post-placement visits for Maryland is $4,900. 
Agency provided an additional discount of $1200 (AMF internal grant). TOTAL OF $3700.


Application Fee $300 
This fee covers the cost to review the application & determine the best direction
 to take with the adoption process.
U.S. Processing Fee (WAS $3,000 & Holt just discounted it to $1,500) 
The processing fee covers Holt's cost to facilitate the adoption with agency & government officials in the US & China.
Processing expenses for Holt include – but are not limited to – personnel costs, administrative overhead, operational costs, staff training & education, communications & publications costs.
 This fee also covers registration & translation costs related to submitting your dossier.
Medical Evaluation ($300)
Child’s records evaluated by an international adoption medical doctor.
Document Processing Fee
Discounted from $600 to $150 because not as much preparation is required by reusing our previous dossier so soon.
Holt staff will assist in obtaining vital records needed for the dossier & 
have the documents certified as required by county, state, federal & foreign governments. They will also make necessary photocopies & mount photographs required for your dossier. This does not cover fees charged by gov’t offices to certify 
the documents nor the cost to mail documents via Federal Express or priority mail.
Adoption Program Fee
CHINA IS $7,860 (includes special focus child discount of $2,000 and internal SNAF grant of $1,200)
The adoption program fee helps cover the cost to facilitate the adoption in CHINA. This includes, but is not limited to, costs for personnel, administrative overhead, training, education, legal services & communications, working with gov’t & 
agency authorities, legal fees, & passport & visa fees. It also covers costs related to the care of our child prior to 
adoption, including – but not limited to – costs for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, foster care, orphanage care, & 
any other services provided directly to our child. It also includes any mandatory donations required by child welfare authorities. This fee may also cover child welfare projects in China.
Dossier Preparation $500-$1000
(Est at $900) 
The home study & dossier process requires families to obtain official copies of documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates & divorce decrees. Some countries require that these & other documents go through a process of notarization, certification & authentication before being submitted. Fingerprinting and FedEx included.


USCIS application $720 
All U.S. families must receive approval from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) before bringing a child to
 the U.S. for adoption. USCIS requires families pay an application fee, fingerprinting fee &, in some cases, 
a renewal or change fee.
Travel expenses $3,000-$15,000
Travel expenses vary greatly depending on the number of trips required, the number of people in our travel party, &
 the time of year that we travel. These expenses include airfare, lodging, meals & ground transportation, and visa’s. This expense will be lower if we decide that only one person will go to China (it will be more than half).

Total for Home Study: $3,700
Total for Holt International: $11,010
Estimated Total for Travel: $13,720 *

-Total cost for adoption: $28,430-
Cost to give a child a home: PRICELESS!

*Travel is close to half of the cost at this point because the grants we have received so far are from the agencies to 
be applied to their fees. Momma is going while Dadda stays home with Anthony 
but we are hoping to find someone to go with Momma as it's a tough trip to do alone! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lots to update!

Where to start? I just don't know....let's kinda jump back and forth here with all of our exciting news!

Anthony was baptized in NY this past Sunday! It was such a great service by Deacon Vic at St. Raphael Parish. It was such a beautiful ceremony and Deacon Vic was incredible. He even gave each child a letter to read later in life and he encouraged others to write a letter to Anthony as well. So many family and friends shared our day to include some yummy goodness at the International Delight Cafe for waffles and gelato. It was such a nice day and yes, here are some pictures:

He does his "thank you Jesus'"
Already had the sign of the cross down!

Look out world, here I come with the power of the Holy Spirit!!

This, turned into.....

....this....and lots more (he loved his fancy suit)!

So there it exciting!!!! Truly an incredible day. It's funny how many baptism's you've been to and then you have your own child's and it's not just beautiful anymore, but amazing!!! I pretty much had to stop myself from crying.

More news.......boy #2 has a name!!!! Yes, we can finally stop calling him baby Pell or the boy without a name! He will be Gabriel YanJia Pellegrino! Yup, the Italian names didn't make it and the Irish names didn't seem to have a chance (esp with such an Italian last name). It's not an easy task for two teachers to pick out a name. Anthony was easy because it was after Eric's dad.

And on more news...can't believe I didn't mention it yet (got so wrapped up in those ever so cute pictures). OUR PAPERWORK WENT TO CHINA ON FRIDAY!!!!! Woooo whooooo!!!!! It takes a  couple of weeks to be "logged in" but we now officially in the "waiting" stage! This is where we don't have much to do except literally wait. Our agency called last night and it was very exciting to hear that we can now request an update while asking more questions. I am very curious if he is still in a foster home. We can send pictures and even a letter to the foster family that they will translate for us. So we will do all of the above and we can't wait to get more information!

So is that all the news? NOOOOoooooo! We also found out that the adoption agency gave us a grant and the home study agency also reduced their fees. Once I get all the details I will post an update of the fees and reductions! yeah!!!! We still have tons of work on the financial side but every little bit (and big bit) helps! Thank you all for you continuous support and please remember to share, share, share and also use the Amazon link above!

Thank you and blessings to you and yours!!!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mom and Daddy...

Today was the very first time Anthony called me "Mom", not Momma like he was "introduced" to me in China and not "Omma" when he can pronounce the Mmmmm.....I kinda stopped and said what was that and he smiled and said "Mom"....had to give him an extra hug! This was after noticing yesterday that he referred to Eric as Daddy and not Dadda. Just watching the changes and "firsts" and enjoying it all!

Another "wow" yesterday that one of our guardian angels suggested I share. When we got Anthony in China and he woke up crying in the middle of the night or in the morning I would sing a simple made up song to him (keep in mind that Eric has ALL of the musical talent in this marriage). I would just sing, "Momma loves you, Dadda loves you, Momma loves her boy, Dadda loves his boy." Simple and at least - although not in tune - it was always in the same "notes". Anthony woke up yesterday earlier than usual and crying. I heard him through the monitor while I was in the shower and I jumped out and grabbed a towel running to his room. I picked him up and after a few minutes of him crying I started whispering the song in his ear. He calmed and we went about our day. About two hours later he was leaping from pillow to pillow on the floor and fell. He cried a lot (often common with orphans as they will over-cry some situations as a form of mourning). I held him tightly and he began to sing the song (& to Momma's tune). HE began to sing it! I sang along and he was soon settled. This kid is just amazing. He is smart and has an incredible memory (which I think will allow him to share about the orphanage as he gets older, some might feel it's better that he forget it but it is good for him to be able to talk about it when he is ready). This morning during breakfast he sang "our" song again :). Just incredible!

And yes exciting news on our second adoption: we received our approved i-800A today, YEAH!!!! In non-adoption terms that means we get it notarized and send it to our agency and they send our completed dossier to China!!! Yeah!!!! This will get things rolling (although slowly) in China - the part that takes the longest and has the longest time of WAITING for something to happen - but we get logged in and that is AWESOME!!!!

Thanks for checking in and stayed tuned as I try to figure out how to attach music to this blog as I heard a great song on the radio that is worth hearing!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Question: "Why not buy American?"

I like Facebook for many reasons (& I dislike it for many reasons as well). One reason I like it is for some of the articles that I may not have found otherwise (& of course I dislike it for this reason too). Since we began this second adoption my FB world has been extended to many advocates for adoption (which I love) and they are continuously sharing stories that are both heart full and heart aching. Here is a link of one that discusses the choice between domestic adoption and international adoption or to answer the question that a friend who adopted at the same time as us (from the same orphanage) was once asked, "Why don't you buy American?"

I’ll Tell You Why: Reflections on Domestic and International Adoption by Anne Louise Pass

I am going to paste the one part that really hits home for me.....the numbers touch every inch of my heart:

However, children in America need these opportunities as well. The most common argument against international adoption is that we, as Americans, have an obligation to take care of American children’s needs before the needs of foreign children. When I am confronted with this claim, after pointing out that one’s location does not define their personhood, change their basic human needs, or limit their right to be loved, I have two replies.

First, there are around 100,000 orphans in the United States compared to 167 million orphans worldwide. According to The Washington Post, there were over 600,000 women in America waiting to adopt in August of 2008. In other words, if every woman in America adopted one child domestically, there would still be over 500,000 women willing to adopt. However, even if these 500,000 women adopted internationally, there would still be a over 11 million international orphans needing care. Now, think for moment. In 2007, 78.4% of the United States’ population of 302 million considered themselves Christian. James 1:27 commands the Church to care for the widow and the orphan. If less than half of these 236,768,000 American Church members took this command to heart and cared for the child that God had placed in their hearts, there wouldn’t be an orphan problem, in the United States or anywhere else.
Second, in America, orphans are given food, clothing, education, and job training until they are eighteen. Children who are taken into foster care because of abuse and neglect are placed in foster homes with temporary families. They learn how to take care of themselves. This does not necessarily mean they are given the same economic or educational opportunities as children with permanent families, or the same opportunities to be loved, although many of them are. However, in Columbia, orphaned children are turned on the streets as early as ten years old. In other countries, children are typically turned away between the ages of sixteen and eighteen and have little to no education or job training. In fact, out of the 167 million orphans, 120 million will never receive any education whatsoever. About 60% of these orphaned girls will become prostitutes, and 70% of these boys will become criminals by the age of 18. 10-15% of these children will commit suicide before the age of eighteen. Every year, 1.8 million are forced into human trafficking, prostitution, or the pornography industry, and 11 million will die of a preventable or treatable disease. These children have no chance at improvement. While orphans here are struggling, orphans oversees are dying. And while there is a definite need for loving parents willing to take in American children, the need for international adoption has an even greater magnitude. In order to heal this festering wound in our world, millions must respond to all the issues, domestic and international. To say that parents who adopt internationally are wrong, ignorant, or insensitive towards the needs of our country is explicitly wrong, in every sense of the word.

Check out the full article using the link above and let your heart decide if we should only "Buy American"......
Blessings to you and yours.....thanks for checking in!