Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On Our Way...

For those who didn't already know, Chad and I were finally officially approved for adoption. I get lots of questions about what happens next and how long it takes and there is not really a simple answer for that. We are trying to adopt through LDS Family Services and with this agency, the birth parents pick a placement. So in short, the wait could be 2 month or 2 decades! It just depends. The most important thing our caseworker has told us is to spread the word. Most adoptions these days come from someone who know someone. That's where all of our friends and family come in. We would be more then delighted if everyone could help us spread the word! We have created "pass-along" cards with our blog, email, and way to access our profile through LDSFS. We have sent them out with our Christmas cards this year and if you did not receive a card and would like to, or need some more pass-along cards, feel free to let us know. We hope and pray that the more people that support us in this, the sooner we will be blessed with our little one.

We have also decided to start a new blog since this blog is not always dedicated to just our adoption news. Our cousin-in-law, Anna, has been wonderful and helped us create a cute background and button for our new blog. You can view our blog Here! There is a button that you can access and add on your own blog and website if you want too! I'm not sure what will happen with this blog, chances are I'll still add things here or there so don't delete it yet! Thanks everyone for all of your support and we wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Help Support Adoption!

I don't normally get involved in politics, but this issue is very dear to us. I don't know if everyone realizes how costly adoption can be. Fortunately, in the past the government has supported a tax credit for the money that goes into paying for an adoption. Come 2010 the tax credit is set to expire unless it's passed through Congress again. Please help us! Help support families and adoption! And please spread the word!



Private and independent domestic adoptions can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000, and expenses for intercountry adoptions generally total between $7,000 and $40,000. Domestic adoptions out of foster care are typically much less expensive, usually costing the adoptive parent $2,500 or less.

Congress introduced the Adoption Promotion and Stability Act in 1996 to “help families defray adoption costs.”

Unfortunately, while the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) made the adoption tax credit permanent, the provisions which raised the amount that adoptive families can claim and increased the income eligibility phase-out range will sunset on December 31, 2010. Thus, beginning in 2011, the amount adoptive parents will be able to claim under the adoption tax credit will revert to the pre-EGTRRA levels of $6,000 per special needs child and $5,000 per non-special needs child. Additionally, adoptive families reporting $75,000-$115,000 in annual adjusted gross income will again be restricted in the amount they can claim, and those reporting more than $115,000 in annual adjusted gross income will again be prohibited from claiming the tax credit at all. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to repeal the sunset and make the EGTRRA reforms of the adoption tax credit permanent.

At the center of this debate is a recent Treasury Report which found that parents who adopted children internationally account for a disproportionately large number of adoption tax credit recipients, while parents who adopted children from foster care represent a disproportionately small number. More specifically, international adoptions accounted for 34 percent of all adoptions supported by the tax credit despite making up only 15 percent of all adoptions in the United States, while domestic adoptions out of foster care made up 18 percent of adoptions supported by the tax credit despite making up nearly 40 percent of all adoptions in the United States. This finding has led some to claim that the adoption tax credit is not fulfilling a primary goal of promoting domestic adoptions out of foster care. Some advocates have suggested that the federal government should therefore eliminate the adoption tax credit and redistribute the funds saved to other pro-adoption programs.

The Adoption Promotion and Stability Act of 1996 had two purposes, first among which was “to defray adoption costs for families seeking to adopt” by establishing the adoption tax credit. The bill made no distinction between adoptions out of foster care and any other type of adoption.

Increasing subsidies to adoptive parents has been one of the most effective ways of boosting the adoption rate.

Most importantly, the EGTRRA provisions to the adoption tax credit due to expire in 2011 should be made permanent.

For 2009, the maximum adoption credit has increased to $12,150. This amount is phased out if your modified adjusted gross income is between $182,180 and $222,180. You cannot claim the credit or exclusion if your modified AGI is $222,180 or more.

For information on Special Needs Adoption Tax Credit for 2009 go to www.nacac.org/postadopt/taxcredit.html.

To take the credit or exclusion, complete Form 8839 (PDF), Qualified Adoption Expenses, and attach the form to your Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040A (PDF).

See irs.gov (topic 607 adoption credit)

“The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009, H.R. 213.” Written to repeal the sunset of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 with respect to the expansion of the adoption credit and adoption assistance programs. This legislation will make the tax credit permanent. Unless legislation is passed, the Federal adoption tax credit that allows many adopting families to take a credit of up to $12,150 (2009) is scheduled to expire in December 2010. (For information on other legislation involving adoption go to adoptioncouncil.org/policy/fed_leg.html.)

Help Make the Current Federal Adoption Credit Permanent by Writing to your Representative

Here is how:

1. Find the name and Washington, D.C. mailing address of your Representative and Senators at www.congress.org. To find e-mail addresses, click through to the Senator’s or Congressperson’s Web site.

2. Next, log on to http://thomas.loc.gov/ to find out whether your Congresspersons are already co-sponsors of the legislation. On the thomas.loc.gov opening page, under “Search Bill Summary and Status,” search by bill number for H.R. 213. Then click on “Bill summary and Status.” On the page that comes up, click on “Cosponsors,” “Text of Legislation,” or “All Congressional Actions” to follow the progress of the bill.

3. If your representatives have not signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, send them your request that they do so. Tell them how important the tax credit was to you when you adopted your children, or how much you and other families you know are counting on it to be available in the future.

Act today, your efforts make a difference.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Almost There!

I haven't done an update on our adoption progress in a while, so I thought I should, that's of course if anyone even still reads my silly blog! For those who don't know, completing a home study to even be considered as an adoptive placement is a long and often tedious task. When we first started, we plunged into it head first and were working hard to get things completed as fast as we possibly could. Lately, things have been moving a bit slower then we would like. I am happy to say, however, that the end is in sight. At this point we are just doing some waiting as we wait for Chad's birth certificate to arrive, our marriage certificate (that my parents had for some reason!), and my doctor's appointment to be completed (which happens on Friday). We also have to complete our letter to the birth parents that is part of our online profile. It may seem like a lot to still complete, but believe me, in the grand scheme of things this is nothing! Once these things are finally completed, our caseworker can write up the home study and work on getting us approved for a placement. At this point, it becomes a waiting game, but we know that what is meant to happen will happen in the Lord's time.

For anyone interested in doing some exploring in regards to adoption, check out the Families Supporting Adoption blog. It's a wonderful resource to connect with others who are experience the same things that you are. Also, my dear friend Melissa and I are working on a new blog specifically dedicated to infertility, adoption, and all sorts of "what ifs" that women face. It's just starting and between my work schedule and Melissa's, we haven't had much time to work on it, but check it out anyway! Check it out!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Different Trips to the Same Place

by Diane Armitage from April 21, 1995 Dear Abby Column

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guide books and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.

So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait-and wait-and wait. Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!"

After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."

"By BOAT!" you say. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.

It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.

Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with other who also traveled by sea rather then by air.

People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are about to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy."

You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And off we go...

Well it's official! Chad and I began the long journey to become adoptive parents! It started many weeks ago when we attended an orientation through LDS Family Services. We had prayed and thought long and hard about the decision and decided it was the right path for us. We knew that there were going to be lots and lots of challenges involved in it, including the cost, but we know that we will be able to overcome them and get through them. We turned in all of our paperwork and were eager to get started. Weeks went by and we finally got a call from our caseworker! Today we had our first intake appointment, put down our homestudy payment and off we go! There's more paperwork, more interviews, and tons more steps involved, but we're ready for the challenge. Our caseworker was wonderful to make such an effort this week to fit us in or else we would have to wait a few more months to complete our adoption training courses, which we start this weekend.

Words can't express how grateful I am for the help and support that we have gotten from our friends and family. We will forever be indebted to you and thank you for your words of kindness and encouragement.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Our New Little Project

Well as many may know, and I guess some may not, Chad and I have been looking into adoption to help us start up our family since the traditional way hasn't seemed to be working out so well for us. We've already done the initial paperwork and during orientation, it was suggested that we start up our own "adoption" blog. I'm hoping to find some time in the near future to start this up, but since I am sometimes lacking when it comes to creativity, I need some ideas on names and other fun ideas. I haven't seen any other adoption blogs and I don't know if I should just go ahead and use our current blog for it, so any ideas would be helpful!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Total Meltdown Courtesy of Hollywood

Well I realized that I haven't really blogged in a while, so I thought I would share this funny little story. Plus, I'm absolutely bored at work and can't write anymore court reports, service plans, and assessments or I'm going to go crazy! A couple weeks ago Chad and I thought that it might be fun to head to a movie just for the heck of it. After assessing what was out, we voted to go and see the new Nicholas Cage movie, Knowing.

I must say that I really enjoyed the movie, except for the part where it sent me into a major freak out like I haven't had in a while. The next couple days were spent with me analyzing and comparing parts of the movie to references to the last days, the plan of slavation, etc. I decided that this was how it was going to happen (I won't ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it!) and I was not even slightly prepared. This then led into my obsessivness with working on our food storage, 72-hour kits, and all that good stuff. In the last few weeks I have searched the Provident Living website probably more then most people do in a year, researched what we need to get in order to live for a year, figured out what I should be doing to have a three month supply, signed up for an Enrichment activity to make four 72-hour kits (2 for each car!), gone through my already existing 72-hour kit, counted and gone through our existing food storage, arranged with a coworker to go to the canary to work on my year supply, talked to everyone at work about my new hobby, considered getting a handgun to defend my supply in the event that people go crazy (which if anyone knows, I have always been WAY against owning a gun), and even called my mom to tell her that all I want for next Christmas and my birthday is anything related to food storage particulary one of those big Shelfreliance can shelves and a fire/water proof safe!

So I've turned into a crazy person, but I figure that at least it's something productive! I was talking to my supervisor/friend at work about it and he commented that he thought it was funny that all the Ensign articles, lessons at church, and direct words from the prophet to work on food storage and become prepared have no impact on me. But I see some totally fictional Hollywood flick and I'm sent into some major panic about getting prepared for the worst. Oh well.

Provident Living -My new favorite link!