Hey, do you know what’s tacky? Talking about money. Guess what I’m going to do! Talk about money.
Mostly because I feel like this is the type of unanswered/awkward question that people want to ask, or will ask, and also because once I started doing an inventory in my head I got really curious and wanted to keep going.
I think the assumption is, “Isn’t adoption expensive?” or “Doesn’t that cost money?” and the answer is yes? Maybe? No? Not really? The answer is actually “no”, “not really”, and “not necessarily.” As you’ll see, most of my expenses were because I’m picky.
This website does a better job than I will ever do at answering that question: http://www.adoptuskids.org/for-families/how-to-adopt/common-myths-about-adoption#money With that said, however, I thought it might be useful to break down exactly what this looks like for me, right now:
I attended two, three-day training sessions. These were free and food was provided. I paid gas to get there, because I live 45 minutes away, but I make a similar drive all the time anyway so this didn’t really impact me. I paid for a few iced coffees en route. I stopped at Target on the way home a couple of times, and might not have otherwise done this if I hadn’t been driving by anyway. I’m just being realistic for you all, because I think you can take it.
Cost: $0 + lack of self control.
I did a lot of paperwork and background checking. I got fingerprinted in a town about 45 minutes away. On the way I had to try a new coffee shop that had opened in said town, but I had a coupon. The coffee was free. It was also delicious.
I had my doctor fill out the medical form. With my insurance, I paid a $25 copay for the office visit, which I scheduled in regards to another issue just to make sure I wasn’t dying (I wasn’t. No more than we all are). If I had just scheduled the physical, this might have been free. Without insurance, I could have gone to the Little Clinic at Kroger and gotten a “Life Event Physical” for $45-50.
I lost, found, lost, and then found my birth certificate which I needed in order to get a replacement Social Security card. I went to the library and printed the application ($0.50 to print 5 pages) and drove to the office and didn’t want to wait so now I get to go back.
Cost: $0.50 + aggravation.
TOTAL COST FOR TRAINING/PAPERWORK: $25.50
ROOM #1 (also referred to as middle bedroom)
Bed: Top bunk from Josh’s set of bunk beds, free.
Bedside table: Black IKEA Lack table, $8, I BUILT IT MYSELF! I made a furniture!
Yellow desk: $30 from IKEA, I did not build this one myself. My dad did. I know my limits.
2×2 Expedit shelf: $40
Expedit bins: $6 each for three bins = $18
Black tiered curtains: $15 (?) each, $30 for two. Target. I’ll be honest, I have no idea how much these were so I’m guessing.
Blue lamp base: $12, World Market
Pink lamp shade: $10 (I think), Target
Chalkboards: $15 each times three = $45, from TJ Maxx
Chalkboard paint: $20 for a little can that still has a lot left
Beaded window-hanging-thing: $10, World Market
Jingly heart garland: $12, World Market
Garland: I made it, fabric and rope, approximately $20 at JoAnn Fabrics
Black lamp: Free, I think I got it at Target for like $8 back in 2008.
World’s happiest bedding: $80 for the set (comforter, sheets, pillowcases) at Target, I used a giftcard and a coupon code and ended up paying $15.
Stitch: Free, Amberly bought it
Star print: Free, Amberly bought it
Goofy animation cel: Free, already owned. (Fun fact: It’s an actual animation cel used in the cartoon. Other fun fact: It was probably $400 back in the day. It was a gift. It sells for like $150-200 now, so much for that).
TOTAL COST FOR MIDDLE BEDROOM: approximately $275
ROOM #2 (also referred to as nursery, bb room 2, crooked room, slanty room, circus room, etc)
Crib: Previously mine and previously Josh’s, free
Toddler bed: Previously Josh’s, free
Crib mattress: $70 from Target, I had a gift card and ended up paying approximately $20
Rocking chair: We’ve had it forever, free
Crib bedding and bumper: JC Penney – $60 for bedding set, $30 for bumper, after a coupon $80 for both.
Toddler bedding set: $70 at Target, and I had a gift card, so I paid nothing.
Red curtains: $10 each for four panels, $40 total, Target.
Pennant garland: $22, antique store
“You Are So Loved” print: $35, thewheatfield on Etsy
Frame for print: $20 at Kohl’s, this was AFTER a coupon, I can’t even begin to pretend this wasn’t outrageous and the frame isn’t even high quality but I was impatient and IKEA is too far away
Sticky gold flowers: $6 per box for two boxes at Target, $12
Blue rug: $20 at Homegoods
Yellow chalkboard: $12 at TJ Maxx
Stripey bin: $15 at TJ Maxx
Circle mirrors: $30 total at Hobby Lobby, I can’t remember how much they were individually
Quilt: My great aunt made it, free
One electrical outlet repaired and two additional outlets installed: $145
TOTAL COST FOR NURSERY: $451
MISCELLANEOUS OTHER THINGS
Lock box for medicines, pink: $20 from Walmart
Drawer locks: $5 or so for a box
Outlet covers: $3 for a box plus hand me downs from a coworker
Cabinet locks: $4 for one, second one handed down from a coworker
TOTAL COST FOR MISCELLANEOUS: $32
TOTAL COST FOR FOSTER/ADOPTION PROCESS SO FAR: $783.50 over the course of nine months*
I post this to show two main things, depending on how you look at it. One, this is not expensive. I have spent less than $1000 so far, so if you think that money is a necessity for fostering or adopting children, let’s just kill that idea right now. Also, that it doesn’t even need to be as expensive as I’ve made it (though obviously costs will vary depending on how many “free” items are involved). One of of my major costs was electrical work, which I wanted to have done anyway and which most people won’t need if they have bedrooms with more than one outlet installed. My other major cost was the fact that I had to pick out just the right bedding and decorate all the things. There are definitely cheaper options out there, and though I’m proud of how cheaply I put together two rooms that I personally think are charming, I can’t pretend that chalkboards and art prints are necessary expenses. You can also probably get a lockbox for less; I found some $12 options, but they weren’t pink and that was kind of a priority for me because I wanted to make a boring purchase like a lockbox into something fun.
*I just realize I have obliviously taken the exact length of a pregnancy to get my act together.