Financially, things are looking good: we have $3,333 in the bank for our adoption and should be hearing soon about a matching grant opportunity - hopefully next week! Big shout-out to Stephen and Ray for a partial roofing job that brought in $500! David and Ben helped out too (they definitely shaved at least a whole day off the job). Roofing a house during your winter break is an obvious sign of love and devotion. We have good family.
My mother and I have started working on something that should become a craft fair/silent auction of sorts, so if you have something to contribute, give me a shout! We'll also be doing another garage sale around the beginning of March. :-)
Another good bit of news is that the adoption tax credit has been made permanent. It's not a refundable credit, so you essentially stop paying taxes from your paychecks, and the amount you owe the government at tax-time is subtracted from the credit. Oddly, I feel better about this way of "getting something" from the government, as we're not receiving a pre-allotted amount of money -- we're just not paying taxes during the year we adopt. It also frees us to put that money towards our adoption at the time the costs are incurred, rather than paying it all and being "reimbursed" during the next tax year. We won't use the full credit, just for the expenses we cover out of our own pocket. Sound fair?
I have an overdeveloped need for fairness. I was, indeed repeatedly, told that life isn't fair. But oh well. We will continue to pay our regular tax amount for the next few months to get a better grasp on how likely we are to adopt this year.
Also some greatly-needed news is that my father will most likely have enough frequent flier miles to get all of us to Uganda and back!!! Talk about a load off! Apparently tickets to Uganda are not many more "miles" than tickets to Chicago... ? Companies are so weird. I've still included a one-way ticket for baby A, since we may or may not need to buy it - you don't always get a nice, long amount of time between when you receive your court date and when your court date actually is, which greatly affects the number of miles needed per ticket.
So here's where we stand:
Agency fees left: $3,500
Lawyer and court fee: $2,500
Orphanage services/humanitarian aid: $2,250
Baby A's visa: $230 (the Department of State lowered this fee by $174!)
In-country medical exam (required for visa): $100
Document mailing US-Uganda-US-Uganda, etc: $300
Immunizations: $400 (only a couple are expensive, but boy are they!)
Airfare estimate: $1,500 (one way for baby A)
Ugandan visas for 3: $150
Lodging for 30 days: $1,800 (we'll be there 3-5 weeks)
Food estimate: $300
Car service estimate: $1,000 (seems crazy expensive! but what are you gonna do with two little ones?)
Court report for re-adoption in the US: $500
Citizenship certificate: $550
Less our $3,330, we have $11,750 left to raise! [for reference; just 5 months ago, we had over $19,000 left to raise!!!] And remember, we still don't need any money until we receive the referral of our child (except for immunizations, which we obviously have the funds to cover). So nothing is terribly urgent; we're just slowly building up the pile, since, once we need it, we will use the whole $11,000 in just a couple of months' time! I CAN'T WAAAAIIIIIT! :D