I'm sure that unless you've adopted yourself or know someone close to you who has, you might be wondering why adoption is so expensive. You're certainly not alone, and take comfort that Travis and I had the same thoughts before God led us down this path.
First, let me tell you what all the money is not for.
It is not a donation. We hear from many people what a good thing we're doing, how great it is that we're giving a child a family, etc. While all of this is true, adoption is about so much more than this. The blessing we will receive from this child will far outweigh the blessing we can give to him. We try to think of it more like paying a ransom for our child. Think of it this way: is there any price you wouldn't pay to get your child back? It's the same for us, we just haven't held him in our arms yet.
It is not a business. Adoption agencies, at least credible, Christian agencies like the one we work with, are non-profit organizations. They receive no funding from the government and nothing from the countries they work with. Their mission is simple: to join children with their forever families. The money we pay them is entirely for the processing of our paperwork, our homestudy, their in-country staff and facilities that will care for our child before we can, and advocating for our child and us to the Ethiopian government. I can't even tell you how much they do for us, especially while we were in Ethiopia.
It is not lining the pockets of corrupt government officials. I know all countries have their problems, and each country is different, but I feel confident that the international fee we pay to Ethiopia is going where it should. The money they receive goes to help run all the orphanages in country and to pay the MOWA (Ministry of Orphans and Women's Affairs) workers to process our paperwork as well help get orphans paper ready for adoption (meaning to verify that a child is truly an orphan and to obtain evidence to prove this so).
We decided that because we would be fundraising some of this adoption, we'd keep track of our expenses so you could see just where your money would be going. If you click on the Adoption Funding tab at the top, you can view a quick total of our expenses thus far. Please, please, please do not hesistate to contact me if you have further questions about any of this.