Monday, May 21, 2012

$142, or $315, or $2926

The boring stuff this week is the groceries:

This week, almost no shopping happened: my guy picked up $12 of coffee, leading to a 12-week grocery average of $142.  142 is interesting if you know it's the number of different ways to make a bunch of piles of 25 different things.  (Mathematicians call these groupings of piles "partitions", mostly because we like adding extra letters to confuse outsiders).
Average grocery spending over the past 12 weeks.

 Maybe, also, it's interesting to know we spent only $12 on groceries this week.
Total grocery spending, per week, each of the past 12 weeks.

But other exciting things are afoot.

Because this week we FINALLY completed our dossier to adopt a child from Haiti.  There's still a lot of work to follow -- immigration paperwork, trips to Haiti, more bureaucracy yet-to-be-specified.  But for now, let me just show you my favorite big expense of last week, which was getting "apostilles" (they're like the extreme version of notarization of documents).  We got 21 different documents apostilled; at $15/document, that means $315 just to get our paperwork stamped with the proper seal of approval.

Here is our adoption dossier, all ready to mail out (it'll go out today by super-safe, super-insured mail).  It has 25 different official documents in 11 different carefully labeled folders.  This dossier is full of a bunch of paper that is worthless, except as it allows us to move forward with this next adoption.  But assembling this dossier took 6 months.  And it also cost almost $3000.  In case you wonder how a 1.5-inch-high pile of paper could cost so much, here's the break-down.

Reason for Expense cost running total
register FBI clearance $68.00 $68.00
PA Child Abuse Clearance $21.00 $89.00
PA Criminal Background check $21.00 $110.00
California apostille $40.00 $150.00
Massachusetts apostille $12.00 $162.00
birth certificates--me $49.00 $211.00
passport photos--me $10.55 $221.55
passport photos--my guy $10.55 $232.10
med forms, notarized (Gen Internal) $32.00 $264.10
 background checks -K-daughter $20.00 $284.10
mental health check $620.00 $904.10
mental health check $65.00 $969.10
notary $40.00 $1,009.10
 background check -- C-son $22.00 $1,031.10
translation $525.00 $1,556.10
PA apostilles $315.00 $1,871.10
parking @ the courthouse $5.00 $1,876.10
homestudy and support fees $1,050.00 $2,926.10

In fact, with our trip last December plus our deposit on adoption fees, we've spent almost $9,500 so far, mostly subsidized by our church and friends.  Many other big expenses will kick in, in the future.  Adopting kids is NOT a cheap thing to do, despite what most people might think is "right".  In truth, doing right often means shelling out the dough.

So in other area of our lives (like groceries), we're towing the line.  Keeping expenses low.  Puting our money not in food (where our mouth is), but rather where our calling is.  


  1. Why does it have to be so difficult and expensive to give a needy child a home and family? I applaud you for all you do. I wish I was able to contribute to your efforts. May God bless you!!

    1. Ah, Rozy. It's one thing to believe we live in a broken world, full of sin. It's another thing to see that brokenness play out in specific ways, isn't it? Thanks for the blessings. We'll take all we can get! -- MM