Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mini Van or VW Bus?

Hubby and I have made some decisions regarding our family planning. We're going to seriously pursue adoption, like hardcore. We contacted the Idaho Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization that does the homestudies for the State of Idaho and for many area adoption agencies. They turned out to be a really interesting organization, in typical Idaho style they don't just specialize in one area but they do everything from adoptions to actually taking in troubled youth to live at the Ranch. They use horses as therapy for the kids there, as well as many other programs. Interesting.

Anyway, the lady in charge of adoption there was quite helpful. Adoption has so many different choices it can seem really overwhelming. Do we do international adoption? Do we go with an agency? Which one? How do we handle the legal end of things? Can we afford all the fees?

Of the hundreds of options open to us, we have narrowed it down to a couple choices. We know we want an infant. That means we probably should not go with foster care since most of the kids in the foster care system are older than two or a sibling group. We want to stay domestic rather than international, but we're open to taking a minority race, as long as the child is healthy. We probably aren't willing to take in a special-needs child at this point. The Idaho Youth Ranch works in conjunction with a Catholic Agency that finds Idaho families to adopt minority newborns from Louisiana and Texas. The Idaho Youth Ranch does the home study and acts as the contact between the families and the agency. Because there are so many infants in that area who need families, the waiting period is much shorter, about 4 months on average.

This would put our timeline at late next spring to get our baby, likely an African-American. About the same as if I was pregnant. Having done the homestudy once before really helps in knowing what to expect. For fees, we need to pay $800 for the homestudy then set up a payment plan for the agency fees. An adoption tax credit can help offset these fees.

Walking downtown today I suddenly realized we're going to have to get a larger vehicle. Once your family grows to three kids, a standard car just isn't big enough to accommodate all the car seats. Curly thinks we ought to get a minivan, the sooner the better. All of her friends' families have them, why not? Hubby and I, on the other hand are toying with something a little more fun and frivolous.

Either way, we'll need to get a bigger vehicle by next spring. I hope our car gets a good trade-in!


  1. I think we are probably done with two. One I LOVE not being pregnant and two I'm very attached to my car and it wouldn't work with more kids. Not to say that having more kids hinges on my love of my car but we really do feel like we are done.

    I will be praying for your family as you prepare!

  2. I think you know when you're done. Or when you're not. I feel like we're not... we both really want more kiddos. :) But other families are good with fewer...that's cool too!

  3. We love our minivan. And it's nice for hauling lots of stuff, too! ;)

    God bless you as you go down this road. Oh, and I've heard from AA people on adoption issues that they recommend the adoptive parents seriously consider going to a hairstylist who knows how to handle AA hair. I guess they have seen too many adopted AA children with bad hair styles or whatnot.

  4. Get a Mader! :)

  5. I definitely have considered this and I plan to find the first African or African-American hairstylist I can to get some lessons. No frizzy mops here! They make a lot of really great products now and I plan to find and use them.

  6. Uhm, no. If you knew my dad, you'd know just how close to reality that comment really is. :D

  7. Once you have a fun, you'll never want to go on a long trip with your kids close to you in a regular vehicle :).

    Sounds like you got some good answers and an direction to go in! Woo Hoo! - Jilann

  8. You crack me up! A VW??? Ha ha... But, they don't have all the safety features a newer vehicle would have but I was not surprised that you are researching a VW!!!!

    I know, down here with lots of AA kids in foster care I was always talking to my neighbors about how to do their hair if we got one placed with us. Down here there are tons of places to go. I'm sure if you do get an AA kiddo you'll find someone who is quite capable of doing their hair AND teaching you!

  9. If you are considering a VW bus, get one between the years of 74 and 79, also called a "Baywindow" bus. The baywindow transporter can haul 8 adults comfortably, and also has the option of shoulder belts for securing carseats and children. Other safety modifications are; Front retactable seat belts, H4 headlights, proper tires (Hankook RA8's) etc...
    To familiarize yourself with VW's, and also a great buying guide, check out Richard Atwell's website,
    For listings of VW buses in your area, check out the Samba at
    Best of luck in your adoption!
    M Kaiser

  10. I love my toyota Sienna! the doors that open automatically are awesome!!!