Moan about money
Yes, I have been given a blog of my own. Just in case anyone wants to know what happens in the background when Hisself is busy farming.
The beginning of the year has been financial strain in more ways than one. To start with we took the children to the Xmas sales. No1 son looks more like a street urchin from Moscow than a normal teenager. First of all his is extremely thin, secondly his clothes fitted him about two years and and 20 cm growth ago. After two hours and patience of a saintly mother he had agreed to buy one pair of jeans and two tops. As a reward he was allowed to go into a bookshop. 10 minutes later he re-emerged with a bag full of books worth £89. Maybe I should make his clothes out of old newspapers......he might even agree!
My mother has made serious noises about dying lately, so I took the hint and booked a summer holiday in Finland. Seven return flights, a holiday cottage that sleeps 12 and a hire car [minibus]. I have not have the courage to tell the total to hisself yet, actually I have not had the courage to count it all up for myself either. On the positive side mum is beaming and has forgotten the dying act for the time being.
As soon as my first lot of spending was done I got a letter from school. Before Christmas I had agreed to a school trip [?] and paid a deposit [?]. Anyhow the reminder was now due. Could I write a cheque for £720. No, that is not the total, that is the figure per child.
Feeling skint and thinking that I could do all the damage at one go I finally filled in No5's citizenship application. For a baby it is £400. Having already paid £500 for her entry visa the words of Hague Convention: "no organisation should profit from international adoption, although they can recover their actual fees," sprang to my mind. Obviously governments are not included in this arrangement.
I can clearly see why people prefer to remain in the black economy and not declare themselves, even if they are entitled to citizenship. There is not only the cost of entry visa to consider. The citizenship application fee is high. The number of supporting documents is enormous. We needed 9 for a straight forward case. The "simple" form was 16 pages long and the helpline had no advice for adoptive parents in their guidelines, we should "fill it in the form the best we could".
As most applicants are from abroad the supporting documents must be presented with certified translations - each can cost up to £50. Cherry on the top is the cost of citizenship ceremony. Which family with a child or three can carry such cost - especially as you are fined £5000 if you get the paperwork wrong. As applicant you are neither given correct or indeed any advice, nor are your best efforts a simple mistake, you simply get accused of fraud without questions.
No5 is growing fast and we are due to send her first post placement report to China. As I mentioned in the money blog you have guessed right. We paid a private social worker to come and observe us for a few hours and then write about it. Then we paid for a translator to translate it all to Chinese. The DCSF will kindly forward the pile to China without a fee. So what should I do? Feel bad about the expenditure or cherish the free stamp the Government is giving us????
From the lines of the TV add: "There are some things money can't buy and for everything else there is the farm overdraft!"