"This includes questions referring to what their parenting style is, the type of child they'd be comfortable with, health and life insurance, mental background, physical and criminal checks ... " Erwin said.
The results of the home study go to the country from which they are adopting and to immigration in the state where the family lives, because they must apply to bring the child into the country.
With immigration and adoption agency charges, plus travel, most are looking at spending anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 per child.
Erwin says if the family makes $209,000 a year or less, it qualifies for a federal tax credit and can get back about $11,400 per child.
"And a lot of employers nowadays have great benefits to offer employees who are adopting," Erwin says. "We recommend families do home equity loans, which is very similar to buying a car, with payments per month."
Unlike the Erwins, who have "Gotcha Day," a celebration of the child's birthplace, the Rutledges say they don't stress their children's birth countries.
"We talk about it openly, if something comes up," Mishelle says.
"And we fully plan to take family trips when they're older, if they're interested in seeing where they came from," Glenn adds.
Jimmy Smith continually thinks about how to decorate Phoebe's nursery.
"I've looked through some art from Guatemala, things like that, but nothing's really striking me," he says. He plans on picking up some decor when they make their trip, as a family, to pick up their new addition.
"It's important to me that she knows how much thought went into us getting her," Jimmy says. "We're starting a scrapbook for her, even of papers and documents, so she can see what all we did to get her. It's really important to me - to us - that she knows how bad we wanted her and how much we already loved her."
To contact Julie Erwin at Adoption Assitance, call (859) 236-2761, or log onto www.adoptionassistance.com. More information on adoption can be found on www.kentuckyadoptioncoalition.org.