I have said before how glad we are that in this adoption we are walking a well worn path. A path forged by thousands of families who have said, "Yes Lord" before us. We are even more fortunate to count a few of those families as our good friends!
In following some of our friends' journeys to their little ones, reading their blogs and facebook pages, and, in being an advocate for Reeces Rainbow there are two questions that I've seen families have to answer time and again. The first is always something similar to: If you have to fundraise to adopt, can you really afford another child, or, shouldn't you wait until you can afford to adopt before you adopt (something along those lines). This is the question I want to cover in this blog. The second question is a little harder, "Why international adoption, don't you know there are plenty of kids that need good homes here in the US?!" I want to cover the second one from our hearts soon but wanted to get to the first one first, because, well we're in that place right now of having to fundraise to cover most of our adoption expenses.
I want to say first of all that I know when most people ask this question they're not being mean or nosey. Most have never really thought about the cost of an adoption. Most people know, at least remotely, someone who has adopted. But, often you're not aware of the process and the huge financial output that is required. I want to be totally transparent when it comes to the money part of this adoption and that's why I decided to write this blog. Most adopting families have written similar blogs. We want people to understand the costs and why most of us fundraise them.
For Steve and I, adoption was not in our immediate plans so we had not been saving for it. I saw our son on a Friday, on Tuesday we emailed the agency to let them know we wanted to move forward. If you haven't read Our God Story you might want to start there. But, in all honesty even if we had known we'd be taking this step soon we would have been very hard pressed to save up $25,000+ and most families are the same way.
We live in a culture that accepts that most major purchases are paid for on some kind of credit. Most people I know could not buy a house without a mortgage or a new car without a car payment. Most Americans have credit card debt, student loans, personal loans etc. and we don't think twice about it. We have a mortgage and student loans. But, no one asked me when I decided to return to school to get my Masters degree if I could afford it. No one blinked when I mentioned student loans. Yet, a lot of people think that only families with the money on hand to adopt should move forward.
With no question in our minds, we can afford to raise another child. We have room in our home, we have the income to meet the needs and many of the wants of two children. We're even skipping the most expensive first two years of a child's life by bringing home an older child! But, no, unfortunately we don't have the cash on hand to cover the majority of our son's adoption.
But, I think of it this way. If Nicholas were kidnapped and held hostage I would do almost any thing to come up with the money to pay his ransom and bring him home to us. Nick's brother needs to come home, he needs a family. He's waited over 5 years for a family, we wouldn't dream of making him wait any longer while we tried to come up with the entire ransom ourselves.
We are working to raise the money. We have an Auction going on right now on facebook. And, our Adoption Bug Tshirt Fundraiser just went live about an hour ago. We also have a friend who is doing an Origami Owl fundraiser for us. And, that is just the start! We have been so abundantly blessed since starting this process by family and friends and friends of friends who have stepped up and offered to help us, who have donated to sow a seed into our adoption.
I am actually thankful for our need to fundraise because I get to watch God work through his people. Though I admit a part of me does wish I just had that kind of money laying around and all we had to worry about was paperwork and travel dates!
Right now we are working on getting officially committed to our son in his country. To send our commitment paperwork over we have to pay our first set of agency fees which are $3500.
During this same time we will be starting our homestudy, a process which will take about 12 weeks and cost $3300 (spread over three payments).
We do want to be upfront and let anyone who gives to us know, right now this is not a 100% sure thing. Something could come up to stop our process. We don't foresee any thing happening, but, its always a possibility. At this point anyone that chooses to give to our adoption fund is taking a leap of faith with us. If you compare adoption to a pregnancy, we are in the early stages of the first trimester. We are filled with hope and joy and happiness. We have faith that God has said this is our child and trust that He will provide. But, just like with a pregnancy there is some uncertainty, and nothing is guaranteed until we have our son home.
We'd love to have you step out on faith with us!
If you are not interested in any of our fundraisers but would like to give towards our adoption you can use the ChipIn on the right hand side of the blog or message me for our address at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to mail a check.
Every $1 adds up and gets us a step closer to bringing our son home. If you can't give we'd love to have you cover us in prayer and maybe share our story on your social networking sites.
~Steve and Brooke