Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"affording" adoption...

"My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him."

Derek Loux
{Click here to read their story.}

We cannot afford adoption.  Children cannot afford us to NOT adopt.  What are we to do?

We did not do any fund-raising for Anaya's adoption.  We applied for a few grants, none of which sent us any money.  We did receive a few donations of cash toward our adoption from friends and family, but most of the $40 ish thousand dollars were paid for by the sale of our land in Hamilton.  Completely worth it.  But...
When we felt God nudging us toward adoption #2, we knew we had NOTHING.  No home equity, no savings{at least not $25k, heck who am I kidding, there wasn't 1k for that matter!}we had no idea where that money would come from.  So we decided to go with a domestic adoption agency that asked for no money down, and had very low fees that we had to pay when we accepted a referral of a child!  That way we figured we could save up some money and go about it being "good stewards."

We started the year out with our "beans and rice adventure" and saved a bit of money.  We have 'cut back' spending on going out to eat, dates, sitters{this is when it stinks to live away from my mom,sisters, grama..!}, clothing,{Starbucks...I can't remember the last time I paid for a coffee!} etc... and we were able to pay for our home study, and all the 'little fees' that go along with that(ordering birth certificates for everyone, finger printing fees, mailing) to a total of about $2,000.  We were "all set!"  no worries, we had it under control.  We then decided to wait to save up more money and move ahead...

BUT...But God.  God laid it on our hearts to adopt a little girl with a special need{more on that at a later date} living in a foreign country!  Ummm God?  We don't have the money for this.  We didn't plan on it costing this much, this can't be what you want for us...that would cause us to go "in debt" and we are desperately trying to be debt free {and we were, save for Ryan's school loan, which is a post for another day...}  But after several months of prayer, we knew that this is what He had for us.  We decided that since it was HIS idea, we would take a GIANT leap of faith, step out of the boat of "financially secure, all of our ducks in a row, we have a plan..."  and go for it!
I wish I could say that the money came flooding in, that we asked and it was given.  It wasn't.  So, now what?

We opened a no interest credit card and put the next flood of fees on it (application fees, agency fees, USCIS fees, psychological exam fees, shipping fees, Hauge training fees, etc...) all of the 'big stuff'  that make international adoption so expensive, to the tune of around $5,000.

We decided to start some fund-raising efforts, to say we are humbled to do this is an understatement, {but...I for one, can always use a little more humility in my person.}  We also applied for several grants.  The next batch of fees needed to be paid in cash so we couldn't use our credit card.  We NEEDED God to come through, we had no other options!  To our surprise, we received the first grant we applied for through our agency for $1,000!  We also got several orders for shirts and coffee in the first few days.  {We have raised $350.00 thus far from our sales.}  We received a few cash donations from friends and were able send in our first Colombia fee of $1,750!  YAY God!!

Our dear friends set up a garage sale to benefit our adoption {read about that here.}  With the money we received from that sale and another small grant that came in, we have our next Colombia fee of $1,750 AND the post adoption report down payment of $1,200.{which we were unaware of, as it was not on any other paperwork..and it has to be paid in cash!} WOW!!  God usually provides, when we need it, but this time, we have the money in advance!  God came through big time!

Now, we are saving up for our attorney fees which need to be paid in cash once in Colombia which are $1,500.  We are hoping to do another garage sale in our 'hometown,' on September 10 & 11.  If anyone would like to donate to that sale, let me know, we'd be happy to take any of your stuff "off your hands!"
Then we will go on to save for the "misc. in country fees"  which are approximately $2,000.  Then there will be the biggie of our travel expenses!!!  The agency estimated that to be around $10,500!!! {I don't know if they figured our kids traveling too or not so it could be more!}  Yikes, I could hyper-ventilate just looking at that figure, but instead we are going to trust God.  We have several grant requests out there, some we know we will not receive anything from, since they never even responded to our request.  Some we are hopeful we will get.  Either way, we are not concerned.  This is God's child, He will provide!

It really all came down to what we value, we would love to own our own home, drive nice cars, have stuff.  Things that aren't bad, and things that people go into debt for every day, but we know someday we will stand before God and He is not going to care about our stuff.  So, while some may think us "irresponsible" for not being able to pay our daughters ransom {that is in essence what it is} or that our children won't have their college tuition paid for, we feel completely convinced that this is what matters most!