When I was little I can remember asking my mom why people say to never talk about religion or politics. As I got older I realized that my personality is such to want to go to those topics first and avoid small talk. I've always wanted to talk about deep things and to get to the heart of matters. Added to religion and politics, I have realized money is another thing people don't want to talk about.
When it comes to adoption, money has to be talked about. After we started the adoption process I started reading adoption blogs, all day every day. First, I was intrigued by how many adoption blogs there were! Second I noticed how many people who adopt fundraise. At first this was an odd thing for me. I can remember one of my sisters asking about this too. In my mind I thought, when I got pregnant I didn't ask anyone for money. So why is this different? As we started the paper pregnancy I quickly realized that the amount of money you need upfront for adoption can be enough to make anyone change their mind about fundraising.
If you wanted to adopt from China right now, the estimated cost is anywhere from $27,000 to $39,000, depending on if one or both parents travel and other factors. In our case, we added Lily to that cost, and we decided to take our entire family plus Adri (to help us with our five kids in a foreign country) to China with us. We wanted the kids to be a part of the entire process, and give them the experience to know where Hope and Lily came from so that they would have more compassion on them to aid in the bonding process. Our adoption of Hope and Lily cost around $60,000. You can go here and see the breakdown of why it costs so much. We didn't have that much money outside of our normal expenses that we already had for a family of five. So we sent out support letters and made cupcakes! The support we got from people was so precious and overwhelming. We had someone prophesy over us that the money would come from unexpected places. And we continually saw people giving us large amounts of money, some people we barely knew, others that we knew it was a huge step of faith to give away so much money. We never got more money than we needed....we always got just enough. God ALWAYS provided. I think in the end, towards that $60,000 we ended up receiving about $25,000 from people supporting us. INCREDIBLE!! Where would we have gotten that money???? I don't know. God provided! And Husband worked crazy hours, many times 18 hours a day, so that we could meet payment deadlines and such.
When we switched to special needs we never thought about escalating costs. Never. God protected our minds from being burdened by the natural and kept us thinking about Hope and Lily's destinies. Our first year home with them included many extra expenses. Last year Hope had 2 surgeries and Lily had 1. Of course we have insurance (about $900 a month for our family) but even still, the costs were great. Many times we were paying for traveling, hotels, meals, and extra x-rays, blood tests, sonograms, and such not covered. We must've made about 10 trips to Dallas for Hope's appointments and a couple to Cincinnati for Lily's surgery. And we spent about $3000 on Lily's teeth last year (we don't have dental insurance because we've always thought it wasn't worth it so if you think otherwise let me know a good plan). But God always provided. And we are grateful for family members who helped us last year with medical costs.
When we were going through the adoption it's hard to talk about finances. You don't want people to think that you are complaining or begging for money or for people to think why did you get yourself into this mess if you couldn't afford it! But since we are out of the process, I wanted to be very vocal about it. For others' sake. One of my passions now for the rest of my life now is orphan care. It's in my being deep!! And one of the greatest lacks I see is financial support for people who are adopting.
In our case, we did not lack support. We had SO many people give and give and give! We feel so grateful and so blessed. But I have heard from countless people who HAVE THE HEART to adopt, that they just cannot afford it. To me, the heart and calling to adopt is the hardest to come by! Money should be easy!
I realize that people already give to the church, to charities, and such. Many people have a child from Compassion International they support monthly. You may give to people like Joyce Meyer whose orphan care is outstanding. You may pay your neighbor's house note every month. But I am suggesting that you consider supporting adoption fundraising monthly. In the church I go to it seems like every few months there is a new family announcing their decision to adopt. Some of you may know Troy and Julie Stafford. They are in the beginning stages of adopting from Ethiopia. They are paying thousands of dollars every time you turn around just to meet deadlines. Others may know Rob and Christy Snellar, who've just announced they are adopting a little American girl next month! Such short notice because God provided this amazing opportunity for them out of the blue. And yet, in the midst of everyone's joy and excitement for them, each night they think about and pray for God to provide over $10,000 that is needed within 2 months!
Some other friends of ours, Caleb and Becca David have adopted two children from Africa. There second adoption mounted to over $50,000 because often times your journey to Ethiopia can be extended due to waiting on court dates and approvals. I know that they couldn't both stay in Ethiopia for that many months so Becca had to buy another flight home and such. Lots of expenses come up that are unplanned. And another friend of ours got to Russia and instead of adopting ONE child, the Lord directed them to TWINS! They were needing thousands of dollars by the next day, and they were in RUSSIA! Adoption is many things. It is life-changing, it is supernatural, it is precious and perfect! Adoption is also very very expensive.
My heart is that the Body of Christ would clear out the foster systems and orphanages of the world. It's possible you know. We heard that if 7% of professing Christians in the world would adopt then there would be NO MORE CHILDREN without moms and dads! No more orphans! SEVEN PERCENT! I don't believe everyone is called to adopt. But I do believe we are all called to orphan care. And a huge and effective way we can be involved is to give. $5.00 or $500.00! Anything!
So many of you reading my blog gave to us. We are so grateful. We could not have done it without you. I can remember coming home from China. A slew of friends were waiting at the airport to meet us!! A bunch of people had given our home an extreme home makeover!!! I know that I've heard it many times before from the pulpit and it sounds like such a cliche I know.....but WHEN YOU GIVE TO HELP CHANGE AN ORPHAN'S LIFE, YOU ARE PART OF THEIR ETERNAL DESTINY!. The people that gave us money and support and prayers for Hope and Lily have a part in their precious story of redemption!!!
So that's my bit about money. Anyone wanna talk politics or religion??