Funding Adoption.

Want to hear something crazy?

Nine months ago, my husband and I decided to adopt. We had no money saved for a journey that we were told would be about $30,000 (and is actually going to end up being more than that…). We had just bought our first house a few months prior and used most of our savings up for our down payment. We both make modest incomes — Joel as a pastor and me as a very, very part-time piano teacher.

Some might have called our decision reckless or foolish (I’m sure, in fact, that some probably did!). We had no idea where the money was going to come from and I’ll be honest, it was scary and a bit overwhelming and kept me up many nights. We heard about these things called adoption grants and knew that adoption fundraising was common for people in our income-level, so we prayed and we trusted and we decided to go for it. Even if it meant spending years paying off loans, we knew it would be completely, absolutely worth it. International adoption takes so long, and we had been praying for a second child for years. Having just received the news that it wouldn’t be biologically possible without surgeries and drugs followed by fertility drugs, we felt God was calling us to a different path to grow our family. We would probably be on the waiting list for a long time — months, if not years — so we might as well get that home study out of the way and get on the wait list so our kids weren’t ten years apart.

We used what was left in our savings to pay for our home study. We were told the homestudy would take several months to complete. In the meantime, we had a garage sale and raised a thousand dollars. This helped pay off all the “extra” things home studies require that you don’t really hear about — physicals that health insurance doesn’t cover, Vital Records documents, etc.

Our home study was done in just about two months — sooner than we thought. Then we had to come up with almost a thousand dollars for our USCIS fees and biometrics. And wouldn’t you know, a dear friend donated the amount that we needed that week — and she didn’t even know that we needed that amount.

I spent about thirty hours filling out grant applications and we scheduled a few other fundraisers thanks to the generosity of many amazing, giving friends who are far more talented than we are so people actually pay them to do things — a 15K race, a piano concert, a photography fundraiser. We tightened our belts — Joel quit the gym (it was a love-hate relationship anyways), I quit bikram yoga (it was a love-hate relationship anyways) and Yaya quit ballet (she’s three — she’s over it). I signed up more piano students this past fall than I ever had before and got a second job writing parenting articles for The Bump. Joel subjected himself to medical tests at Bioscience Laboratories (they pay good money if you let them shave your arms and legs to help them figure out which razor blade is best). While we were on the waitlist, at least we could work hard to save and raise some money so that when our referral came, we’d be all set!

Three weeks after we had been on the wait list (and the day before our 15K fundraiser) we received THE CALL!  We were matched with a 2.5 month old little boy from the DRC.  Praise God!

And…holy cow, that is a huge bill we have to pay before they will even start our adoption process.

So that day — we took out a huge loan. No questions asked, no looking back. We had to get our son home and there was not a moment to lose.

One week later — we received a matching grant from Hand in Hand Adoption. The grant allowed us to match all the funds from our piano concert and photography fundraiser that we had scheduled months ago. Not only that but it was awarded to us the week before the remainder of our country fees were due.

A few weeks after that, we received another grant from Family Outreach for the next amount that was due with our agency — the exact dollar amount that we needed to pay that outstanding bill.

Lifesong for Orphans.Give1Save1. Muskego Church of Christ. Show Hope. JSC Foundation. Katelyn’s Fund.

As these grants and fundraising opportunities rolled in, friends and family and perfect strangers stepped forward to make up the gaps and donate the funds needed to maximize our matching grants. We were amazed and humbled as we watched it unfold. There were dark moments as I watched our personal funds dwindle after sending cases of formula to the orphanage or a dollar amount we thought we needed turned out to be so much more and I wondered how on earth we were going to get through. But God reminded us that He is in control. I remember feeling like the breath was being sucked out of me when I saw a donation come in from friends across the globe who donated the amount we needed to pay Baby Boy’s hospital bill — it was exactly $8 more than our bill. Wow.

Friends, I can now share with you the exciting news that we anticipate that all of our adoption financial needs have been met. Not only that, but we will able to pay off our adoption loan almost in its entirety. We are in awe of our God, and in awe of YOU. We stand before you humbled and in complete gratitude.

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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  1. […] adoption process, so if you’re an adoptive family you’ll find lots of resources about funding adoption, encouragement for your wait and candid confessions about life after adoption. Occasionally I even […]

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