I was going to call this post “The ‘F’ Word,” but then I had a dream about a baby and a toddler saying the actual “f” word over and over to me, and that disturbed me enough to call this post something a little more direct: “That Awkward Subject,” because what I’m about to write is awkward.
I’ve written about our longing to be parents and trying to conceive, and that wasn’t awkward for me. I’ve listened to women talk about fallopian tubes and cycles and tests and injections, and that wasn’t awkward for me (well, most of the time). I sat in a training class and listened to all sorts of things about fostering and adopting, including a whole lot of personal stories from couples who have been fostering for a long time, and that wasn’t awkward for me (ok, so maybe for a few minutes, things got a touch awkward – or at least uncomfortable – in that room, but I’ll save that for another post). But this. This is awkward for me.
So, here we go …
the “f” word …
We trust that God called us to adopt, and we’re stepping out in faith, trusting that He’ll provide. Private adoption is very expensive. DSS adoption is very affordable, and it’s still what we believe to be part of God’s plan for us – but just part of it, not the whole plan. As I’ve been searching Pinterest late into the night for fundraising ideas that actually work, I’ve come across blog posts that have made me doubt that fundraising is the right approach, posts that made me cry and feel insecure, posts that led me to pray and talk things over more and more with Joseph.
I went to God with some tough questions, and I’ve been examining my heart.
“Is it wrong to ask people to help us pay for our adoption? After all, if I were pregnant, would we be fundraising to pay for the hospital bill?”
“Am I putting our future children on display in a way that would be hurtful to them later on down the road? Am I using our future children to manipulate people to donate money?”
“Do I feel entitled to other people’s money to help pay for our adoption?”
I’ve been a little all over the place with my answers to these questions and how I feel about everything. One day, I start doubting that private adoption is the right path for us. After all, DSS is still an option. The next day, we’re standing in the driveway crying happy tears over an unexpected, generous financial gift from a friend. So, maybe God was affirming we’re doing the right thing. Then, we haven’t had any responses to a dresser we painted and posted for sale. Doubt again. Then something else happened that encouraged me. But our first official fundraiser was a FLOP. Tears. Oh, my fickle, fickle see-saw of a heart.
So, here’s where we stand on fundraising, even if I have to remind myself of this when my heart doesn’t remember:
1. God has a heart for orphans, and He has called ALL believers to care for orphans (see James 1:27). For us, that has included praying for other families who have adopted and supporting financially when we can, sponsoring children in other countries, going on a mission trip with our church to help an orphan care ministry in Mexico, and, now, pursuing adoption ourselves. For other believers, that may look different. Because we believe God has called many believers to care for orphans financially, we believe fundraising for our adoption is both OK and an opportunity for others to step out in faith in a different way than the way we’ve been called to step out in faith. Watching fellow believers respond to God’s leading in their lives by giving toward our adoption has been a beautifully sweet and humbling experience. God gets all the glory!
2. James 1:27 does not mean God has called every person we know to contribute to our adoption. He isn’t leading everyone to fill up their cars with items to donate for our yard sale. He isn’t leading everyone to buy Mary Kay, a keychain, or a painted dresser. He isn’t leading everyone to send us a tear-inducing check in the mail. He just isn’t. And that’s OK, too. :O)
So, with those two things in mind, the subject of fundraising for our adoption doesn’t have to be awkward. In fact, we’re choosing to put as much “fun” in fundraising as we know how. (So far, that hasn’t been as much fun as I had hoped, so if you have any ideas … haha!)
Before I get into the fundraising plans we have at this point, I’m going to address the question that you’re all dying to ask: “How much money do you need?” Well, we don’t have an exact number at this point. The range could be anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 for a private adoption. We’ve been encouraged by a couple of people that it’s possible to land on the lower end of that range, so that’s our goal. We still need to talk through the numbers with our agency. We’re aiming for $10,000-$15,000, but we trust that God will provide if we need to be at the $30,000 end for some reason (I don’t know enough right now to know what that reason would be).
“So how do you plan to raise that much money?” I’m so glad you asked!
1. We’re organizing a yard sale and bake sale for April 18th, and we’re praying it will be successful! I know yard sales are hit or miss. We’re accepting donated items for both the yard sale and the bake sale (feel free to wait until much closer to April 18th if you want to donate baked goods!) to combine with items we have to sell. Anything that doesn’t sell will be donated to our local Miracle Hill thrift store.
2. I’m making items to sell in my Etsy shop (which is almost empty at the moment …) and at a local craft fair or two or three. If you know of any craft fairs coming up, please let me know!
3. We’ve been purchasing furniture pieces to paint and sell. That’s actually been a lot of fun for us to do together! We have a few pieces that are almost ready to hit the market, so keep your eye out for them (or don’t … I’ll love you either way – promise).
4. We’re going to be applying for adoption grants. I still need to research the grants that are available to us, but we’re planning on applying for as many as we can.
5. We may have an online auction at some point, but we’re still noodling on that idea.
So, that’s the plan for now. There are SO many fundraising ideas out there, but we’re trying hard not to be super annoying with our fundraising requests. If we do get annoying, it won’t hurt our feelings if you hide us on Facebook for a season. Just be sure to check in every once in a while to see what God’s doing in our adoption story.
I’m not including this last part as an afterthought. I’m sincere. More than money or items for our yard sale, we really would appreciate your prayers for our adoption. Pray for us, that we’ll see God’s leading very clearly. Pray for our children and for their biological families. Pray that God will provide the finances we need. Pray that we don’t miss God in all of this, that our focus will always be on Him and not the ever growing to do list. Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, and encouragement. I look forward to telling our future children all about you one day!
Hi, everyone! If you read this post, you know we were praying about which adoption route to take. Our options were 1) continue with DSS, 2) pursue domestic private adoption, or 3) pursue both DSS and domestic private adoption.
After prayer, many conversations with each other, and talking with some friends who have adopted, we made a decision! We’re going to continue the application process with DSS, and we’re starting the application process with a local private agency. We felt at peace as soon as we made the decision, and we’re excited about moving forward! While there were many options we could have considered, including some we may pursue in the future, this decision is a good fit for our family right now, and it seems to be the way God is leading us.
So, if you’re wondering what the journey looks like for us, this is all I know right now: We’re signed up for three training sessions with DSS, spanning from tomorrow through mid-May. During that time, we’ll complete our in-depth application for DSS. Once we’ve completed training and the application has been submitted and reviewed, we can schedule the fire marshall’s walk-through, the DHEC walk-through, and our home study. IF all goes well, we MAY be able to complete the DSS application process by the end of summer. We’re prepared for it to take a few more months longer than that. Then the actual waiting period will begin. We’ll see!
As for the private adoption process, we’re still learning what is involved. I’m waiting on a phone call to clarify something before we submit our application. I know we need to complete a profile book introducing us to birth mothers who may want to consider us as adoptive parents for their babies. The book will include photographs sharing everything from our families to our hobbies. Depending on the timing of everything, the agency will either accept our DSS home study or we’ll need to have a separate one completed. Also, we’re going to need to fundraise. We don’t know what the final cost will be, but we have a ballpark number. I’ll share more about that later.
That’s all we know for now. I’ll share more as we learn along the way! Thank you all so much for praying and encouraging us. We appreciate you!
If you read my last post, you know I’ve been struggling with a few things, mainly with the avenue we’ll be taking to adopt. I was praying for clarity and peace while I was on our church’s women’s retreat over the weekend. Thank you all for praying with and for me!
Friday night, Whitney and Lauren taught us a new worship song, I Shall Not Want by Audry Assad. God spoke to me through the prayer-like lyrics, and the chorus has been with me for days.
As soon as I heard the chorus, God reminded me of something that was already floating around in my mind: When He puts our family together, when I taste the goodness of Him working in our lives, when I experience the joy of God singing over us as we sing over our babies, I shall not want.
It’s going to be a beautiful moment.