Adoption is costly. Period. While I hate the concept of putting a dollar amount on a child, it is the unfortunate reality. Recently when John and I spoke on the topic of adoption at Mechanicsburg High School's Diversity Day, we shared this sample chart of agency fees for a healthy domestic infant:
American Indian $30-$45K
African American $24-$30K
We let them look at it for a few moments and then simply asked the question, "What jumps out at you?" And they got it. They were amazed at the high cost of adoption. We explained that this didn't even cover everything. There is the home study fee, agency application fee(s), unexpected medical fees or higher lawyer fees, possible travel fees, and post-placement fees. But they got something else, something even more difficult to accept. As one student put it, "It looks like the law of supply and demand." Yes. And so, so sad. We then shared with them that some agencies will even turn down a Black mother because they have no families willing to adopt her child.
So what it boils down to is this, most families who are called to adopt, do not have this kind of money sitting around. We are living fairly simple, yet comfortable American lives. We are not living extravagant lives, we're saving what we can. But even if we scrimped and saved for years, very few of us could afford the up-front fees of adoption. So we fundraise. We apply for grants. We borrow from here and take loans from there. We cut back on as many expenses as we can. And we ask for help.
My children have taught me so much about giving to others. I love to see a child take money from her "give" jar to help someone out and I am challenged when another child empties out his "save" jar to give sacrificially. It may only be dimes and nickels but it's all they have and was likely being saved for something special. Like the widow's mite, their sacrifice is blessed.
Through the years I have learned to give like this, too. What joy comes from giving to missions trips, adoptions, a friend who needs a pick-me-up, or just a gift to bless. I can wallow in the thought that I don't have anything extra to give but when it comes down to it, my comfortable American life means that I certainly do have something to give. If I pass Starbucks, do I have the money for a pick-me-up? If I need new sneakers, am I able to buy what I need? If we want to celebrate a family member, do we go out for ice cream? Most of us would say yes to all of these and I would say that means that most of us can give more than we do. When I listen to God's voice telling me to whom and when to give, I find that the blessing comes back to me. I especially enjoy anonymous gifts because then I know my heart was in the right place and I didn't expect anything in return.
Our adoption consultant, Tracie, had several guest bloggers post on her blog under the theme, "Why I give a boatload of money to adoption." Tracie herself wrote the last post and it can be found here. She recaps a time when she did the math, and found that it was actually the small gifts that added up to the total gift. That's what we need to keep in mind; if we give our widow's mite, God will bless it and it will multiply.
Tracie also brainstormed a unique plan whereby her families could spread the word about their adoption fundraising. It works especially well with the adopttogether website. And here's how it works:
You agree to share our adopttogether site on your Facebook page, or other social media outlet. You put a challenge out for 50 of your friends to each donate $10 or more. For added incentive, you could offer a prize drawing. Think of something you could make such as a special dessert, a knitted craft, a painting, or a small woodworking project (be prepared to mail it if someone from out of state should win) or if you're not feeling especially creative, you could purchase a gift card. Make sure you tell them to post a comment under your FB post so that you know who to put into your drawing. So, your Facebook post could look something like this:
Happy Mother's Day! My amazing and wonderful high school friend (you can insert descriptors of your choice along with how you know us), Cindy, and her husband John, are adopting a micro preemie, born on April 13, 2013 at 25 weeks, weighing only 1 lb. 13 oz. You can read their story at thekingzooandfunnyfarm.blogspot.com. Part of the adoption process is fundraising to cover agency fees, lawyer's fees and medical bills. Please join us in helping them out. They are using adopttogether.org/kingzoo to raise the needed funds and all donations are tax deductible. I would love to see 50 of my friends each donate $10 or more. If you do, I will enter you into a drawing to win a blue and green knitted winter scarf made by me. Just be sure to post a comment here stating that you donated so I know who to include in my drawing and do so by May 15. Thank you for loving the least of these.
It's that simple! Oh, and you can get it on our drawing if you are Facebook friends with John.
And we thank you. Little Victor thanks you.
We also thank you for remembering us in prayer...
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! We praise Him on the bad days and we praise Him on the good days. Yesterday was a great day. While still having several apnea episodes during the morning and early afternoon, they have graduated Victor to high flow nasal cannula. I can now see his precious little face and all of that beautiful black hair. This machine is much quieter and Victor appears much more relaxed and happier.
He weighs between 2 lb. and 2 lb. 1 oz. We are starting to see his legs fill out and his nurses were so happy yesterday to report that they see the start of butt cheeks. I'm told that when we see cheeks on both ends, that's a sure sign of progress. His skin is getting thicker and losing its transparent look. He is opening his eyes more and it appears as if he is trying to focus.
Feeds had been suspended to give his stomach time to heal from some reflux, but they started them again last evening. Skin-to-skin was also called off Friday since he had such a rough day but at 9PM yesterday I was finally allowed to hold him again - without the big 'ole CPAP mask!
Still no signs of any infection. Another big praise!