"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why the High Cost In Adoption?

We have found so many people shocked at the expenses of adoption. We had that initial shock and backed off of the idea for a year- we were scared of the cost and hid from our heart's calling. But then God just called us even louder and we came out of our safe comfort zone and said yes..we hear the orphans cry. For reasons I do not know or understand, international adoption is usually less expensive than domestic adoption. After reseraching tons of agencies we have found that most are in the same total price range. Different countries have higher or lower costs than others. India is on the higher side of program costs. Many ask, "Why should there be such a high price on an orphan?" Everyone is afraid of corruption but we now see that here are so many people involved in adoption services. We are paying for multiple judges in India-our papers have to go to multiple courts, lawyers in India, the program coordinators over there, TONS of paperwork and clearences, orpahnage fees/donations, it's basically red-tape galore to make sure that the children get to where they should be safely and orderly. It is alot of money but when broken down into where does it all go...it does all go to getting a child a home- no funny stuff.
The good news is that there are many adoption grants available to families needing help with the financing of adoption. We are applying to many of them and have high hopes of receiving some grant money.
Many of our friends and family are rightly concerned about an adoption nightmare: a heartbreak & loss of money. We chose an agency that if anything happened to this adoption with Sova- if for some reason we were rejected in the Indian courts- our agency and country fees would not be lost- we would then choose to have a new refered child from Inida or we may pick a different country to adopt from...they would simply tranfer our fees over. We are confident though, that Sova's adoption will be smooth.
As author John Piper says, "The enchantment of security, the myth of safety, the fear of the unknown, things beyond our control, paralyzes us from taking risks for the cause of God. Risk is right. There is no promise that every cause of God will suceed-but to run from it is to waste your life."

*I found this mans blog that may help...
Posted on March 2, 2009 by randybohlender
The most common objection we hear about adoption involves the cost. It seems a lot of people have a heart for adoption but not the stomach for the cost. While some fees can be avoided (that’s a long post for another day), adoption is often expensive. That said, I’ve never met an adoptive parent who regretted plunking down the money either.
What most people are feeling is inadequate when it comes to raising the funds. Their fees might range from $15,000-$35,000 but it’s essentially immaterial. To a family living month to month, $15,000 might as well be the size of the government stimulus package. Anything more than they have is out of reach….except for a few important details. God has all the silver and Gold. God likes adoption. A lot of people like God. Those people and God talk…see where this is going?
If you’re looking towards adoption but wondering how to pay for it, let me give you a couple of suggestions on fundraisers.
Think big.
Often times, people go the bake sale and car wash route. Unless you’re planning on washing every car in your city at a hundred bucks a pop (and charging extra for trucks), you will ever wash enough cars. And as for bake sales, even at a dollar a muffin, can you sell thirty thousand muffins? The surprising truth is that it doesn’t take much more work to do a large scale dinner or auction than it does to do a car wash or a bake sale…but the return on your work will be a hundred fold.
For our first adoption, we held a benefit dinner. My first inclination involved a bucket of chicken and a case of bottled water. My smart wife and our friend convinced me this wasn’t the best idea. “Hokey” I think was the word they used. We ended up catering a $25/person meal at a nice restaurant in a fun location. We sold tickets that let people pick their price - $50, $75, $100, $250 and up. I don’t think we sold a single $50 ticket. Most were $75-$100 with plenty that sold for more than that. We raised $13,000 that night. You’re not going to do that on your best car wash….
Think broadly.
It’s too easy to think “We don’t know anyone who would help us adopt….”. You need to think beyond who you think might help you to every living soul you’ve ever met, and their rolodex, and their friends’ rolodex. We got the word out using the internet, word of mouth, and mailed invitations. We also gave a stack of invitations to the connector types in our world - the kind of person who can’t get through a restaurant without talking to five people. Those people really delivered for us.
There was a second wave of people who heard from friends, and in the end, a significant chunk of our first adoption’s finances came from strangers. I can’t speak strongly enough about the importance of blogging your adoption journey - when you’re back against the wire, people you do not know who have followed your story will step up and help financially because they want to see this story to completion.
Think boldly.
You are not asking for a birthday present for yourself, or even a trip to Disney for your child. You are asking for help in changing the life of a human being for eternity. Anyone with any sense will know that even with an expensive adoption, the long term cost of raising a child far outweighs the upfront expenses you’re trying to cover. You are the one taking the majority of the workload - getting the baby home is just step one.
Thinking boldly means asking for specific amounts, through specific ticket costs, etc. The agency will not ask you to ‘do whatever you can’….they’ll have a solid number. Granted, you’d take $10 from someone as quickly as you’d take $10,000, but the people you’re asking for help from need to know that the numbers have five digits, not two.
Most people are looking to do something commensurate with the need, not the minimum they can get by with. That’s why so few people bought $50 tickets - once they saw what we were really needing, most of them stepped up further than they would of had we been vague about it.
It is not easy to raise the necessary funds, but it’s doable. Don’t let fear stop you from doing what is right. Life depends on someone’s willingness to step beyond fear into the heroic.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Little Sova

I have not slept good in 4 days...the feeling is the same feeling that I felt the night I got engaged to Mike and after finding out that I was pregnant w/ both of the boys. It's a rush of excitement that leaves my brain spinning. Why this exciement? Let me explain...
The last few months we were checking out various adoption agencies and getting pretty discouraged because almost all of them have a parent age requirement for India of 30 yrs. This is probrably the one and only time that I was mad that I was young. We called many agencies and asked if they give any exceptions - apparently not- we got shot down by every agency except one. They said if we would be open to a special needs child or child over 6 yrs. they would consider us on a case by case basis. We were OK with this so we stated our "case" (married 6 yrs, have 2 kids, open to older child or certain special needs, and we plan on one-day be living in India.) I also mentioned that we would be open to the children in the email that the coordinator sent me (10 pics of children nedding homes fast.) She asked which ones and I gave her their names. They were all healthy 3 year olds so I knew that there was no chance in that, but just wanted to beef up our case. I was told that our "case" would be sent to India and we would hear back in 3 days! Well you can say that we spent ALOT of time praying for India to have Favor upon us- as did some of our family (thanks ladies!)- and it just so happened that the exact time that my cousins and aunts were praying for the adoption at their prayer meeting I got an email- a day early from India- Not Only giving us an exception but Acceptance on adopting one of the healthy little 3 yr olds! They sent us her pictures and records including her personality, and medical records. I was shocked. This does not happen in adoption process', couples wait a year for a healthy child referal, and not to mention if your under 30 you dont get one! We had a day to get back to them but like Mike said, "What's there to think about?" We accepted little "Sova" and she is on TEMPORARY Hold for us until we send in the initial fee of $4,250. Once that money is in we can sign papers for our Oficial acceptance of her. What comes next is a long process of alot of fees and even more paperwork. After the second fee of $11,900 is in, we can go to India within 6 months to bring her HOME! The prices and paperwork is enough to make any light hearted one faint. We believe God did a miracle in bringing Sova to us and we know He will do it again w/ this large task ahead of us. So that is the reason why I am so excited that I can not sleep. :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Why India?

Why We went internationl:
For us it just made sense. We both have had India on our hearts since our yr. 2000 mission trips and we plan on eventually living there as missionaries. We love India, the people are so warm and beautiful. The country is so interesting.
Many people have shared their hopes that we adopt a child from the states, which makes sense...this is our country. There is a need for US adoptions but after researching adoption our eyes and hearts fell upon the countries where it is an actual crisis. We were able to watch a few adopton documentaries and have seen orphanges lined from wall to wall w/ cribs of lonely chidren- reaching for the camera man as he passed by. It is the norm to see orphans wandering the streets in many countries. Of course w/ millions of orphans the burden is overwhelming- I know it is a cliche but, it really does make a difference in the life of one child...wonder if it was you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Our Adoption Story...how it all began

Over this past year Mike and I have been praying about adoption. I read a book about a family that adopted from Romania. Their description about what they saw...the desparation of the young children broke us. I have to repeat the story because this is how our adoption story began: An american college student was helping out at the orphange. Her first job was to keep a dozen three year old's seated on their little pottys for 15-20 minutes. Heather pulled out of her bag a tape player and began to sing along while 12 sets of little eyes stared in amazement. Bending down, she spoke the words to each child as she touched them and kissed each little face. As she moved slowly down the row, tiny hands began to reach out, aching for her anticipated touch. An orphanage worker burst into the room and had Heather stop the music and move the chilren on. The children who were waiting for their kiss and personal touch began to wail. She realized how much this small sign of affection meant to the children and she ignored the worker and continued on, embracing the children until each one had been touched.
I put the book down and thought about my own 3 year old. I pictured Jacob sitting there on his potty...arms reaching out, tears falling... all for one quick touch. After that book, everytime I rocked Caleb to sleep I would think...wonder if Caleb was one of the 210 million orphaned children...who would rock him to sleep? Needless to say, we started looking into adoption and never looked back!