Someone asked me this question on my blog a few months ago. I think a lot of people wonder the same thing. Why are we adopting if we can’t afford it? I know that it bothers some people to see others asking for money. After we lost Lucy we were given the option of doing IVF. We still have the choice to do IVF and implant a kell negative embryo and have a normal pregnancy, but the cost is outrageous. I was shocked when we found out how much it would cost us. It was almost $500 just to go talk to the reproductive endocrinologist about our options (without any testing done.) Almost $500 for a conversation. Actually, all of our options after losing Lucy have been very expensive ones.
People who suffer with infertility issues are faced with this problem, and many of them don’t have any children at all. What if it cost you $20,000 just to have one shot at a pregnancy? People with money are not the only ones who deserve to be parents. It is heartbreaking to have to face infertility or baby loss, but the added financial strain is extremely difficult and adds to the stress of the loss.
We have always wanted to adopt, but haven’t pursued it before now because of the cost. After we lost Pax in October we asked God what He wanted us to do. We were so heartbroken and tired of losing babies. We felt like He was telling us to adopt. I pretended I didn’t hear Him. How could we possibly afford a $22,000 adoption? So we waited and prayed some more and God told us again that we were supposed to adopt a baby. It took about three months for me to finally decide to just trust Him and go for it. When we sent in our adoption application we had $100 in our adoption savings account! Talk about a leap of faith.
Now I am embarrassed when I look back and see how hesitant and fearful I was at first. I never doubted that God could provide the money for us, I was just too proud to do what it took to get the money. I am very independent and I don’t like asking people for help. I COULD NOT FATHOM even asking people for donations for our yard sale, let alone starting a Go Fund Me account. If it were up to me, I would not ask anyone for anything and I would keep most of our adoption process a secret and after we got our baby I would say, “Hey guys, we adopted this beautiful baby! Isn’t God good?”
But God’s way is better, even though it’s often harder. If our adoption story played out the way I wanted it to, we would have missed out on so much, and other people would have missed out too. And by the way, if your adoption story has worked out like I wanted ours to — completely self funded and private, there is nothing wrong with that at all. It is just not what God called us to do. God has taught me many lessons over the past six months since we started the adoption process. He has humbled me with His generosity and with the generosity of others. He has used the kindness of others to confirm that this is His will for us and that this baby is such a special gift. Here are some of my thoughts on adopting, even when you can’t afford it:
BEING ABLE TO AFFORD AN ADOPTION IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING ABLE TO AFFORD A CHILD
We can easily afford another child or two right now. The cost is spread out over a lifetime. We basically have everything we need for a baby besides the diapers and wipes. Affording an adoption is different because all of the money is required in a very short amount of time, and it is usually a VERY big chunk of money. Just because you can’t afford the adoption, it doesn’t mean that you can’t afford a child, and it doesn’t have to keep you from completing your family.
THE MONEY IS NOT FOR YOU, IT’S FOR YOUR BABY
Before I could muster up the courage (or rather humble myself enough) to ask people for donations, I read someone else’s blog discussing this very problem. She said that she struggled with the same thing and finally was able to ask others for help when she realized that the money she was asking people to donate was not for HER, it was for her baby. She felt like she would do anything for her child, so it became easier for her after that. I realized, YES, I am not asking people to give me money, I am asking them to help my baby, to help give our baby a beautiful life. And I will do anything for my children, even if it’s scary or extremely humbling.
LET GOD BLOW YOU AWAY WITH HIS GENEROSITY AND PROVISION
God wants us to depend on Him, every step of the way, and when we do, we are always glad that we did. I LOVE giving my kids gifts and seeing their eyes light up, and so does God. God has provided the EXACT amount of money in our adoption savings account for the very next step in our adoption process, EVERY TIME. He never gives us more or less, which I think is amazing. He is providing, but not so much that we can slack off and stop depending on Him. Right now we have exactly enough money for our next step forward in our adoption, nothing more. We will have to trust Him to provide the next step after that (which is an expensive one.) There is something so amazing about taking a leap of faith, asking God to provide and then seeing His provision. It is a tangible reminder of how much He loves us.
GOD’S PROVISION BECOMES A REALLY COOL PART OF YOUR BABY’S LIFE STORY
I can’t remember where I read it (somewhere online), but one woman had the opinion that you were doing your future child a disservice by asking other people to give you money for your adoption. She thought it would make your child feel “cheapened” somehow. I feel just the opposite. I can’t wait to tell my baby how SO many people loved her before she was even ours, before we even knew about her, that they gave money, time, prayers and donations to help us bring her home. I can’t wait to tell her how God laid everything out for us, how He prepared people’s hearts ahead of time to give to our adoption, how He did a miracle in providing all of our funds, and it was all for HER. I hope she feels loved and important and extremely valuable. It is more confirmation that God intentionally planned for this baby to be in our family, that she was meant to be a Weathersby. Our baby will start her life off with a really cool birth story, and it is all saturated with God’s love and goodness. When you trust God and let Him provide, you are giving your child an amazing piece to his or her life story that a lot of people don’t get to have.
DON’T MAKE MAJOR LIFE DECISIONS SOLELY BASED ON MONEY
This is something my grandfather always said. I know some people will probably disagree with this but we have found it to be good advice. Money is very important and affects almost every area of our lives, but it should not be the main deciding factor when making a big life decision. I doubt people on their death beds look back and say, “I’m so glad I invested that money, saved that money, worked so much.” I think most people surround themselves with their family, their siblings, parents, children, spouses or friends and say, “I love you so much. I am so thankful I got to spend my life with you. Remember when we __________________? That was so much fun! I’m thankful for you and I love you.” I think it’s also important to remember that you only have a certain season in your life when you can adopt. Time is not an unlimited resource. If the only thing holding you back from adopting a child is money, I think you should strongly reconsider.
IT ALLOWS OTHER PEOPLE TO PLAY A PART IN A BEAUTIFUL ADOPTION STORY
After we lost Lucy we were devastated and depressed. I have never felt so low in my life, like my own heart had stopped beating when hers did. I remember the first time I smiled after losing my baby. A family in our church was adopting two boys from Haiti. A few months before, they had asked if anyone had toddler boy clothes to donate to their boys. This family already had six girls, so they were pretty low on the baby boy clothes 🙂 We gave them some of Liam and Asher’s clothes. It was several days/weeks after Lucy died (I can’t remember exactly, it is still a blur) that I was brave/stupid enough to venture onto Facebook. I saw some pictures of the family’s trip to Haiti to meet their boys and there on my screen was this cute little boy in Haiti wearing Liam’s clothes.
The biggest smile spread across my face and it felt so strange and wonderful because I hadn’t done it in so long. I had almost forgotten what it felt like. I know our donation was small, but it brought us incredible joy to be able to play a tiny part in helping those two sweet boys. Giving others the chance to be a part of your adoption story is an amazing gift, even if it is humbling for you. When you are too scared or proud to allow others to help you, you are not the only one who misses out.
So, if you are considering adoption and money is the only thing holding you back, I think you should really consider just GOING FOR IT! With a lot of prayer, hard work, humility, and a good support system, it is totally possible. I also strongly recommend you read “Adopt Without Debt, Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption” by Julie Gumm. I just got it on my Nook for $8 (I think it’s more expensive in print) and read almost the whole thing in one sitting. You can also check out their website for great advice and fundraising ideas. Your family size does NOT have to be determined by your fertility or your bank account, and as Julie Gumm says in her book, “The cost of adoption should never stand in the way of giving a child a family.”