Sunday, July 13, 2008

Red Letters Campaign: Money

"How do I do this, moneywise? I want to adopt, but it seems so overwhelming. We don’t really have $20,000 in the bank, ya know!" Please blog about your experience, ideas, insight, fundraisers and other ideas that worked for you while raising your adoption money.

Um, we didn't have $20,000 in the bank when we decided to adopt. In fact, we still don't have $20,000 in the bank! :) Seriously, though, I definitely understand concerns about money, but when God leads you somewhere, he doesn't desert you. Even financially.

We decided to adopt after a couple years of trying to get pregnant and eventually getting answers about our infertility. For us, having a baby was about having a family. Not being pregnant. So, honestly, turning our attention to adoption was a relief for me, emotionally. I felt like God was showing us another way, and that was exciting to me. I just assumed pregnancy was the way to a family, but I learned otherwise. I learned God has more than one way to create families.

OK, so, back to money. You hear about adoptions being so costly, and while that's true, it's not like we wrote a $12,400 check and that was it. There were lots of smaller checks throughout the process. During the process both Greg and I worked, so we earned money as we needed it and, thankfully, we had some money saved.

Adopting domestically can definitely be cheaper than adopting internationally because there's less paperwork and more minimal travel expenses. But we still had to pay two agencies (one in Kentucky and one in Indiana, where Cate was born), two attorneys (although our Kentucky attorney is a friend so that knocked down what would normally be a greater expense), travel expenses to go to doctor's appointments with the birth mother (who was 4 1/2 hours away), smaller costs of getting background checks and copies of important documents, and medical bills (again, thankfully, she was still on her parents' health insurance).

Finding a birth mother through family also helped make our process less costly. We didn't have to pay an agency or attorney to find us a birth mother. My sister put us in touch with someone she already knew who was looking for adoptive parents for the baby she was carrying.

I don't know that I have any wise financial advice. But you can't think about it as one huge check. It's smaller investments along the way. And if it's what you're supposed to be doing, God will provide you the resources because he certainly has a heart for children.

Oh, and it's also helpful to remember that once you can come up with the money along the way, you get it back, penny for penny, up to a certain amount, on your taxes, thanks to federal tax credits. Be sure to talk to your accountant about that.

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