Sunday, November 1, 2015

Thoughts on Fundraising

My intention was to do one blog post today-  announcing our puzzle fundraiser.  Instead, I found myself thinking "well, you've made so much progress in your paperwork you better do that one too", so I decided on two posts.   Then I just couldn't bring myself to announce my fundraiser without sharing what is on my heart in regards to that topic.  I was just going to write a paragraph or two at the beginning of the post, but sometimes that's just not how it happens.  So now we have three posts.  I will not be "advertising" this post, and honestly struggled with the thought of publishing it all.
This is raw, it's vulnerable, and it's honest.  I know that I am not the only adoptive parent who has struggled with these feelings, and so I have chosen to publish this post, once again, in hopes of helping others on their own adoption journey.

Money is not a comfortable subject for any of us, is it?  We would never want our bank account balances being made public, or our income being announced to our friends and families.  We might brag about a great deal we snagged on a particular purchase, but overall, we like to keep our own finances very private.

Adopting a child is not cheap.  Raising a child from birth certainly isn't cheap either, please don't think  I am assuming that one is a bigger financial burden than the other.
From start to finish it will cost approximately $20,000 for James and I to bring this child home.  The exact figure is hard to predict, as some of the biggest costs are variable, such as airfare and hotel costs, but $20,000 is a pretty reasonable guess.

While James and I would love to be able to finance this adoption all on our own, the costs of completing this journey are simply greater than what we are able to provide at this time.  In fact, the financial aspect of adoption (along with parenthood itself) was a big reason I kept pushing the whole idea out of my mind for the past few years.  When God spoke to me back in March the message was very clear:  "You open your heart, and I'll provide the way."

Let me say this-  it's HARD to humble yourself enough to seek the help of others.
We live in a "I can do it myself" society and I think we all tend to get a little judgmental and skeptical of those who  let their guard down and admit they need a little help.
I worry that if we accept money from others, every dollar we spend will be scrutinized and subject to the judgment of others. Am I allowed to buy new winter boots if I just asked my friends and family to donate money for our adoption?  Should we never go on another vacation because will people think to themselves "oh they can afford a vacation but they couldn't afford their adoption?"   Will people think that I shouldn't adopt at all if I don't have the $20,000 saved up to pay for the expenses?
Is it acceptable to spend money buying (discount) flooring for their bedroom if we had to fund raise for adoption fees? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night, and make it very hard for me to ask for financial support.

While of course we have been making significant spending sacrifices (no more clothes, eating out, vacations, extra treats, or other big purchases with the exception of gifts and special occasions), we still will not be able to save enough money before our fees are due to our agency without taking any drastic measures.  Yes, we could sell a vehicle, pick up an extra job(s), take out another loan, sell furniture, eat Ramen for the next 9 months, etc.  I believe we really need to save our loan options for the unforeseen situations that can (and are sure to) arise when we return home- medical bills for our child, the cost of me not working for at least 8 weeks when we bring our child home, unforeseen home issues, surgeries, etc. The other options might help in the immediate sense of providing cash, but they are not sustainable solutions, and working extra jobs would certainly prohibit us from getting our paperwork done.

God has been clear in his message to us to rely on Him to provide the way for this adoption journey. This does not mean we are not taking ownership over the financial burden, but it does mean that we are accepting the help of those who feel called to give.

Of course after I've been grappling with my insecurities about fundraising all week, I find myself in church this morning, listening to a message based on John chapter 6 when Jesus feeds the 5,000.  Our Pastor was talking about how much we insist on doing things ourselves instead of relying on God's grace and provision for our lives.

So I will continue trusting in God's provision, and will humble myself to accept the help of others.  At the end of the day, I know it's not asking for money from others for myself.  I'm asking for money to help bring an orphan out of an orphanage into a loving family with a mom and a dad who will always do everything in our power to make sure their physical, emotional, and medical needs are provided for.

If you feel called to help us out, please know that your assistance will forever be appreciated.  If you are unable to help financially, please know that simply keeping us in your prayers means just as much to us as mailing a check.  At the end of the day, parenthood is not a journey any of us should take a lone-  it really does take a village to raise a child and support a family, and I hope that I am able to bless those around me as much as I have been blessed by your support.

Thank you for reading, and I pray that you all may know the Love and Grace of our Savior.

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