Thursday, July 24, 2008

But, I Can't Afford It.

This is one of my biggest personal pet peeves when people refer to adoption. Also one of the biggest questions we get now that we have adopted. People often assume that you must be rich if you can adopt. I love that RLC is getting us to blog about the tough questions. This weeks question is just that.

“How do I do this, money wise? I want to adopt, but it seems so overwhelming. We don’t really have $20,000 in the bank, ya know!”

First question I always ask people when they bring up this point. "How big is your God"? My God is a God of miracles and my God wouldn't call our family to adopt without providing the money. That's the short answer.

Practically speaking. We didn't have the money. Nope, not one bit. We already had three children, we lived a comfy life, in our comfy house, building a new house, had some extras, we were good. Thanks. God had something more. He had put a passion in our hearts for orphans, but we didn't know exactly how that was to play out. He was asking us to give up some of the extras, STARBUCKS, to live more frugally, to be content, and to welcome another child into our family. We argued with Him about the money, err the lack thereof. Once we surrendered our hearts to what God had for us He provided the money. David even lost his job in the middle of our adoption yet it was a blessing in disguise with a severance package and a new job a month later. God knew that what we saw as destruction God meant for His good and His glory.

We applied for a grant through Shaohannahs Hope but shortly thereafter received the exact amount we needed from another source so we withdrew taking that as a sign that the Lord would provide and he wanted someone else to have the money from Shaohannahs Hope.

Another source we looked into was an interest free loan. We were really impressed with The ABBA Fund. They are easy to work with, follow christian principles, and have a heart for orphans. We didn't end up needing to go this route but it was an option we always left open.

In our minds adoption grants, interest free loans, and home equity loans are probably the best way to go if you don't just have an extra $20k sitting around. We didn't take out a loan, God truly did provide the money we needed, and we give Him all glory, honor, and praise in making Silas our son.

I challenge anyone reading this thinking that maybe God wants them to adopt but battling the "money" question I urge you to reconsider. If God wants you to adopt God will provide. He doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called.


20 comments:

Christy. said...

I found your blog after seeing the you tube video of Silas on the play phone at the airport. Our family has laughed so much at that video.
We are praying about adopting a toddler from Ethiopia. The question about money is huge! While my husband makes good money, we also have three kids already. We figure it will cost about $24,000. My dad just recently told us that when my Grandma passes he plans on giving us $12,000 and then just two weeks ago my husband was given a promotion that, worst case scenario, will give us another $12,000 a year! That is our adoption costs right there! (if we decide to do it) :0)
I love your point about the God we serve. He is so much bigger than our finances and if He calls us to do something He will make the way!
I love folowing your blog and seeing how Silas fits into your family. Though we feel called to adopting a toddler, not a baby, it does make me a bit anxious about the transition. I know that God knows what child we need in our family though.
Thanks for your blog, it has been a blessing to me!

Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing that. I hope others will truly be blessed by your testimony, and leaning on our God for guidance and providing. He truly is a God of miracles, and I felt blessed to watch you guys walk by faith through the process of bring Silas home.

Christy. said...

If we decide to move forward we are going to go with All God's Children International. They are local for us and my friend's sister-in-law works there. I get a really good feeling with them and I love how helpful they have been.
Did you use Children's Hope?

Christy. said...

I have goosebumps! :0) Isn't it a small God world?
We live in Sherwood, about 20 miles south of Portland. Where did your husband grow up?
Here is my email
cgladheim@gmail.com
Oh my goodness, I would LOVE to meet your family! But you can't tell my husband how great Arizona is because he already wants to move there, he's a big golfer....

Sandi said...

Wonderful post. I too am amazed when people will let a little thing like money stand in the way of an adoption. We ended up taking an equity line of credit to finance our adoption but by taking that leap we have seen the Lord put money in our path so that we do not have to use it as much.

In the end, I would never regret having taken on a loan for my son but I would regret never having known him.

God is Good!

Monica said...

Erica,

This was really interesting. Thank you for being so open and vulnerable. I believe that God has used and is using your family in so many different ways in so many different people's lives.

Thanks for sharing.

JourneytoFamily said...

God really will provide. We didn't have the money either but felt God was leading us to adopt. Right after we announced our adoption plan, we got a check from a family company that my husband owns a percentage of, which covered the expenses of the adoption. It's the one and only time we've gotten a big check from that company.

Mashel said...

Christy,
I can't agree with you more. I really don't like it when people say that either," I would love to adopt we just can't afford it...." as they are driving brand new cars and wearing all designer clothes.... not everyone, but a lot. There are so many way to help orphans, it is unbelievable. Here in the United States we have over 5million children in foster care that would love to have homes. And guess what, that doesn't cost anything! In fact the state pays you!!! God may call you to go accross the globe to save an orphan, or He may want you to help the ones in your own back yard. Either way, money should not stop you. Most of us that have biological children, wouldn't let money stop us from saving them if we had too. Why should it be any different with the kids we don't have yet?

angie said...

great post!! i totally agree with you on this one. and it is one of my pet peeves as well.

LOVE that last line...so very true.

~angie

Emily B. said...

beautifully put. well done and how right you are :)

Meli_Mama said...

Erica thank you so much for this post! I feel that adoption is something I may want to do someday. In other words, I'm open to it, but God hasn't called us yet. I have always wondered though how we could afford it. I looked at some adoption sites out of curiosity one time and was in shock at the cost. It is so true that if God wants you do something he will provide the financial means. Now your post let's me see the possible practical ways that can happen. :)

Paul and Deedra said...

That is so true...There is no way we could afford it on our own...But, God!!! He came through in so many miraculous way, despite my constant wavering in faith on this specific issue! Through it all, He taught me to hear His voice and now I have so many testimonies to tell my son how God provided for his arrival into our family.

Sara said...

Always one of the first questions isn't it? One of my "missions" is to address this issue with people and let them no adoption is an option and money should not hold you back! Now, I can't say that I didn't have my freak out moment about a month into paperwork...but we are trusting that God will provide and he has! Wouldn't you know that the amount that we currently owe our agency is the EXACT amount we have in our adoption acct? Awesome. I so pray that God will use our family, like he has yours, to encourage others we come into contact with to adopt. We are just your typical American family with three kids, 2 dogs, and a cat and people need to see that.

Lori said...

Oh Erica I love this post and the last line gave me chills!

xoxo Lor

GWEN OATSVALL said...

OH ME .. you have to read my July 20th post ... We are on the same page ... My hubby is a teacher and I say at home ...God made both of our adoptions happen and I am praying for the children I feel like I have in Ethiopia ... My God is huge ... Thanks for such an encouraging honest post !!!

drea said...

I love this question. We raised almost 100% of our adoption cost. We only put out the first set of monies, about $1000.00 the rest God did. Not to mention the extra $4000. we raised for our surprise adoption from Russia. God knew our needs and then provided for them. It was work, "labor" so to speak, but the one who calls us is faithful, and He will do it!!

Kathie S. said...

I really needed to read this...we have just heard the call from God to adopt one of the abandoned girls in China, special needs no less as we already have 5 children of our own. We certainly don't have a bunch of money sitting around to use, but if God is calling us to do this, He will provide. Now, me knowing this and actually trusting are two different things, so everyone's comments are so very encouraging to me as we are just starting this journey of faith! Thank you all so much, and please pray for us!!!

Anonymous said...

Some people are feeling the calling but it's not just the adoption costs that pose a barrier. There are income guidelines, etc. and due to where they are at, they legitimately do not have the money to even start the procedure. Please don't think that someone saying that is necessarily making an excuse for why they can't. We're working on changing our situation but it takes time after lay offs and health issues to get stable sometimes. There is a little boy overseas that has my heart. I cannot even contact the agency until we have certain conditions met and I'm praying about that and yes, God is big enough to provide. But in the meantime, Yes, I would love to adopt, but no, I don't have the money.

Brittany said...

I have to say I am glad it worked for you. We have tried EVERYTHING and can not fund our adoption. It looks like it just won't happen. I am sadden that a lot of blog posts look like yours but the bible also says
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? FOr those out there who have tried EVERYTHING all some of us have is faith and waiting for a mass miracle to occur...

Erica said...

Anonymous - this post was written four years ago and it was very personal to us. We've now adopted twice but this was after our first adoption and the miracle of watching God provide in supernatural ways. I totally understand that there are other things the put a delay in plans. I do believe that God looks at the heart - I also believe He can move mountains too!

Brittany - I'm so sorry you're struggling. I do think God wants us to count the cost but I really don't see that this verse applies to providing a family for a child. Gods word says very boldly that it is our job to care for orphans and widows. He doesn't say "think about it" He says DO IT. That can look very different depending on the person but we can't ignore it. I'm praying for you as you walk this out and that God would provide in HUGE ways for you and your family!!