Adopting is expensive. That's how it is and there's no way around it. There are governmental fees for visa applications. There are country fees, orphanage fees, agency fees, homestudy fees, plane tickets, hotel bills, food while in country. There are gifts for government officials that must be brought. They pile up and never seem to end. At various points in our three adoptions I felt as though I was hemorrhaging money. (And since we are still paying off some of the expenses, it sometimes feels like a wound which won't quite scab over.) I understand that agencies have employees to pay, that "donating" to the orphanages which cared for our children is (in theory) good, and that the government will get their cut no matter what. It just all adds up.
And even though I understand why many of the fees are high, I will say it again and believe it just as strongly, adoptive parents should not have to pay for their children. Yes, yes, I know that's not what we're doing. We are paying the fees in order to bring our children home. We are not trafficking children at least knowingly... I hope. But it's what it comes down to, isn't it? Childbirth is expensive, too, but most people have insurance which can at least help with the expenses. (Don't get on me about this. We had several babies born when we had private insurance and I know how much we paid out-of-pocket for the fees. It was still less than what we paid for one adoption.) And really, the baby is going to be born regardless. The fees will have to be sorted out later, of course, but the baby arrives all the same. I have yet to hear of an adopted child arriving in a family and the fees being sorted out later.
If the fees aren't going away and I still advocate for people to adopt, what is my solution? I see the solution as the body of Christ. We may not all be called to adopt, but we can all help support those who are. Just imagine this... what if every person gave some small amount of money to every person they knew was adopting. To help out. Even it that small sum was only a dollar or two. It would all add up. I think we get stuck in thinking it's not worth it unless we can give "real" amounts. Real being amounts of money with a lot of zeros after it. And while it is wonderful if someone can do that for a family (and we have been blessed this way ourselves), there is no point in us becoming paralyzed and not do anything if those zeros aren't there. We have got to stop this! Ten dollars when compared to the $15 to $30 thousand needed for an adoption seems like a drop in the bucket. And maybe alone it is. But if one hundred people gave $10, that's $1000. And there are those zeros. There is no excuse for not giving a small amount to someone who is trying to give a child a home and family.
I know some people are opposed to fundraising for adoptions. They say that if a family can't handle the fees, then they probably shouldn't be adopting anyway as they don't earn enough money. Well, I can tell you that the added expenses of one child are fairly negligible in the great scheme of things. But who really has tens of thousands of dollars just lying around? Very few do. And if we put those rules in place than it will be only the wealthy who can afford to adopt. There are many of us who have much to offer a child, but we certainly don't fall into the wealthy in terms of cash category.
If fellow believers are not giving voluntarily and generously to families who are adopting, the adopting families have little choice but to try to raise the funds on their own. It is an added burden on them and one they should not have to take up. There is enough to do to prepare to bring another child (or children) into your home. So, the next time you hear of a family adopting, open your wallet and help them out. And I can say this freely as we are not in the adoption process and this can in no way be construed as a plea for money.
You say you don't know anyone who is adopting? After you're done weeping for your church, take a look at this list that No Greater Joy Mom is hosting. There are 51 families linked to this site. all of whom are working desperately to bring home their child. See what you can do to help one or more of them out.
Here's the link to see the list of families raising adoption funds.
And a little ps. I am also writing this to myself. I know a lot of people who are adopting. So many people that it sometimes seems overwhelming to try and help them all. But I am thinking in too many zeros once again. Later today, I'm going to go through my list and send them each something. It will have to be a small something at this point, but if they receive many small somethings, it will add up to something huge.
Here we go 'round again.
Continuing to advocate for the children in Bulgaria. Their files were sent back which means that they cannot be advocated for on Reese's Rainbow or have any funds donated towards their adoptions. It means they are essentially invisible and unwanted. It tells the government and the agencies that yes, indeed, their initial assumptions were correct. No one wants a child like these. They are not worth it.
But they are! They are created by God in His image and we are called to care for them. They are truly the least of these. I cannot let them go; I think about them in nearly every free moment that I have. I'm going to post one of their pictures here at the bottom of each of my posts each day. Would you join me in praying for each of these children? Pray that a family would come forward who is willing to adopt them. Love them. Pray that they will know they are not forgotten? There is still hope for these little ones as their files can be specially asked for, it just adds time to the process.
This is Kramer. I can't think of a time a child has touched my heart like this little boy has. (OK, maybe I can, it was H.'s picture.) He is 8 years old and has CP. Because of the CP, he has languished in a crib without appropriate food, love, or therapy. How can anyone look at this little boy and think he is worthless? Not worth the effort and love to allow him to flourish and reach his potential? He needs a family. He needs a mother and father who will love him. Please...