So far, my best calculations show that we have payed $6,890 so far for adoption-related fees and expenses.
We did not begin this journey with a savings account already prepared for adoption. That would've been nice, though. We have always needed every bit of the time allowed for coming up with fees, but God has been faithful to make it happen when it needs to happen. I keep good records, and I have done the math. So, here's the breakdown of how God has provided for our adoption so far:
Precisely 40% has come from fundraisers. Everything from friends selling ice cream and graphic prints for us to us selling items and having spaghetti lunches and yard sales!
Precisely 40% has come from personal savings. We have been pinching pennies during this process, doing without a lot of extras, and trying to set aside a percentage of our income every month just for the adoption fund. This is the most amazing category to me. I only work part-time, and my husband and I are both in seminary. Given these two circumstances alone, I am amazed that God has allowed us to save bits here and there to where this amount saved equals the amount we have raised! Crazy!
Precisely 20% has come from gifts from sweet friends new and old, family members, and even strangers who have happened upon our blog and felt led to give. We are SO grateful for these gifts. No matter how large or small the gift, trust me that it is 100% appreciated and 100% is used for adoption-related expenses.
To put this all in writing is very encouraging to me. It shows me that I serve a good God who is faithful and likes to give good gifts to His children. It shows me that we have come a long way in this process, and it encourages me to keep my head up for the rest of this journey. It also humbles me to know how many sweet people have a part in this adoption. Adoption is not just about us. It's so much bigger! If you have contributed in some way, you have been a part of something big-- not just helping us become parents. You are a part of changing a child's life, and you are a part of a God-sized plan for His people. My God is a faithful God who loves justice and peace for His people. He desires to see the oppressed, the helpless, the fatherless and destitute be brought into relationship with Him.
Psalm 10 says:
"The Lord is King forever and ever....Oh Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their hearts; You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed..."
God hears the cry of the needy in this world and He will fight for them to be redeemed. He has chosen to use us in this one tiny part of His plan. How humbling.
So, what's next? Our next financial goal is $5,700 due in late April, and we are just beginning to work on that goal. We plan on meeting this goal through the same ways: fundraisers, savings, and gifts. We also hope to apply for a few adoption grants, but we cannot do this until our home study is complete, and there's no guarantee of receiving them. If you feel like God is leading you to contribute in some way, our Paypal Donate button is an easy way to give. You could also consider buying a T-shirt or coffee. We are planning on closing our T-shirt store in April, so that we can use all of our commission money to go toward this goal. If you have some other radical, interesting way to help us meet this next goal, please let me know! We're always game for new ideas, and we always welcome anyone's help who wants to get involved!