Thursday, July 21, 2011

Who needs a new car anyway?

I have been thinking about all the fun questions I could answer about adoption ... and then I remember that I have to write a "book" about myself to complete the home study packet. So I've been spending my computer time – what little there is of it between chasing 3 kids and trying to dig myself out of what feels like a year's worth of laundry – answering lots of questions about my childhood ... and my adolescence ... and my marriage ... and you get the point. :) I've also done a lot of the nagging little tasks like lab work, downloading and mailing requests for central registry clearances from all three states we've lived in (to prove we've never been reported for child abuse), and sending money order and fingerprint cards for a federal background check. These are not hard things to do, but tricky to schedule around naps and lunch and  – of course – trips to the pool, library, park, etc. It has been exciting to check off lots of the mundane things in anticipation of the not-so-mundane – meeting a little girl who is most likely already waiting for us!!

Ok ... so back to the questions. This one might be a tie for the number one most asked – "Isn't adoption expensive?" And unlike the previous, more touchy-feely question ... this one is not my favorite to discuss! But it is an important aspect of adoption to consider ... so I'll do my best.

Yes. Adoption can be very expensive. But it doesn't have to be. Without writing a book about all the adoption possibilities out there, let's just say it is important to research and understand the options ... and the risks, benefits, expenses associated with each one. This is our third adoption ... and we've done it differently each time. The first time we used a consultant and an agency in another state. It wasn't cheap. But we knew lots of people who spent more on a new car ... so ... we prayed about what route to take. God knew our desires for a newborn. A son. He opened our hearts to interracial adoption ... and I truly believe He even honored my lack of patience! We didn't even wait 6 weeks after beginning the process. I had planned to be a stay-at-home mom until all our children were in school, but I felt that my only option was to go back to work temporarily to pay for the adoption.

When I felt it was time to bring a third child into our home, I was afraid. How were we going to pay for a second agency adoption? I prayed that God would just put the baby on our door step (a fantasy I've had since childhood!). I knew that adoptions through the state foster care system were free, so we took the classes and became approved foster/adoptive parents. I also put the word out ... I made a profile book and let some people know that we wanted to adopt. The week before we got the call that we were approved for foster children, I got a call about a young lady who had seen our profile book and had chosen us to adopt her baby boy ... due in less than a month! A miracle. Not quite on our door step ... but  close! All we paid were legal fees. God knew. He gave us the right situation at the right time. All He asked was that we be open.

But sometimes I think God asks us to do things that we haven't "gotten all figured out." Sometimes He wants us to rely not on our own ability to provide, but on His. God has accommodated our fears, wishes, and parameters every time. He has proven that we can trust Him. Now He's getting ready to stretch our faith.

It scares me to even type this, but I felt very strongly that I needed to give up my full-time teaching position this year in preparation for traveling and bringing home our new daughter. WHAT? In the past, I confidently went into the adoption process trusting that we could cover the cost. I never did a fund-raiser. Some wonderful friends from our church collected money to help with (short-notice) travel expenses, but otherwise I knew we had it covered.

But here's a question I've had in my head recently: If I have to see how everything is going to work out before I sign up, does that really require faith? We started saving for this adoption months ago, and I rationalized that if I just keep working I can earn all the money myself. But I knew that I couldn't give 100% to my fourth graders AND to an international adoption requiring travel and helping an orphaned child bond with her new family.

I find it much easier to trust God with matters of the heart than with tangible things like money, but I believe the Lord will provide what we need. I think our faith grows BIGGER when we have to trust God with BIG things. Things that only He can do. And I can't tell you the humility – and brokenness –that I have felt as He has already begun using people to bless us financially.

I know we've got our work cut out for us. In Exodus, when God provided manna for the Israelites, He always sent just enough for what the people needed right then. And – if you'll remember – He didn't rain it into their tents or spoon feed it to them. They had to go out and gather it. I'm learning about all kinds of fund-raising opportunities. I'm getting all geared up to apply for grants through organizations like Show Hope and Promise 686. And I'm sure God has a few surprises in store as well!

So here's my point. Adoptions cost money. But don't most investments? What I've learned through my experiences (and that's really all I have to speak from) is if it's something God is calling you to do, He'll provide what you need.


  1. So glad I found your blog! I've loved reading- read all your posts this morning- and I can't wait to meet Miss Charlotte Abigail!

  2. Amy, I absolutely LOVE this blog you've written. We adopted our son Samuel by putting the word out at all the hospitals within a one-hour drive of us. One month later we got connected with a young lady who was nine months pregnant and who had come to the emergency room thinking she was in labor. (A nurse who remembered us asked the birth mom if she could contact us for her.) Two days later we signed a pre-birth adoption with the judge. Two weeks later Samuel was born. We only had to pay for the legal fees and our stay in the hospital. Medicaid paid for all of Samuel's hospital fees and the birth mother's hospital fees. God is AMAZING!!

  3. You are such a gifted, eloquent writer and an amazing mother. Your heart really inspires me. I can't wait to meet Miss C! She is so blessed that you are her mom!

  4. AMEN girl! Look at you in the blog world. I am thrilled for your journey ahead and I can't wait to testify to God's goodness in your life!