I feel like I need to explain myself, I don't know why, but I do. I can't decide whether I am trying to explain how we are able to afford this adoption or explain why we are doing small fundraisers along the way. I am still trying to pull my thoughts together so this post might just be one big rambling and not make any sense at all. Here goes...
When we first started the adoption process, many of our family and friends were deeply concerned about the money that it was going to cost us to complete the adoption. I have to admit, that adoption is costly and the financial aspect of the adoption was one of Wes and I's greatest concerns also. However, when we completely decided to follow God's invitation and opened our hearts to this experience we knew that he would provide all that we need. God has already blessed us as a family in so many ways and he has generously provided more than we could ever ask for. We have ALL that we need and SOME of what we could ever want. This adoption process has opened my eyes to the poverty that is right outside my front door, my town, and the world I live in. In fact, many times I feel guilty about my life of beautiful plenty. We are primarily a one-income family and are able to live very comfortably with the salary that Wes brings home and any extra income that I can make through selling on Ebay. We are able to live in a nice home with a big yard. I can stay home with both Jaidyn and Addision (which I have always hoped I would be able to do), and that means everything to me. We are able to tithe, pay our bills, send our daughter's to preschool, invest in IRA's, and have some money left over for special outings/activites. I am very thankful that we have loving grandparents and relatives that babysit for free and help with our home maintenance projects. Living frugally, watching our grocery budget, shopping garage sales all helps to make this possible. I have found this way of life to not only be good for the wallet and good for the planet, but good for the soul as well. I know Wes is given a hard time about our (my) frugality from his friends, but it's how we got to where we are financially and it is also how we'll get where we want to be even more quickly. It reduces stress, knowing we can make it on less than we make. It gives us shared goals to work on and helps keep our marriage strong. It is amazing to me how much less materialistic I have become since we have had children and since we have decided to adopt. Buying a pair of summery sandals that would look great with one of my dresses doesn't seem so important when I know the money could be put towards our adoption savings. I think I can make the sandals that have the deep foot imprint last one more summer. Ha! Okay, maybe not...I might need to splurge.
Speaking of shared goals, our current goal is to be able to fund this adoption without taking out any loans. This is why we are doing small fundraisers along the way. Why do we need to fundraise? Some of you have been through, are going through, or plan to go through with an adoption of a child so you know about it all too well, but some of you might not understand. So if you are confused by the fact that we need to fundraise for this adoption, here is my best explanation. There are a lot of expenses involved in an international adoption. Our first fees included the initial application fee, homestudy fee, dossier fee, psycholigical evaluation fees, medical evaluation fees and our I-600A visa application fees. We are now saving for the upcoming country fee that is due once we receive our referral, which will hopefully be sometime in the early months of 2009. This is our largest fee due at one time. Then we will have the travel fees, lawyer fees to fully legalize the adoption and the post-adoption fees. We are not in a desperate situation. We feel that we have planned for this and have come up with ways to be able to put back money. We do have the financial resources to raise all of our children, but it is just hard to come up with such large extra amounts of money to cover the upfront expenses and in such a short amount of time.
Our two fundraisers in addition to my ongoing Ebay sales include our upcoming garage sale in May and the collection of aluminum cans. I have already taken our can collection and a trash can full of cans from my parents to the recycling center and have deposited that amount into our adoption account. Every little bit is greatly appreciated and puts us one step closer to bringing our child home.
Just in case anyone is still reading this and still trying to make sense of it all, I just wanted to let you all know that we really do appreciate all of the love and support that our family and friends have provided us throughout this process. And we know that there are already so many people who are celebrating our decision to adopt!