Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Fundraising Question

Adoption is expensive. Ask anyone that has done one. They will go into figures that they spent on homestudies, expenses for background checks, how they gathered together funds for submitting their profiles, or how they scratched up money for agency fees.

In a non scientific poll I've taken since 2009, which basically includes talking to random people about adoption, I find that many people say they would like to adopt....but don't have the funds to begin. OR they state that they'd love to adopt, but it's too expensive.

In the meantime we have children across the country and the world aging out of foster care. We have children going without food and adequate healthcare. We have children who will transition from foster care to foster care, or orphanage, or group home....who will never know what it's like to have a mother or a father.

And we're worried about the cost.


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After our failed match which was our first, and only, attempt at adopting domestically my husband and I began pursuing international adoption. In doing so we did a few fundraisers. We sold off some items on ebay we didn't really need. We sold coffee. We sold a few flowers. We did some fundraising things here and there...

In the meantime, we took a loan out against our car. Those checks that come in the mail which you can take loans out on your credit card? We maxed out not one but two of our credit cards. All of these things in the attempt to stay on top of agency bills which, in the end, totaled up over $32,000.

Our daughter came home, and we were finally a family of 3. After the adoption we could submit for the tax refund with the IRS to help with the adoption costs. Luckily, my husband also had a small adoption benefit at his work to also support our bills.

But the bills......the bills were large. They were no longer bills from our adoption agency. They were now bills from credit card companies.

I tell you this not to discourage you from adoption. Adoption is how our family was created and for that I am eternally grateful. I tell you this to encourage you to look beyond the expenses. I tell you this because, for the majority of people, there is no stuffed mattress of money or savings accounts to deplete to bring a child into your family and adopt. For the great majority of us in the USA, we are just trying to pay our bills.

It's for those reasons that I tell potential adoptive parents, whether they are adopting from foster care, international adoption, or domestic adoption - to jump in HEAD FIRST into fund raising and adoption grants.

My husband and I, we felt guilty asking others to contribute to our adoption fund. We asked ourselves, should we even fund raise at all? We shuddered at sending out letters of support to our family and friends. We had some people we knew contributed to our adoption fund, and some that didn't contribute at all. Those that couldn't contribute financially, we asked them to provide "social" donations by telling their friends about our fundraisers via twitter, email, or facebook. We had some people participate with that.....and others who didn't. Did we feel guilty? Yes. Did we feel as if we were a burden to others? Yes.

Then I had an awakening. I watched this video by Eric Ludy. The quote that resonated with me is this....

"I was doing some study on Liberia  If you want to be disturbed, start studying Liberia  This four year old boy sitting on the side of a road. No one to comfort. No one to take him in. No shelter. No food. Nothing. So in the middle of that night, I wake up. It's like God had already deposited a question that was waiting to meet me when I popped awake at 2 in the morning. I had this picture of this little boy in Liberia in front of me. And God asked me a question..........'What if that was Hudson, my four year old. Eric what if that was Hudson?"

"You don't mess with the father's heart. What if that was Hudson?!"

"If my boy was sitting on the side of a road across the world from me. Suffering. Totally alone. Not knowing what's happening. He's not old enough to comprehend this. He's abandoned. He has no one to fight for his cause. He can't even articulate his circumstances. He's hungry and no one is feeding him. He's starving to death."

"If my son is in that situation, stick a concrete wall in front of me and I will claw through it with my bare hands. This is MY SON we are talking about. If I couldn't get there, I would call up EVERY friend I have and say 'I have a son over in Liberia and you call yourself my friend? I need you to get on a plane and I need you to get to him. I'll give you the coordinates and I'll do whatever it takes, but I need you to get to him and be a father to him."

"God's response? "Eric, that's MY Hudson."
My child. My child was over in Congo. My child was over in Congo starving without a mother. Without a father. My child was an orphan and I would claw through a concrete wall to get to her. I would call up every friend I had, I would shout it on Facebook. I would send out letters asking for donations and say.....This is my child and I need your help to get to her. My child is starving. My child is sick...and if you call yourself my friend you will help me get to her. Are you willing to help me get to my child?" 

If my friend, you wrote to me. You called me up and told me you had a child waiting for the hospital..... or in Congo......or in the foster care system. You had a child and you would do anything to get to him I would ask you....."How can I help you get to him?"  And if I couldn't contribute financially, I would pass on the word. I would buy your coffee or your flowers in your fundraiser. I would do anything I could do to bring home your child because I know that's your son.

And with that my friends, never feel sorry for asking for help. Never feel sorry about the stress in meeting adoption expenses or worrying about making it work. It will work out. With all the stress involved in adoption, worrying about money should be the least of our worries.

After piles of adoption paperwork and raising over $10,000 towards our adoption bills, this is a photo of me getting on an airplane in March of 2012 to go to the Democratic Republic of Congo to finalize the adoption of our twins.

If you need help in fundraising for your domestic adoption, please email me and ask for an application to be a featured family of the week. Currently, we have had many applicants but not many completed applications. Together we will help bring your child home. 


  1. Thanks for this article. It gives me permission to ask for help along our journey. Are you only looking for new families who are adopting domestically? Thanks for all you do.

  2. Bonnie,
    Love this post! We just announced our fundraisers and also a $50 gift card giveway for helping to spread the word!


  3. I really appreciate this post. They are all our children, our responsibility. Thanks for sharing.