Friday, February 13, 2015

Granted.

Did you know that the number one reason people don't adopt is because of the financial expense? This process is extremely expensive, as in anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000+ for a domestic adoption, and international adoptions can be double that, or more. It's disheartening and saddening and maddening and discouraging to think that money prevents precious little lives from connecting with people that would otherwise be so willing to love them.

This post is intended to encourage anyone who might have the desire to know more about adoption, and share of few of the steps we took to get to this point of waiting for our birth mother to deliver.

When we started this process, over a year ago, we were just researching and collecting information. I remember the shock I felt when I saw the total cost at the end of that fee schedule, and I cried. Like big fat ugly tears streaming down a red face kind of crying, because why, oh why, does it have to be so expensive? I was appalled, and heartbroken. How can these children be rescued from unstable situations and cared for and loved when it costs so much? My heart knew what we were supposed to do, but I couldn't wrap my head around the how.  Soon after that, I left my job as a nurse to be a stay at home mama, and we realized that it would be even more difficult as a one income family.

Bryan and I stepped out in faith, and have pursued what we believe that God has called us to do. We have been faithful to budget and save and cut costs like crazy and remain debt free while we were saving for this adoption.

As soon as our home study was completed, and in our little mitts, we started applying for grants. Did you know that there are folks out there that want to help folks like you and me with adoption expenses? Did you know that these beautiful people have a heart for children and understand that finances are the number one reason people don't adopt, and they truly want to lessen that burden? Isn't that amazing?!

We applied for fifteen grants, and prayed hard over those grant applications before we stuck them in the mailbox. And we continued to pray that God would choose to bless our family financially through those grants.

I am SO beyond excited to report that we have indeed been blessed abundantly. We received grant awards totaling $13,500 in funds! Words can not express my gratitude, in fact many times I have been brought to tears at God's goodness in our lives. Even if we had received no grants, I would still believe that God is so good, and that adoption is part of the plan he has for us, and I would still believe that he loves us immeasurably. However, THANK YOU Lord, and caring people for the grants!

My purpose in writing this, is to encourage any of you that might truly have a heart for adoption, but are afraid of the costs, and to let you know that there is help available. Here is a quick little run down of the process:

If you are interested in adoption through an agency, the first step is to actually choose an agency. Ask around about experiences others have had, and if they would recommend that agency. Interview with a few, and try to get a feel for whether or not they would be a good match for you. (The agency we are using now, is not the first one we interviewed with. It's ok to walk away and look for something different.)

Secondly, get your home study completed. It IS possible to do this step first, and if you do, before you settle on an agency, your case worker can probably give you some recommendations of agencies that he/she works with, and thinks highly of.

As SOON as you receive your completed home study, and have settled on an agency to work with, start filling out applications. Bryan and I set aside a few evenings and just knocked them out. They are PAGES long. Many require you to answer questions in paragraph form, however most applications ask the same questions. We just answered and saved those questions in a Word document, and then printed the ones we needed for each specific application. And then send them off as soon as they are completed.

We probably spent no more than twenty hours total, over a month or so, and I would say without hesitation, that amount of time was worth $13,500 to us.

In case you are interested, or ready to get started, I am including a list of Adoption Foundations/Ministries that (I think) are still currently accepting applications for grant awards:

*http://www.sowingroots.org/adoption-assistance/process.html
*http://familiesoutreach.org/adoption-grant-program/
*http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/adoption-funding/adoption-grants/
*http://www.handinhandadopt.org/cms/apply
*http://www.wecarefororphansfund.org/content/adoption_aid
http://ggam.org/
http://gracehavenhome.com/grace-haven-grants-fundraising/
http://www.giftofadoption.org/index.html
http://bohadoptionministry.com/grant-application/
http://www.kaelman.org/grant-information/
http://www.helpusadopt.org/index.html
http://www.savingchildren.net/
http://heartofthebride.org/
http://www.sacredselections.org/
http://funding-hope.org/apply-for-a-grant/
http://showhope.org/restore-hope/adoption-aid/#adoption-aid-grants
http://fundyouradoption.org/adoption-grants/
http://www.jscfoundation.org/requirements/
http://www.onelessministries.org/content/domestic_work/apply.asp
http://www.katelynsfund.org/?page=criteria-and-guidelines


My true desire is that more people would open their hearts and their homes to a child that needs someone to love them. And if that is not you, in this season of life, maybe you would consider supporting someone that would love to adopt, but is being held back by finances. If you don't know of anyone personally, all of the organizations above take donations and work hard to make sure they are responsible with who they award grants to. (*The first five on the list above are ones that supported our family specifically.)

Thank you for joining us on this crazy journey. Thank you for celebrating with us, thank you for your thoughts and your prayers and your well wishes.

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