by Jill Savage
This article first appeared in Money Matters, a publication of Crown Financial Ministries.
Over the years, Mark and I have occasionally talked about becoming foster parents. We enjoy parenting, have a heart for raising children according to God’s truths, and always wondered what it might be like to extend that passion beyond our biological family. Even so, we had never really considered adoption.
In January 2003, a friend casually shared with me a picture of a boy living in an orphanage in Russia. As she handed me the picture she asked, “Do you know any family who might be interested in adopting a 9-year-old little boy from Russia whose best friend was adopted by a family here in town just 18 months ago?” I glanced down at the picture and caught my breath. This little guy looked just like my boys. He looked like he belonged in our family. I dismissed the thought immediately, but I couldn’t forget that little face.
I found the picture again later that same day. When my husband came home unexpectedly early, I shared the picture and story with him. He became quiet and then said, “This little guy looks like he belongs in our family.” At this point, we decided to commit this to prayer.
After just a day, both of us were still very drawn to making this little guy a part of our family. We decided to discuss the possibility with our children and all four of them responded very positively and with much excitement. We decided to officially pursue making Kolya (Pronounced “Cola”) a part of our family.
The biggest challenge, however, has been the financial piece of this picture. We are a limited income family in full-time ministry. We have worked hard to become debt-free and have just begun to build our savings after several years of struggling financially. How could we even begin to think about adoption expenses of $25,000-$30,000? That has been the most faith-stretching part of this journey, but one where we have experienced God’s incredible provision and faithfulness.
We’ve found four primary ways to make the adoption option a financial reality:
As we began to pursue the adoption process we prayed about and brainstormed fundraising ideas. Our first venture was a simple woodworking project that the whole family participated in making. We made small cardholders for children to use when playing card games like Uno and Rook. We sold these at a parenting conference and made over $1000.
Soon after, our 18-year-old daughter came up with another fundraiser she calls “Cooking For Kolya.” After creating an order form listing our family’s favorite recipes, she asked teachers, neighbors, family, and friends if they would be interested in ordering anything from an entire meal to a pan of brownies. She has raised almost $1000 and is continuing to receive orders all the time.
Some families view their adoption as a mission experience and send out support letters to family and friends in order to give them an opportunity to invest in the life of a child. Other families organize community events and other creative fundraising events to make their dream come true.
Many companies offer adoption benefits to their employees. Some may offer up to $6,000 to adoptive families and others grant employees parental leave. For an extensive list of companies that offer adoption benefits check out http://www.hopefororphans.org/companies.htm.
Families can now receive a federal adoption “tax credit” for up to $10,000 for expenses incurred when adopting a child. For more information on this assistance visit: http://www.hopefororphans.org/taxcredit.htm
Foundations and Ministries
There are many organizations that exist to encourage and support families in the adoption process. Here are just a few:
Hope For Orphans, an outreach of FamilyLife, was established in 2003 to be an educational and exhorting ministry for Christian families considering adoption. FamilyLife’s “If You Were Mine” adoption workshops are designed to provide a biblical understanding of adoption and to offer answers to questions surrounding international, domestic and foster care adoptions. www.familylife.com (click on the Hope for Orphans quick link)
Have you ever considered adopting but are unsure of all it would entail? Looking for some practical answers to the adoption option? The “If You Were Mine” seminars are designed to answer your questions. Consider attending a seminar in your area today!
Lifesong provides matching grants, low-interest loans, and direct grants to Christian families pursuing international adoption. For more information call 309-747-3556 or check out their website at http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/
Show Hope provides grants to assist adoptive parents with adoption expenses. This is affiliated with Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman, whose family adopted 2 girls from China. http://www.showhope.org/ or 1-800 784-5361.
Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries offers a unique adoption fundraising/grant program to assist families in raising funds to cover adoption expenses. www.kkadoption.com or (509) 465-3520.
The National Adoption Foundation (NAF) provides grants and low-interest loans to adoptive parents. http://www.nafadopt.org or (888) 627-8767
A Child Waits Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation formed to reduce the number of children not adopted from international orphanages because prospective parents lack the savings to pay for the cost of adoption. Eligibility to receive a loan is based on financial need. www.achildwaits.org or 413-443-7990.
The Asian Bridge is a non profit organization that helps families adopt children from China. Their mission is to provide interested families considering adoption from China, both guidance and assistance through the process as well as financial grants. www.theAsianBridge.org or 630-665-4053
If you have ever considered adoption and how God might use you and your family as He “sets the lonely into families” (Psalm 68:6), don’t let financial fear keep you from being obedient to His call. Some will be called to adopt and others will be called to support adoption. The most important thing to do is to listen to God, follow His lead, and trust His faithfulness.
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