We hear this a lot. Let me just clear things up...we can't afford adoption either. We didn't have $40,000-$50,000 saved when the Lord called us to adopt again. In fact, we were drowning financially at the time with medical bills. This is why we dragged our feet again with this adoption. The financial aspect is overwhelming.
If you have ever considered adopting, we want to encourage you that if the Lord has called you to this, He will provide in the craziest ways.
I hope this post can encourage you with how to think outside the box to pay for your adoption.
We knew we would have to get creative this year to meet each payment when it was due. We also wanted our children to play a part in the fundraising. We kicked off by raffling off a one week stay in a time share that was donated by David's parents.
We did an Egg My Yard fundraiser where we took orders from people to set up egg hunts in their yards the weekend of Easter. This was one of my favorites! Our friends stepped in to help stuff the eggs and hide the eggs. It was so much fun, and our children could help with this one.
Our next fundraiser was a yard sale. Friends donated their items to our sale. We had so much that we were able to run it for two days. It was a great success!
We applied for a Both Hands project through Lifesong and were accepted. This was one of the hardest yet most rewarding fundraisers we did. We were able to serve a widow while working to bring our daughter home. We raised close to $10,000 through this project and had a team that went above and beyond for our family!
Our final fundraiser wasn't supposed to be a fundraiser. I enjoy baking and had made some oatmeal creme pies for a wedding. Some people asked if I would be making more so one night I decided to put it out on Facebook to check people's interest. I also added in chocolate chip double doozies. Well, as of last night we have baked close to 200 DOZEN of these cookies! The response for these cookies has blown us away. I love that I was able to fundraise doing something I love to do!
We did not just fundraise to fund this adoption. We also cut back a lot. I stopped clothes shopping for myself and the children unless we absolutely needed it. We didn't eat out unless it was necessary. This is one of my children's favorite things to do and was harder on them than on us. In May, we both began giving Plasma. This is not something we enjoy, but it is a necessity at this time. Twice a week, we miss ball games, family dinner, etc. to spend two hours giving Plasma. We have been able to use this money as our grocery budget and it has been a huge blessing. I also went back to couponing and spending time really saving money on groceries through Ibotta and Checkout 51 and other sources. I also love Aldi=) My husband and I both have full time jobs and part time jobs. He has a lawn care business that has really grown this past year and helped to meet our needs. It does mean he is working on his days off from his full time job so we do miss time with him. Our son will be joining him in the business next year!
When we adopted Aiden, we did not apply for any grants. There are tons of grants available, you just have to take the time to apply for them (which is like taking on a part time job). It is worth all of the work though when you receive FREE money! We have received Show Hope, JSC, a grant for Southern Baptist Ministers, and one from our church's adoption ministry. We are currently waiting to hear from two more that we are very hopeful we will receive.
I want to close by sharing how the Lord used our friends to help us with one of these final grants. A month ago we were still approximately $20,000 away from being fully funded. We applied for a Brittany's Hope grant. This grant allows you to request up to $10,000 but we have to raise half of that amount to pay forward to another family in order for us to receive the full amount. I asked David how much we should request and he said to go for the full $10,000. Honestly, I am all fundraised out and did not want to try to think of how to raise another $5,000. I searched more fundraisers and was ready to launch a puzzle fundraiser when David said to just put that on hold for now. Now that we are so close to bringing Arabella home, neither of us were ready to spend more time on a fundraiser when we need to start focusing on things we need to get us packed and ready. I put the puzzle fundraiser aside and we just began praying the Lord would give us this $5,000 we would need to secure the full $10,000 from this grant. The week before Christmas, we received a phone call from dear friends of ours. They said that the Lord had not called them to adopt but had been very clear they were to help us adopt and were giving us $5,000! David and I were alone when we received this call and it took our breath away. We just didn't know what to say but "thank you". We prayed and thanked the Lord for using our friends in this way. As if this wasn't enough, a week later they called back to say they were increasing their gift to $10,000! We still are just blown away. We are so very thankful for our village and the people that love our family and support us in this crazy life we are living!
I say all this to encourage you...if you feel you are being called to adopt then go for it! You have to be ready to work, but the Lord is going to bless you in the most amazing ways by how He will provide for you! This year has been a lot of work, a lot of testing of our faith, and a lot of encouragement through our village! We are so looking forward to 2018 and adding another Ivarson to this family!