By Neisha Roberts
When people first hear, “It will cost between $35-$50,000 to adopt,” there’s a quick gut response that usually follows — “How in the world could we ever afford that?”
We completely understand. Your heart is willing and you’re ready to take the next step in faith, but your head is stuck running the numbers.
At Lifeline Children’s Services, while we understand the “shock” of the numbers, we also have front-row seats watching God use the Body of Christ to provide. It’s through your circle of friends, family, co-workers, church family, and neighbors that God can move mountains. We’ve seen it over and over again.
We encourage every potential adoptive family to look wide and deep at the community God has already placed you in. This is your team. These are the very people that will walk with you not only in many parts of your adoption journey, but in your lives for years to come.
As you stare down the unknown path ahead, you might be looking for practical financial tips. So, here’s our best “Step One” encouragement — it’s never too early, nor too late, to make a plan. And as you plan, we urge you to focus on three “R’s”: Reduce, Raise, Request. We lay these out extensively in our “Funding Your Adoption” e-book, but we’ll take a quick look at them here.
Remember that the entire process of adoption requires sacrifice, so now is a good time to start finding ways to reduce your expenses. Cut out those extra lattes on the way to work, cut the cable at your house, or cook more at home.
There are various ways to fundraise for your adoption but one of our favorite suggestions is personalized T-shirts. Shirts not only help you raise money, they help you literally build your team! When you see a friend wearing your shirt, it’s a huge encouragement. And as they wear the shirt, they can serve as a walking billboard of sorts for you and your family’s journey.
There are countless other ways to fundraise, and lots of opportunity to be creative. The Waltchack Family, for instance, decided they wanted to give people the chance to “shop with a purpose” as they fundraised. The Waltchack’s grew pumpkins on their family farm and then sold them in their front yard in Birmingham, Alabama. The sale was such a success that they were able to complete the funding for the adoption of their second child from China. Not only that, but they’ve held more pumpkin sales since that time and donated money to other families adopting from China.
Several organizations offer matching grants, direct grants, or adoption loans. It’s a good idea to apply for more grants or loans than you think you need. When you apply, fill out multiple grant applications at once (for example: write a strong, detailed adoption testimony and use it across multiple applications).
It’s true, funding an adoption is no small task. And it does require faith, on so many levels. We encourage you to sit down as a family and start a plan now, praying that the Lord would guide your efforts to bring home a vulnerable child. We agree with this Lifeline alumni dad when he says, “I am convinced, if God has called you to adopt, finances will never get in the way.”
For more financial resources and more, visit lifelinechild.org/resources.