Supporting Adoption Through Your Profession

The Financial Cost of Adoption

My husband and I always desired to grow our family through adoption, but browsing websites and crunching numbers left me overwhelmed and a little discouraged.

Although I fully believe that God equips us for the things He calls us to, hard facts and dollar signs sometimes make the journey seem impossible to my finite mind.  God is bigger, proved faithful, and blessed us with a sweet son in 2011 through domestic adoption.

Becoming more involved in the adoption community, I quickly realized that no one has the money necessary to bring home a child.  What a tragedy!  I knew that we weren’t ready for number two, but my care for orphans could continue in other ways.  I journaled these thoughts in a post on my business blog and soon got to work…

christine4Free to Adopt

My design studio is Great Oak Circle, named after my childhood home.  My team creates custom branding, logos and websites for small businesses, and consults on social media and marketing.

Free to Adopt is a program offering free or low-cost solutions to aid in adoption fundraising.  We have played a small role in bringing home several children, including Titus, Eva, Ethan, Ruthie and Gabbie.  Setting aside my time and talents to help these families has been a huge blessing.  I’ve kept up with them through the journey and cried along with them at the homecoming.

The Free to Adopt program has grown and developed to include the addition of guidelines and design parameters.  Helping bring home these children seems like rainbows and fairytales in my mind; but as a business owner, there is still a bottom line, employees to pay, and deadlines to meet!

christine5A few things that give Free to Adopt success and longevity:

1. How many we help: I designed and released this program with no definite number of designs we would take at a certain time.  The Lord has proved faithful, and we are never overbooked.

 2. Required statement of faith and church involvement: When an adoptive family requests our help, they submit a testimony and information about their current church involvement.  I made sure to detail my beliefs, and state clearly that we would help like-minded believers.   This can seem sticky, but it’s better to be upfront, especially when the whole world can see it online.

3. Adoption Timeline: We only accept families with an approved home study. This allows us to help those well on the way, instead of those just hoping to adopt “one day.”

4. Limited product selection: Families have their choice of popular fundraising aids, such as a blog design, online shop/auction, t-shirt, or print design. If they have a larger vision, I’ll offer anything in my shop at a discounted rate.

5. Limited revisions: I take the family’s ideas, including colors, motifs and Scripture reference; and submit a mood board.  Once approved, they accept whatever we design, with little or no revisions.  This gives them total control of the design direction, and still makes it possible for us to complete along with a regular workload.

I encourage you to leverage all the gifts and talents the Lord has given you. For many of us, our biggest asset is what we get paid to do…our jobs.  Prayerfully consider how God is leading you to support adoption through your profession. I used to feel worthless in missions and serving because I wasn’t a doctor, but the Lord has taught me that I’m not!  And neither are you!

Christine McDermott, Owner of Great Oak Circle

twitter: @greatoakcircle