Simple. Marriage is tough. Marriage is a blessing. Marriage is God’s heart and His greatest tool used in teaching me to be a more selfless human being who is stronger with my husband than solo. That was kind of tough for me to grasp at first, especially after 30 years of doing things my way. Marriage for me has been the road to allowing my Heavenly Father to take the rough edges that are exposed often so he can refine, polish, and chip them off. I look back at my wedding day and think what a great day that was but whoa, I wouldn’t go back to that starting point of who I was for anything. I am a work in progress still, but aren’t we all? Won’t we always be? My goal is to allow Jesus to constantly work on me with the gift of the Holy Spirit who resides in me. Sometimes it feels like I accomplish a milestone in one area and then He exposes another several I overlooked…and frankly, I am ok at with that. It keeps me humbled and realizing that I am a sinner and apart from Him I can accomplish nothing and through Him I can conquer His great and mighty plans.
So, because of one of these humble moments years ago, this controlling nature of mine, broke me down. I realized with my husband starting a business, financial limitations, a growing family, an adoption, a delayed second pregnancy…I was not in control. Never have been. He spoke to my heart very clearly, ‘there is more power in prayer my child than control.’ It was there my tears turned to joy because I realized, there are wives all over struggling with trying to strengthen their family with their own efforts and the challenges and stresses that life presents often are wearing down many. I can still see it that day….my place in the kitchen, where I was standing, when the vision of A Praying Wife was birthed in my heart APrayingWife.com
I had a true and passionate desire that day to create a group guide so women from any location or any income level could download the guide for FREE that would encourage wives praying for their husbands. I formed one, and man, my friendships, conversations, accountability and intentional prayer time for my love became big and bigger! My focus on so called issues, obstacles, or problems became redirected to this prayer focus for my husband! It was joy. Not a perfect life, but it became a joyful one! And my husband will tell you, it was contagious to even him. I think it can encourage the walk of many husbands when they feel loved and respected by a praying wife!
A praying wife is driven with passion for her marriage and her home. This passion removes her fear of recognizing her flaws because she understands it is God's grace that makes her whole. She also knows that her loving God will guide and grow her spiritual maturity in her marriage. She has fully embraced the truths that there is nothing too hard for her God and that by his goodness and through her dedication to praying over her husband she will see wondrous things blossom in the man who captured her heart!
A Praying Wife was launched with the vision of groups of women coming together to fellowship and to witness the power of prayer for their husbands. With a free 14-session series download, women can facilitate their own small groups. This purposeful time will bring women together to encourage each other, drink lots of coffee (of course!), and spend time intentionally and powerfully praying. The sessions will help to guide, challenge and teach women to pray boldly and specifically for their husbands. They will be driven by prayer topics related to their husbands’ jobs, passions, faith, leadership abilities, relationships, parenting and most of all their walks with God. APrayingWife.com is a starting point for those who want to start their own groups focused on their husbands and marriages. God is GOOD and intends for us to have joyful marriages.
I hope you enjoy! You will find the download, FAQ, and much more on APrayingWife.com – there is also a bonus guide I wrote for 14 days of prayers for healing for your child. Our son we adopted from China has a special need that has placed us in the hospital and through some trying times and painful moments, my Heavenly Father placed this project in my heart too!
From Jeanne: When I believe He is good, when I believe He can, when I exercise that belief with trusting Him, and when I follow through by obeying what He is telling me to do...oh my gosh I can't even begin to tell you how many amazing miracles Ryan and I have experienced through it! I want to scream each one from the mountain top! I love sharing Isaiah's many miracles because it is a testimony of how when God calls us to something it is in
HIS HANDS. I always hope it encourages someone in a hard place relying on a miracle!
STORY: So we went to the hospital in Columbus this past January for a variety of testing and things we needed to check on Isaiah for after returning from China. It was three days of testings and all sorts. The medical bills piled up. We followed up in August too so and more expenses came. With our finances being tighter than normal due to many factors from starting a business, to having 3 children, to have home needs, you know...the list goes on, it can always be something. However, the great thing is, it's been used as a process of building complete trust for Ryan and me in our faith. Those stepping stones that seemed worrisome at the moment each has proven to be a beautiful gift that has helped us grow.
So back to the story, the medical bills piled up and the hospital is a great one, they have an amazing program that works with your insurance company to help get the most coverage as possible and then they even offer some assistance and generous leverage in areas for the bills. I can't say enough about this hospital and the people. We qualified for a few things and have been waiting for a response over the last 8 months. Ryan and I have faithfully prayed over it and have felt an extreme peace that God is our provider, it is all His anyway right? So, in the mail yesterday it came...the letter. I opened it knowing no matter what the numbers reflect, He will provide. He chose precious Isaiah for our family and He loves Isaiah and has already shown us He is taking care of every detail for him as long as we walk faithfully (2 Cor 5:7 We walk by faith not by sight).
And there it was - NO WAY! NO WAY REALLY? Is this happening? Oh my gosh it is! It just did! How did that happen? It happened! THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU! I'm humbled at how you go above our prayers every time because you're so loving! AND AMAZING! THANK YOU! Yep that's what I was saying over and over!
I encourage you today to BELIEVE He can. If you need prayers I am happy to pray with or for you! Ryan and I are no different than any other husband and wife who may be walking through a trial. I believe wholeheartedly that financials are the easiest and quickest way to being humbled and trusting God 110%. It is there we seek harder than ever to hear Him (Proverbs 3:5-6 says He will instruct us in which path to take). And as we trust, He guides, as He guides, we experience peace, when we have peace we reflect Him in our lives/hearts...as the light for the world to see God and how amazing He is!
GREAT STORY ON BELIEF/TRUST
An Acrobat, A Wheelbarrow, and a Challenge of Faith
Can you imagine a tightrope stretched over a quarter of a mile and spanning the breadth of Niagara Falls? The thundering sound of the pounding water drowning out all other sounds as you watch a man step onto the rope and walk across!
This stunning feat made Charles Blondin famous in the summer of 1859. He walked 160 feet above the falls several times back and forth between Canada and the United States as huge crowds on both sides looked on with shock and awe. Once he crossed in a sack, once on stilts, another time on a bicycle, and once he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet!
On July 15, Blondin walked backward across the tightrope to Canada and returned pushing a wheelbarrow.
The Blondin story is told that it was after pushing a wheelbarrow across while blindfolded that Blondin asked for some audience participation. The crowds had watched and "Ooooohed" and "Aaaaahed!" He had proven that he could do it; of that, there was no doubt. But now he was asking for a volunteer to get into the wheelbarrow and take a ride across the Falls with him!
It is said that he asked his audience, "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?" Of course, the crowd shouted that yes, they believed!
It was then that Blondin posed the question - “Who will get in the wheelbarrow?'
Of course, none did.
[from Kenneth Baa’s book] Tens of thousands believed but no one trusted. Belief and trust are two different things. It occurred to me, though, that there’s something wrong with this illustration. Why would anyone get in the wheelbarrow? Why would anyone do such a dopey thing? There would have to be a compelling reason. So, try this: imagine there was a thick forest behind the spectators and that suddenly the forest caught fire. There was no way of escape. Now things are about to get interesting and suddenly all the rules change. Now there are only four options for the crowd:
Option #1: “I’m not here, and it’s not hot”. Deny your situation until you’re burned to a crisp.
Option #2: take your chances by plunging into the raging water below.
Option #3: try to go across the tightrope yourself.
Option #4: Get in the wheelbarrow!
Suddenly, the offer to get in Blondin’s wheelbarrow looks very attractive. Furthermore, it’s not the leap in the dark, it’s a step into the light and perhaps you’re only real hope. He’s already demonstrated that he could go to the other side and come back. And so has Jesus. His crucifixion and resurrection was his going to the other side and back, his demonstrable evidence that He is who He claims to be. Entrusting my life to Him, sitting in that wheelbarrow (so to speak) is not a bad choice, as would be ignoring or rejecting Jesus. With Jesus there are really only two options because ignoring him is just covert rejection. At the end of the day, you either trust Him or you don’t.
Matthew 17:20 (NLT) “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.
From Jeanne: The moments I experience true miracles I get so overtaken with the emotions and reminded, God is faithful and Isaiah was chosen by Him for Him and we are just blessed to be his family…forever family. Despite how Isaiah’s circumstances started off in the beginning years, God’s sovereign and loving and saw this precious boy in China in an orphanage and placed His hand of favor over him thousands of miles away and slowly placed him on our hearts and home. The divine connection in that two-year process, lives forever changed and daily we are impacted in this journey that is hard, fun, adventurous, emotional and rewarding. But it has been the continuous provision and favor along the way has left Ryan and I speechless many times and has increased our faith ten times over. I know without a doubt that God has large plans for Isaiah; I can only wait to see.
Isaiah has extreme anxiety with doctors’ offices or hospitals. Any of them will make him nervous from the minute he steps into them. He slowly gets quiet, gets nervous, and begins to cling to me. Even candy won’t help. He becomes withdrawn. The walls go up. Then comes the nurse or the doctor walking in, the tears begin to flow. The fear is overwhelming to him and the lack of trust over takes him every time. I on a normal day can handle these type of things and started off pretty strong, but after so many visits, I began to realize the anxiety was taking its toll on me. My heart aches and has extreme compassion now for parents who go through anything that requires on going hospital stays and visits. From what I have experienced in a short time I have become fearful of having to take him to the doctor for anything. I dread it.
Although Isaiah’s blood test were done in China and all okay, our pediatrician called for another test to confirm them. We attempted to do this at the lab at the pediatrician’s office one day but after him hyperventilating and throwing up because of being so upset it wasn’t accomplished and a redo was underway. To be honest, I had put it off for fear of upsetting him again. Then my doctor finally said we had to schedule it. We decided to go to Woman’s hospital lab so he wouldn’t associate the pediatrician’s office with the emotional trauma/fear he has since the last attempt was so rough for him. I know one might ask, how much does a child really know at 2 years old or even as a baby, but trust me, a child who has endured what he has by hospital visits, not having a family to go through it with or the security, can establish a wound. He has learned to become resilient and at the same time skeptical of hospital people. His sensual memories remind him of fear and pain in those places. I have seen it enough times to know sometimes we just cannot comprehend it, because we have never walked in those shoes.
So I started off this morning by labeling today’s experience as it would be how it has always been for Isaiah, emotional. Ryan and I woke up for routine morning coffee before the kids and we prayed Deuteronomy 31:8, one of my favorite verses when anticipation is underway. Praying the promise that God would go before us and prepare the way with favor and remove the fear. I prayed it but did I believe it? If I am honest, my heart really didn’t. It would have to take a miracle right? 20 times of crying why would 21 be different? Unfortunately, my expectations were low.
Now this time I invited Caden to come along. He said he wanted to be a helper. He packed a bag of Isaiah’s favorite things to bring with us…marshmallows, Ipad movie, cookies, suckers, and applesauce. Sweetest. I loved the opportunity to teach him to be compassionate in caring for Isaiah. Knowing that him being there would ease his fears some too! So I showed Caden a video of a little boy bravely getting blood drawn so he would know what to expect and explained to him that Isaiah gets really upset and cries. And off we went. Prayers went up! Please Lord, protect his little heart and make our experience easier this time because He is only 2, I prayed. We pulled in to the parking lot. I was ready for the nervousness to begin…we hopped out. Caden wheeled his Superman suitcase full of toys, Isaiah marched like we were going to a toy store, and we walked in. There we were in a hospital. Isaiah got quiet. So my heart started to sink a little. We checked in and thankfully Caden was laughing and playing so that eased everything a bit, and distracted Isaiah. Then came the wristband part, this is always a sure sign to get him angry, normally he will slap it away…but instead out came his wrist willingly! Eager to put it on! He told the lady “thank you!” Wow. I was surprised at this point. Ok ok you have my attention! But the true test lie ahead. Next we walked to the waiting room and then Isaiah's name was called. We all walked into the patient room. Normally the combo of the nurses outfits and the room will result in the beginning of the tears…but there weren’t any tears. None.…I wasn’t sure what was going on…but trucking ahead Caden and I pulled out the iPad, got a cartoon on, and I explained to the nurses despite the food and drink rule we have a suitcase full of snacks because Isaiah’s situation is a little different than most. They were kind and understanding and let us carry on. Caden put on Diego and began feeding Isaiah marshmallows and cookies. Isaiah sat on my lap. They began to hold his arm down; placing the band on it to find the vein and I felt he was about to breakdown I was waiting for it…but no not a single tear. Then the needle came out and the process of filling 5 valves of blood…..prick….minutes….still no tears. He smiled at them and was proud to show them his sucker Caden gave him, then continued to watch cartoons. One, two, three, four….almost done – felt like forever. Once they were done and pulled the needle out and Isaiah smiled again and said ‘ALL DONE’! Not ONE single tear. Seriously, it was a true miracle. Not one ounce of fear expressed in the entire process. I was trying to keep it together. My eyes were tearing up. I was humbled. I was ashamed I doubted. I was grateful that God is so loving He uses examples like this to prepare us for the larger things ahead.
It was a miracle not only that there wasn’t a tear, but that he did that with a smile and ZERO FEAR. I doubted God was able; I labeled my situation before it even happened….and then I realized after today…GOD IS ABLE. I will no longer let the experiences of the past determine the ones of the future. I will begin to speak life and positivity. Knowing that life is full of tests and trials, everything may not be perfect but everything will be OKAY BECAUSE HE CAN, HE WILL, AND EVERY DAY HE BLESSES US MIRACLES! I will believe. Little Isaiah has great and mighty plans upon his life. I document this story as one more to add to the LIST of them that I have, to reassure Him that our heavenly Father loves him, adores him, has favor over him, and has great plans for him. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
I encourage anyone who may be feeling hopeless or doubtful based on how it looks and feels….to believe GOD CAN AND HE IS ABLE TO DO ALL THINGS….
Deuteronomy 31:8 – Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
And the icing on the cake, I could not find my wallet today when I was at the hospital. I was starting to panic bc of all that is in it…prayed hard because I knew the anxiety it could impose with the cards and fraud issues…so at lunch today went back to my last stop WALMART…ehhh…walked to customer service and asked by chance if a wallet got turned in…and sure enough she came out with it!!! SO THANKFUL for the favor of the honest person who came across it in the parking lot and turned it in!
From Jeanne: Good morning adoption friends! So I want to share something that has really been on my heart… releasing guilt and trusting that emotions are not what we stand on but trusting He is in control of every detail involving our adoption from beginning to end. This story will definitely not pertain to all. But there are those who I know have walked in these shoes and those who are now and those who are going to, so I hope I can encourage you.
When I was in China I often read blogs where people shared some of their hardships in the beginning of the adoption and they really encouraged me. As a mom who loves her children dearly, I struggled with not understanding how everything was an instant click for all of us in the adoption. I am a gift of faith woman and believe all things are possible so before we traveled I had prayed against any set backs and believed it was possible for everyone to just instantly bond! Cute... I know. Well, while it definitely wasn’t that, hearts adored each other but that deep love was not instant, ‘how can this be’ I kept thinking! It was from that point on that the series of events all worked together for the good of His plan (Romans 8:28)
Oh the weeks were hard and my roller coaster of good and hard emotions made me feel guilty! I finally really understood the women who often said ‘adoption is hard, beautiful, painful, and full of God’s grace'… and I never understood what “they” meant. I kind of chalked it up to a cliché saying. Well I got it. I officially got it. It is one of those sayings that is powerfully true and until you walk in those shoes, you won’t really get it. It is hard because these precious children come from a hard place and the parents who adopt step into a role of dedication and exercising an unconditional love day in and out in a relationship that will take time to grow in deep love for each other, which it does and will. It is beautiful because it is a powerful portrait of God’s heart and his amazing work from start to finish when He calls a family to adopt. It is painful because there are a lot of vulnerabilities for both the child and the family and the emotions are overwhelming a bit of a roller coaster ride. Lastly, it is full of God’s grace because on the hard days we need His grace to push past the guilt and to push through despite how we feel. While emotions are very real they are not logical reasoning to base decisions on.
So back to before we adopted, I had dreamed up a wonderful picture of how our adoption would be. My dream was almost to perfect. It required no hardship and no growth because the picture I painted well… it was just perfect. Who needs God’s grace when things are perfect right? Let me just say I am thankful God was in control and still is. Our adoption began with heart break on gotcha day, an awful day for us all, and slowly began to come together into the wonderful picture it is today. In China, I stayed up late nights, rarely sleeping because of all the stress and transition and those hours were full of God’s direction. He led me to some wonderful people/blogs where women shared the truths and pains of the hardships and slow progression of trusting God’s mighty plan at work, connecting the hearts of all. A friend once said time is your friend, and time has been. Patience, the wait, all of it is part of learning to trust God despite how we feel. Time is needed for everyone to bond. Time is needed to fall in love with your child. Time is needed to let your child fall in love with you. Time is needed to let that natural feeling fall into place. Every story is different but ours of bringing an adorable toddler into a family of babies and busy lifestyles was a lot. A big change to say the least.
When we arrived home there were a lot of changes for us. The transitions were hard, the attachment was happening wonderfully fast for me, but not as quickly for everyone else. I was a mom of three young children and we were all getting little sleep. God’s grace was needed on the days I struggled with guilt and second guessed my decisions because of lack of sleep and sometimes hope of stability, but I knew the enemy baits with emotions and God’s blessings and confirmations along our journey proved we were all where we were suppose to be. Those miracles are what I clung to often and they helped so much! I will be truthful and you may relate but sometimes it was hard when I read or heard other moms talk about this wonderful instant firework show of love and perfection in their adoption it made me wonder how good of a mom I was because of not feeling the same. That is why I am sharing this blog today! But despite, I plowed forward being reassured by many I was doing a good job and that time was going to be our friend. Everything would slowly come together as it should and it did. Our sweet boy is a joy, we love him….he loves us. In such a short time God has poured favor and all the hearts have bonded tremendously!
The other day I thought back to a few months ago and thought wow, I would never want to go back and start this over again but I wouldn’t change it to any other way because the ups and downs have truly made me appreciate the simple things. When I see my children all laughing together my heart leaps, when I see Isaiah run for the back door because his daddy is home I smile for hours, when I see our family of 5 sit around and it feels so natural and easy… it’s a feeling of peace I cannot describe. I love our little family. How good is our God that he takes these kind of stories and when we let Him write he creates the happiest endings full of His presence. Every day I am thankful God is the author of our story! If I can leave you with one thing if you relate to any of this at all and it is don’t doubt yourself. Put one foot in front of the other and continue to trust and walk in obedience despite the emotions on the hard days for the children or you. If God calls us to it, He will call us through it. He knits our hearts together in adoption because He is the writer and creator of this amazing kind of love, the true designer of it all. It is a beautiful. So be patient and remember time is your friend. Adoption is His heart. It will all come together and soon enough you will be sharing your story to encourage another mama!
How do you respond to people when they find out you adopted and they say "so who are their real parents" or "so they are not your own?"
We know that families praying about adoption and foster care have many questions. We also know that some families who have adopted or are fostering have questions too. You are not alone! We would love to hear your question and feature it on Adoption Strong's blog Q & A Friday. Simply go to our Ask a Question page and submit your question to us and some of our team of contributors will respond.
And now for today's question:
How do you respond to people when they find out you adopted and they say "so who are their real parents" or "so they are not your own?"
From Jeanne: My take may be a little different because of having adopted internationally but one thing I have found is that often times people don't mean to be offensive. The lack of knowledge is often an open door for us to use our position to gently educate a person on the particular beautiful world of adoption . Adoption is an unfamiliar area to many people and if anything they are often interested in knowing more. So I look at most questions whether it may be a rude or even ignorant type of question/comment as a chance to use my platform to help increase their knowledge about adoption to help them avoid those particular comments in future and to open their heart to this growing platform and world of adoption. Taking offense and shutting someone down may not necessarily accomplish that.
From Tyler: I try to give grace with a dose of education when addressing these types of questions. With these particular questions, I always respond with the correct terminology. It's really important for those around us to use appropriate adoption language, especially when talking about adoption in front of our children. In response to, "Who are their real parents?" I answer, "We are!" with a smile. I then let them know that when referring to our children's first family, we use the terms "birth parents or biological parents."
When asked, "So they are not your own/You couldn't have your own?", I respond by explaining that even though Isabel & Noah are not our "biological" children, they are in every way our "own" children. Unless something ugly or rude is said, I am always quick to extend grace in this situations! Before we were involved in adoption, we had no idea about the importance of positive adoption language & definitely didn't know how to talk about adoption in the most appropriate way. We definitely do not expect perfection in this area, especially from strangers, but we do expect the people who know our story & are involved in our lives to make efforts to understand & use good adoption language when speaking to us (& especially to our children) about adoption.
From Aimee': I have been asked this question more times than I can count and I have heard it asked to my children too many times for my liking. Years ago, I came across this adoption definition list and I just loved it. I loved it so much I put it on my Facebook favorite quotes section.
Four adoption terms defined -
Natural child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your own child: Any child who is not someone else’s child.
Adopted child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.
And all the parents who have adopted say, AMEN!
My husband and I are the real parents of both our children who we birthed and our children who we adopted. Although I know that people who ask this question think there is nothing wrong with asking this question, I still believe people need to watch what they say and how they say things even if they say it out of the goodness of their heart.
In the beginning of motherhood, with 5 little ones ages newborn to 5 years old and our three older children ages 12 years old to 17 years old, I heard this question so much because five of our eight children's skin color are a different color than mine. Every time someone would ask me who were the real parents of our children, my insides would cringe. First, my initial reaction was to quickly look at my children and make sure they did not hear this person insinuating that I was not their real parent. Then I would make eye contact with the person and say, “I am their real parent.” They usually looked at me puzzled because of our different skin colors.
This is a loaded question first all. This is not a question that needs to be asked in the Wal-mart checkout line, which is usually the place I would get asked this question with all the kids in tow. I admit, at first, I would not respond kindly until God reminded me that people just did not understand the true meaning of adoption and for me to answer with love and share with them Ephesians 1:5 so that they could learn the truth. So that is exactly what I started doing as I received this question over and over again. Ephesians 1:5 says “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure.” This is the true meaning of adoption. I know it is hard for some people to embrace that parents who adopt are the children’s real parents but we are. We may not have birthed them but it does not change the fact that we are real and not artificial; we are not an imitation or imaginary; we are their parents period….. their real parents. I am truly saying this with love.
Once a child is adopted they become 100% part of the family that adopted them. They become our very own. They are equals to the children we birth. The children we birth and the children we adopt are both miracles in our eyes.
So my advice to the person that wants to ask the woman in the checkout line who looks like she did not give birth to some of her children is to maybe smile and instead of asking who are the children's real parent say instead "what a beautiful family you have." I promise you, warmth will fill her heart and a beautiful sweet smile will emerge on her face because she has just received the best compliment she could have ever received. :)
From Jeanne: Ephesians 3:20 is always a beautiful reminder that our God can facilitate amazing things beyond our ability… and He will far exceed our expectations too! I found comfort in this verse many times, especially when things seemed impossible during the wait of our adoption and trying to conceive again. My Heavenly Father knew the desire of my heart was I wanted to grow my family and have more children. From a wordly view there was a lot of pressure at times because of my age and the time frame but one valuable lesson I took from the wait in my adoption journey was that His will, done His way (timing), would never lack His supply. Not only did our two-year journey bring us our son through our China adoption, but we were blessed twice when I found out I was pregnant with our little girl. We now have two biological children and one through international adoption…God’s way far exceeded my expectations. When we believe He can, He will.
My blog today is a gentle reminder that our God wants to bless you in whatever you are believing for. I challenge you to remove all limits from your thinking and pray big, while wholeheartedly believing Jeremiah 32:17: O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!
I’ll close with sharing what changed me... when I finally surrendered the pen and let God be the author of my story, it was written with an eternal purpose that far exceeded my expectations (Ephesians 3:20).
We know that families praying about adoption and foster care have many questions. You are not alone! We would love to hear your question and feature it on Adoption Strong's blog Q & A Friday. Simply go to our Ask a Question page and submit your question to us and some of our team of contributors will respond.
And now for today's question:
How can we afford adoption? And how do I raise money for adoption?
God’s will is God’s BILL. God’s will done God’s way will never lack GOD’s SUPPLY. I really clung to those in my journey. Some may be called to fundraise and some may be called to sit STILL and let Him facilitate the details. For me, I was called to sit STILL. I remember believing with a full heart that we would have a debt free adoption and I looked at my husband and told him that. I remember the exact spot where we were talking in our kitchen. He looked at me like I was crazy. Would you believe 4 months later we were overflowing with an Ephesians 3:20 blessing and had enough and then some to cover the whole adoption. God creates a story through each of us and if we hand Him the pen, we will surrender the stress and worry of the financial side of it. HE WILL take care of the details. If you are called to adopt, He will provide. I strongly suggest spend quiet time with God to hear from Him, meet with people who have adopted to gain knowledge from their stories, and most of all come in agreement with your spouse as this is key in receiving the blessing from God.
When my husband & I started the adoption process for the first time in 2014, we had minimal savings & were overwhelmed by the cost. After researching & talking to other adoptive families, we learned that our concern was common & that many couples overcome the financial obstacles in adoption by fundraising. The more we looked into adoption fundraising, the more encouraged we became. We also learned there are adoption grants & interest free loans that adoptive families can apply for. After doing significant fundraising for our first adoption & some for our second, we learned a lot.
I wanted to give y’all thorough answers to these questions, so I wrote a full blog post on this topic. The post is titled Adoption Fundraising Info, Ideas, Tips & Encouragement & is up on my blog now:
The financial aspect of adoption is definitely intimidating, but do not let the cost discourage you from moving forward. My advice to you is if you feel like God has put this particular avenue of adoption on your heart, it is for a reason & purpose! You'll probably have to get creative, work hard & make many sacrifices to bring in the funds, but as any family blessed by adoption will tell you...it's SO beyond worth it!
There are a variety of options, practically endless. Each will have it’s own set of positives and negatives. Whether it’s barely successful or wildly successful depends on how passionate you are about promoting your efforts and asking your support network to spread the word.
PRODUCT SALES – T-shirts, dip mixes, things you make. Just realize unless you are making it yourself, everyone takes a percentage of your sales, sometimes more than what they pay you, so be selective.
ONLINE AUCTIONS – if you have connections to get a few great high-quality products, go for it! Keep it small and manageable.
GARAGE SALES – they can require a lot of effort, but can also provide you with high returns. Ask your family and friends to donate items and help you run it and help you promote it. (Coming up, I have a post about all the ins and outs of how to make this extremely successful for you!)
TAP INTO YOUR RETIREMENT FUND – there are penalties for this, but if you don’t have the time and energy to fundraise the old-fashioned way or you aren’t ready to be public about your journey.
APPLY FOR GRANTS/ZERO INTEREST LOANS – employers and organizations at-large offer these opportunities to couples adopting and sometimes is extended to immediate family members too (so your parents might be employed by a company that offers assistance!).
Usually, it’s a combination of these things unless you just sold a big piece of investment property or recently won the lottery. We set up a separate savings account for the expenses and funds, so we could keep track and watch it grow. It might be slow at first, so be patient and trust that HE has you and will help you get there.
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Valerie Harper