Just the word can give me the chills. I picture overpriced wrapping paper and pizza kits, going door to door and begging family friends to help me go on my choir trip or get new softball uniforms.
Years later, I don’t really remember who bought the candy bars or candles or pizza kits I was selling though I remember where they got me.
But, raising funds—terms with a whole lot less chill factor, in my opinion—for an adoption is entirely different.
A private domestic adoption may cost around $20,000. An international adoption costs a whole lot more than that–$10,000-$25,000 more than that. I have a friend who spent $60,000 to bring their daughter home. There are simply not a lot of families who have that kind of money at their fingertips.
And, enter criticism.
If you can’t afford to adopt, you shouldn’t be doing it. You shouldn’t use a child to play on people’s sympathies to give you money. If you wouldn’t fundraise to buy a house or your car, you shouldn’t do it for an adoption either.
But, see, a child isn’t a house or a car. And, not having $20,000-$45,000 in a savings account doesn’t disqualify you as a good parent—thankfully. And, actually, I’d venture to say that most families raising funds for their adoptions are not standing on street corners with cans and a picture of a malnourished child wearing a tent sign saying, “Help bring my baby home.”
I give families raising funds for adoptions a lot of respect. Everywhere I go online, I’m finding families who have designed and are selling great t-shirts to raise funds. I’m finding moms who have learned a craft and are working hard when all is quiet in their homes at night to make them and list them online. I’m finding parents writing books, threading needles, making jewelry (and more and more jewelry), selling coffee, teaching a skill–in this case, Chinese!, becoming artists, selling items through The Sparrow Fund (there’s a program for fundraising families), gathering unwanted stuff to sell at massive yard sales, hosting giveaways for Kindle Fires, putting together big ole raffles, doing their best to somehow get closer to that money needed to grow their families through adoption.
And, I’m finding God providing.
These families aren’t playing on my sympathies and making me say, “Fine, already, take my money!” Instead, I’m saying, “I want to be a part of that family’s story. I want to play a part—albeit a small part—of God’s provision for that family.”
I read a post not long ago written by an adult adoptee criticizing adoption fundraising, criticizing adoption itself in a lot of ways. At one point, the author wrote specifically about fundraising with this:
Is it really so hard to see how that [fundraising] is using the child, your future child, for personal gain? Do what you have to do, but is doing it at the expense of your child’s privacy, and well-being, really how you want to begin your new family? What will it teach your child? Will it teach them that when you want something bad enough, it is acceptable to play on the compassion and sympathy of others to get what you want?
Is that really how parents want to begin their new families?
What will it teach their children?
It will teach their children that they did all they could to bring them home. It will teach their children that their being a part of their families was not a mistake. Families will recall to their children the late nights, the thank-you notes, the clicking away on the computer. And, they will tell their children how God provided through people—people who shopped with purpose and people who gave with purpose.
Count me in.
If you are a fundraising family, head over HERE to the original post on Kelly’s blog to link up your fundraising efforts. If you are looking for ideas or want to support other fundraising families, go there too and click around to see what these families are doing.
Forever changed by our experience of being adopted and adopting, Kelly is a stay-at-home mom/manager to 4 children and a professional juggler, juggling her calling as wife and mother with her secondary callings (professional editing, WAGI, and serving adoptive families through The Sparrow Fund). You can learn more about their adoption story, how they’ve been changed, and what life for them looks like on their personal blog.
And, if you have a few seconds to spare, help them get to the Together for Adoption national conference in September by voting for their video entry HERE. No sign ups or sign ins and takes 2 seconds to vote for Video 4. You can vote once a day until the contest ends Saturday at noon.