Many questions circle around adoption, one of them being about the cost and how one pays for it. We often feel like we need to share with others how the process works, how much it costs, how long the wait is, etc. It’s always interesting to see the look of shock on other’s faces when you tell them about the cost to adopt, the sad expectant mom stories, the millions of orphans in the world today, and more. Until you are in the throes of adoption, you might be pretty clueless, like we were.
Let’s talk about budgeting for that unbelievable amount of money that will shift from our hands to the agency’s hands and our lawyer’s hands. The average amount that we are looking at is between $30,000 and $35,000. Yes, it could end up being a tad less (praying!) or a bit more (praying here too). So, let’s look at our family’s financial life. No, we are not going to give you our exact numbers! We’re just going to share how we live financially and are preparing for adoption.
We own our 15 passenger van free and clear. Yes, we do make repairs on it here and there, but it’s ours. Yes, we do get stuck on our mountain often this winter, but it’s paid for. We own our truck. Yes, we’ve made a lot of repairs on it the past year or so, but it’s paid for! And we are so thankful that it is a 4wd that allows Steve to go to work.
Vacations? What’s that? We don’t vacation. We’ve done two-three vacations through camping the past 16 years! These were 2-3 days long and we had saved all year for them. So, we don’t spend money on vacations, at least not right now. 🙂
Eating out? No, don’t do that either! We cook 3 square meals a day at home or make ’em for the road on our busy days.
Date night? No, we haven’t done a date night in almost a year. What is that? I can barely remember! Date nights are picking up a movie from the library and watching it after the children are in bed. 🙂
Movies? We don’t rent movies. We borrow from the library. Have done this for years.
Drying clothes? We hang a lot. In fact, we hang it all in the warmer months. So, less dryer use.
New clothes? We haven’t shopped at a mall or department store in years. We shop at garage sales (the children always start asking long about March when the next garage sales are going to be), resale shops, freecycle (look for it online near you), and Goodwill stores. We find excellent deals on beautiful clothes and are able to have more than we we would normally buy if it was brand-new.
New furniture? Funny! We had to give up all of our upholstered furniture in Connecticut due to a mold exposure. Since then, we have been given a couch and chair and picked up 8 dining chairs from freecycle (we now all have seats), and a few other items from garage sales. When the moving company moved us from CT back to IN, they actually wrote on their paperwork that all of our wood furniture was delapidated and falling apart. LOL! We thought it was pretty decent stuff for us, but they obviously move much better furniture.
Tons of extra activities for the children? Do you call Grandma giving piano lessons expensive? How about a speech and debate club for our older children that only costs lots of research, practice, and time? 4H? Field trips to local museums when they are free? Getting together with friends? Priceless!
Food? Yes, we eat natural, healthy foods and avoid boxed food like the plague, but our children are seldom sick and are very healthy! Sure we have to spend more time cooking the foods, but we all know how to cook now! Noone will leave our home without knowing how to cook different dishes for themselves or read recipes. And we grow a lot of our own food-chickens, eggs, lamb, beef (still working on that one), goat milk, garden, etc.
Okay, let’s talk about the house. Yes, our house is bigger than the one we moved from, but guess what? We got it for an unbelievable amount! The Lord blessed us beyond belief! He also put elk and deer on our property so that we may hunt too! I had a hard time accepting a bigger house, but after many talks with other fellow Believers, I have learned that it is okay to accept a gift from God. My mother-in-law reminded me the first night I came here that our house would give plenty of room for us to add to our family through adoption. Our family has been through a lot in the past 4 years-me becoming very ill, 3 job changes (one due to a closing of the division), 3 cross-country moves, the loss of Steve’s Dad, two babies in Heaven, giving up our furniture and many books, clothes, etc. from mold exposure, the loss of livestock, etc. This(gift from God) has been a nice blessing in our lives the past 4 mths.
Repairs on the house/cars/electronics/etc.? We do a lot of them ourselves as Steve is very handy. He can build furniture, decks, gazebos, mini-barns, children’s playhouses, etc. and repair appliances, vehicles, the house, etc. If it is something we cannot do, then we call for outside help.
Haircuts? I cut all the children’s hair(been doing that since they were little) and I haven’t had my hair trimmed in almost a year(anyone wanna come over and help me?). Steve is the only one that gets haircuts outside of our home. So, not spending money there.
Cable? Ha, ha! We do not get television reception up here and no, we do not want cable tv or direct tv or whatever that is. If we want to see something we can check the computer, radio or watch a video from the library.
Are we deprived? No way! We are so blessed! We get to look out at God’s beautiful creation daily in the mountains, see unique wildlife daily on our own property, play with each other daily, care for goats, sheep, poultry, cows, horses, cats, dogs, and a rabbit daily, take piano lessons weekly, attend speech/debate weekly and compete, have friends over weekly, have elk hunts on our property, watch videos from the library on Family Movie Night, three homemade meals daily, fellowship with other Believers weekly, and so much more.
Are we loaded with money to adopt? No way! We are working just as hard as the next adoptive family to raise funds to add another blessing to our family.
We feel like we have been very frugal with our family life. We want to be good steward’s of what God has given us. We want our children to grow up being good steward’s as well. So, when we see the dollar signs, it is sometimes hard to get our flesh out of the way and see God’s plan in all this. However, when we look a little closer, we realize that we are being called to adopt to give a child a forever home just as God tells us to care for the orphans in James 1:27. We see how He is at work in our hearts in amazing ways already.
Is the waiting hard? You better believe it! You start to wonder about the pictures you put in your profile. Did we wear the wrong clothes? What about our hairstyles? Do we look too old? Too many children already? Only the Lord knows which expectant mom will choose us. Only the Lord knows who our blessing will be. Only He knows when we will be blessed with that blessing.
Will He provide? You better believe that too! He can provide in many ways! We hope you will continue to walk with us and watch how He provides for our future blessing.
So, we hope this answered some of your questions about how on earth we are budgeting for this adoption. Could you do it? You better believe it! You too, could be adopting! It takes a huge leap of faith, but He will provide for you! If He calls you to adopt, He will not leave you hanging. The blessing of a baby is so much more than new cars, vacations, new clothes, fancy haircuts, etc.
For now, we continue to be budgeting for adoption walking.