Last November is when we were fully committed to the idea of adopting a special needs child from abroad. But there is a huge gap between the desire and reality - money. Yes, that darned thing that causes so much trouble ;-) But little by little the Lord has graciously been providing money and paving the way.
Between selling some things on Craigslist and doing a little bit of babysitting, I have been able to put aside about $700! About $150 of that was used to order certified copies of Joel's birth certificates and his passport. Then, we have received unexpected gifts from generous people ($450 total!!!) ...one of my best friends since middle school.....the aunt and family friends of my good friend and her mother (whom I've never even had the pleasure of meeting!)....the parents of a young family from church...... These are people we don't have a lot of interaction with in our daily lives or at all but have out of their generosity and soft hearts decided to help us, which is really helping to save the life of a child! We are so thankful!
A couple of weeks ago the boys and I decided to count the money we have set aside so far. After counting all the bills and change we were short of $1,000 by about 50 cents. The boys and I went on a "treasure hunt" through the house and found more than that! So, as of now we have $1000 and some change. That's a lot in about 3 month's time! The boys out of their own generous hearts will sometimes donate coins they find. They have such tender hearts for the orphans and pray for them daily.
My breakdown of the projected costs that I have on an Excel spreadsheet is this (assuming that there are no glitches, I think it could be closer to the $17k range rather than over $20k+, but we would still need to be prepared for the unexpected):
|Promise Trust fee (or agency fee) **||$1,000.00|
|"Love offering" to Voice of Hope Fund*||$250.00|
|Sign up for Family Sponsorship Program (so people can give tax-deductible donations)||$25.00|
|Birth and Marriage certificates (3 each)||$100.00|
|Apostille records (for dossier) (CA charges $20 per signature)||$100.00|
|INS application & fingerprints||$830.00|
|Physicals for Joel and Marianne||$60.00|
|Shipping cost for dossier||$30.00|
|Travel for 2 trips (rough estimate for tickets, hotel, food, transportation, etc)||$6,000.00|
|Facilitator fees in Ukraine||$8,500.00|
|Visa & medical fees for child||$550.00|
|Promise Trust fee reimbursed||-$1,000.00|
|* Goes to help Reece's Rainbow remain operational|
|** Promise fee will be given back to parents once they receive a date for travel, if for some reason parents can't follow through with adoption, this would remain as a grant for that child.|
So, that is where we stand. I have no idea how soon we will be able to commit to a child, but we are continuing to trust the Lord to pave the way. We feel we have other commitments to attend to in the meantime (aka debt and my going back to school) in addition to setting aside for adoption, but are making progress. I think we would prefer a larger amount of money set aside before we commit to a child, because once you commit the process can be pretty fast moving (as fast as 4 months, but more like 6-10 months I think). So in that short amount of time after committing to a child, we would have to fundraise like mad to get the rest. And the fundraising is honestly what I'm afraid of. I hate asking people for money, but I know that it is the Lord's hands. It's not about my fundraising abilities (just see how much people have given us so far without fundraising!). This whole thing is teaching me patience and trust in God.
Well, I think I've rambled on and on enough. I'll end with this cute picture of Nate putting a penny in the jar which he found the other day (which prompted the title of this post). A penny saved is a penny earned....