Thursday, March 14, 2013

In Their Own Words: An Adoptive Mama Talks About Fundraising for Adoption

Shelley and her husband, Chris, are currently in the process of adopting. They are in the early stages and in the midst of the paperwork process. Being a news reporter, Shelly has made sure she's done her homework. Before beginning with Christian Adoption Consultants, they researched the adoption process and even interviewed several consulting agencies.  

Chris and Shelley have dove into the process with a passion and zeal for adoption that I love to see in my clients. They have been vigilant about completing paperwork for their home study and creative in their fundraising. Shelley recently shared what it's been like to fund raise for their adoption and deal with the brick walls of stereotypes   

Today’s Soap Box: Ignorant Comments on Adoption

Here’s the deal.

I understand everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.

But I hope people choose their words wisely.

I’ve had one person comment recently on a facebook fundraising event which has triggered today’s soap box.

(And yes, I realize I might be opening the door for a rash of blunt opposition…)

That person will remain nameless and has since deleted her comment [maybe after having a realization of sorts that it was wasn't necessary nor was it completely accurate]…

Her comment on our recent t-shirt fundraising event (which I wrote about here, and ends TODAY!) was something along the lines of:

“How clever! Maybe I should make a t-shirt fundraiser to afford my baby!!”

Mind you, she gave birth to a baby girl just a few months ago.

I was hurt by her comment.

And maybe she didn't intend for it to be rude.

But the fact of the matter is this:

Adoption is expensive.

A lot of folks, take us for example, simply don’t have $30,000 that we’re just sitting on.

More importantly, that $30,000 isn’t to afford a “baby” per say.

It’s for much more.

It’s education, counseling, doctor’s appointments, money for rent or groceries for the birth mother who otherwise might not have the opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy.

It’s money for an adoption agency that, often times, is providing those services for the birth parents.
It’s travel expenses.

It’s background checks.

It’s invasive [and frankly, sometimes uncomfortable] interviews.

It’s postage to mail out piles of in-depth paperwork.

It’s the cost of fingerprints.

And clearances from every place you've lived in the past 20-years.

It’s legal fees after home visits from a social worker checking in to make sure you’re competent as a parent.
That $30,000 isn’t including serious health implications a baby could have after he/she is born.

It’s just the average of a domestic infant adoption.

The bottom line:

We’re not fundraising because we can’t afford taking care of a baby.

Like many adoptive families, we’re fundraising to ALLOW us the opportunity to do so.

It takes a village to raise a child.

Whether you've adopted or not, it certainly does, there’s no denying it.

I hope during our fundraising efforts, we’re able to become advocates for the option of adoption.

And we can shed a little light on this long, complicated process.

We are humbled by the many, many friends, family members — even strangers — who have been walking with us along this unknown, scary path.

We've set aside our pride to ask and accept financial help.

And prayers.

It’s not easy.

Trust me.

To the former classmate of mine who made the [what I view as ignorant] comment that sparked my whole rant blog post today:

Consider yourself lucky.

Lucky that while you were pregnant you could save for your daughter’s college fund.

You could plan for her nursery.

That while you were expecting, you had comfort in knowing your insurance would likely cover a chunk of your baby’s hospital bills.

Perhaps this post will encourage you to think about your views re: adoption expenses.

I hope it does.

While we don’t have the peace-of-mind you might have experienced during you’re pregnancy, we still consider ourselves lucky.

Just in a different way.

Because we know firsthand how many people care about our family.

We've seen it.

And felt it.

Perhaps that’s the greatest perk in this whole process.

Finally, this is an excerpt from one of my favorite adoptive mom blogs on this very topic:
“You will be humbled by the generosity of others; let it humble you and give thanks for it.  Do not be embarrassed by it.  All the money in the world belongs to God and when he directs it toward your adoption, give thanks and use that gratitude to energize you as you move forward in your journey.”
Amen, sister!


To follow more of Chris and Shelley's journey, you can follow her blog. She's even posted a follow up and the response from her classmate. And, if you want a great t-shirt that supports adoption AND a family, check it out here.


  1. wow! I think that persons comment would make me cry. The truth is that while my husband and I have given freely over the years to help others achieve their goals I have been nervous about offering fundraising opportunities to others to aid our adoption. That type of comment is the very reason! Blessings to you on your journey. We are right there with you in the process.

  2. Oh my gosh, I can so relate to this article! Thank you so much for sharing this!


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