1. MONEY - How do you afford adoption?? This is probably concern #1 of many adoptive couples. I know it is what kept us from doing it sooner - How in the world do you come up with $25,000 (give or take)? Well, the answer is not the same for all of us. When we pursued adoption the first time, we literally had no idea where the money would come from. I mean, we had a little in savings, but that was spent at the beginning of the adoption and we had much more to come up with.....Our adoption was paid for in many ways. We used a tax refund, had a huge garage sale, sent out fundraising letters (we know some very generous people!), our kids sold coffee, and we worked a monthly payment into our budget that we sent to our agency each month to chip away at our fees. We also took out a home equity line of credit and did use some of that. We will be paying that off with part of our adoption tax credit that we will receive this year. So, that was us. Your plan may look very different......fundraisers, borrowing from family, applying for grants, cutting back in your spending, and taking advantage of the tax credit can all add up. Some may feel conflicted about going into debt for an adoption, but this is a child's life we are talking about. Would you borrow the same amount of money and make payments for a car?
If you have more questions about financial resources, I have a folder of resources from CHOSEN, our church's orphan care and adoption ministry, that I can send you. Just leave me a comment below. You can also go HERE to see a list of possible financial resources available.
2. Will I be able to love an adopted child like my own?? This was not ever a personal fear of mine because we had had children who were 'not our own' live with us for a time, and I can honestly say we loved those children as if they were our own. We had the benefit of experiencing this. It is a question I've heard more than once, though.
Adoption is a small example of the extravagant love God has for each of His children....the way he welcomes us into His family unconditionally and makes us His own. Adoption is God's idea. This is what I know: God will bless your adoption. Period. Now, that's not to say that you won't have problems with adjustment or bonding....that's not realistic. I certainly don't want to over simplify here, because families can and do struggle. But, over time (if not right at first), God will plant a love in your heart for that child....the same kind of love you have for your biological children, should you have them. We have four children, and I love no one of them any more than the rest. Elijah is as mine as Haley, Hayden, and Emma are. I feel that to my core. If this is your struggle, pray about it. And then I dare you to trust God and see if he doesn't do miraculous things in your heart. I dare you to love as extravagantly as He does. HERE is another post about the fear of loving a child as your own, from a dad's perspective.
3. How will my children be affected? You are right to consider your children, we certainly did. We talked and talked about the possible implications for them and what it might mean. What it came down to for us was this: We want our children to live out their faith, experience God's faithfulness, and not be afraid to do big things for God. We wanted to, as a family, not be afraid to step out and trust God to provide as we stepped out to do what we felt He was calling us to do. We wanted to pray about it as a family, experience the highs and lows together, and see God at work in our lives. We wanted to be in the middle of where He was moving, and be a part of it. We certainly didn't adopt for the reason of giving our children this experience, but I will tell you, it has been one of the greatest blessings. Our children know what it is to experience God's faithfulness and it has matured and grown them ten-fold.
You are right - your children will be affected, they will not be unchanged. All parts probably won't be easy, and a kid or two may get their nose bent out of joint. It's OK. Trust God to work it all for good in their lives....I know He certainly has in ours.
If you want to read another adoptive parent's point of view on how adoption has affected their children go HERE.
I know there are concerns here that I have not covered, but they seem to be the ones I am hearing right now. I may blog about another set of fears and questions another time....If you'd like me to address any other questions, or concerns, please leave a comment.
I will leave you with one last blog....she recently had two posts that really caught my eye. The first one is about excuses we all make as to why 'we could never adopt', and the second post is about the truth that our life really is not our own and how difficult that is to really grasp. I thought I would pass them on....thought provoking stuff.
Finally, if you are in the 'thinking' stage of adoption, or even just considering it, there is a great FREE conference you need to think about attending in Normal IL on Saturday, February 20. Looks like great info - go HERE to register!