"How much does it cost?"
That's the question I got from an interested mother while sitting at Panda Express having lunch with my only-home-for-two-months son. Her daughter had been battling infertility and had recently been considering adoption. While I LOVED talking about adoption, advocating for kids, and increasing awareness of the millions of orphans in need of homes- THIS is the question I had already learned that I hate answering...
I responded, "Ummm around $30,000 when you add in everything including travel." Then that look came, the overwhelming look most of us would have when we know we don't have the amount you'd pay for a good car lying around in a bank account with no purpose for it... So I added, "I've seen friends fundraise almost that whole amount, though, you'd be amazed what God can do to help bring home one of his little ones."
Honestly though, I wasn't sure even I believed it was really possible for the average person to fundraise an adoption. How could you ask friends and family for $30,000??? It seemed crazy and I really was far too proud to consider something like that. We used up all our savings to bring home Chengbin and buy a house, so sitting at that Panda Express with a burden for the orphans of the world, I felt like a hypocrite even suggesting that fundraising was the answer. After all, I already felt God calling us back and I didn't think I could do it.
Fast forward to November 3rd when I saw Laila's face and read her file...
That day in Panda Express God started softening my heart and my pride. How could we not consider going to get her? She would indeed not make it to her 5th Birthday in that province without a family and proper medical care. Maybe not even to her 4th Birthday.
Still, our bank accounts did not have $30,000 readily available for an adoption. My hubby was VERY quick to remind me of that. He was also VERY OPPOSED to adopting if it meant asking people to help us.
Then I read this...
Amy wrote so beautifully about God's calling to all of us to care for the orphans. I used her words so many times to discuss this possibility with Matt. It truly changed my perspective on fundraising an adoption personally, and over time it did the same to him.
Especially since 3 months later Laila was still waiting. Waiting for us to say yes and commit to whatever fundraising and grant applications would be necessary to bring her home.
So- How much does it cost? I'm here to humbly spill the beans and lay it out there for ya.
Yep, there's no way around it. Adopting Laila is expensive. As we prepare to leave next week, our final total adoption costs are over $32,000.
At the beginning of our adoption, we paid $5,900 out of our own savings in agency fees, homestudy fees, USCIS fees, document authentications, visas, etc. We also had our Adoption tax credit coming from last year's adoption & anticipated using it to pay additional money towards the adoption. Now that we live in Alabama, we don't make nearly what we did up in NYC, so the extra cash flow just isn't there like it was before. We knew that fundraising would be the ONLY way to bring her home.
Our amazing friends & family provided $4,700 more on our Adopt Together account.
T-Shirt Fundraisers via Booster/Custom Ink payments on paypal have raised $1188 more.
Raffled off prizes netted an additional $948 towards our adoption.
To date we have received $2401 in our Lifesong matching grant account. Lifesong wrote a check to our agency yesterday for $4,802.
We also recently received a $4000 grant from A Child Waits foundation to help cover our travel costs.
Total Adoption Funding so far: $21,588
And of that- $15,688 was provided via fundraising & grants!!!
Remaining Adoption Costs: $10,683
Our flights are booked. Hotel reservations made. And we are STILL waiting on our Adoption Tax Credit to be paid to us. This week we even involved our Congressman in our IRS issue, in hopes we will get it in time. Even with this we are still short around $3,000.
God truly has helped us in tremendous ways to get Laila home and we know that he will provide the rest. We don't know how he will provide it, we just know that 'The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.' 1 Thessalonians 5:24
We know so many have done so much to save Laila's life and we will forever be grateful.
If you feel led to donate to bring an orphan home to her forever family & the medical care that will save her life- the link is at the top of the blog. More than anything- we need your prayers!!! Prayers for our health while in China, prayers for Laila's health, prayers for our awesome kiddos who will be staying behind so they can continue their schoolwork, and prayers for their brave Grandpa who has offered to take care of them in our absence!
SEPT 14TH UPDATE:
We have been told that it is highly unlikely we will receive our tax return with the adoption tax credit before we even get back from China.
Still, God continues to provide!! We have received $1,100 in donations from friends this weekend. Plus, on Thursday we received approval for a $4,000 grant through Lifesong!! :)
That brings our total adoption funding stands at $26,688!!
Remaining Adoption Costs: $5,583
We are so amazed how God continues to work through his people to bring Laila home. To all who have donated, THANK YOU so much!!
We're 3 days away from leaving and I know God will provide for the rest. We thank him for all he's done and all he will do. We are SO blessed to be able to bring this sweet baby girl home in a few more days!!
Updated the day before we leave- we just received a grant for $5000 and a check for $1500 and leave tomorrow!!!!!
We are FULLY FUNDED!!!
Thank you all so much!!
Fannie & Matt Wilks