It’s been a while since I’ve written. Things have been crazy around here for a variety of reasons. But I thought I’d check in and keep everyone up to speed.
It’s official! Rich and I are pursuing domestic infant adoption. We chose an agency, Adoption Star, and today they will be receiving the registration form, registration fee and home study fee. As Rich and I discussed how we are going to finance this adoption, we realized we might need to raise funds to offset the cost that will remain after loans and personal savings.
I’ll be absolutely honest, I feel totally uncomfortable asking people for money, especially without giving anything back in return. Of course I will write thank you notes, but we are not selling t-shirts or candy, or doing anything like a run (at least not yet, a friend of mine was tossing the idea of a concert fundraiser around, which would be super fun!). Money is just a very weird topic. There are a lot of implications that come along with the fact that a woman may not be able to afford to raise her child, yet a couple who can still needs to fundraise tens of thousands of dollars to cover the fees with adoption. If only that money could go to the expectant mother to help her parent… It doesn’t take away from the fact we want to be parents, but it’s an odd, and frankly discomforting dichotomy none-the-less.
But in the end we do have the resources to parent a child; we just don’t have the amount in personal savings needed to pay for the tremendous amount of adoption fees. We are not the first family to ask for donations to help pay for adoption, and we won’t be the last.
My sister, Vicki, who has been our biggest supporter throughout this entire journey to parenthood, has been my sounding board regarding how to share our story and get the word out that we are looking for help. So despite our reservations, we jumped in with our feet first, and humbled ourselves to the public. We have set up a personal and secure YouCaring fundraising website, adorned with pictures of Rich and I, family members, and of course nieces and nephews. Our story is now out there for all to see and we are beyond grateful for any support – monetary, prayer, advocacy, a listening ear, or otherwise.
Last night I told Vicki she didn’t have to hold back anymore (she was busting at the seams to share the website with anyone she felt would be moved to donate). Because of her tenacity and drive, and the wonderful desire of family and friends to help, we raised over $800 in less than 12 hours. I’ll be honest, I had no clue how this would go. I thought it would be awesome if we could raise $50. Rich and I have no words to express how moved we are.
We are honestly blown away and humbled by the reaction from family, friends, old high school friends, and even complete strangers! The outpouring of support has been amazing and I don’t really know what to do with it except thank God that our story connected with people, accept the blessings we are receiving, and give back to others when they seek out help as well.
I’m hoping to come up with some creative way to thank everyone for their help. But in the mean time, I haven’t even shared the fundraising page yet myself! Right now I’m focusing on getting a personal letter out to our entire extended family about our adoption plan, questions they might have, and the ways in which they can support us.
Although financial donations are wonderful and needed, the number one way people can support us is to become an advocate for compassionate and open adoption. Learn about adoption, learn proper language, correct people when they say ignorant things and recognize that adoption is a lifelong journey, not a one-time event. It doesn’t end the minute a child is placed in a home. Adoption will be a part of the child’s life, the birth family’s life, and the adoptive family’s life forever. Let’s work together to remove the stigma related to adoption and support families of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
If you would like to check out our fundraising page go to youcaring.org/adoptingbabymarshall. I will be posting specific updates about our adoption journey on that website. I plan to continue to write on this blog about more broad adoption and fertility issues.
Thanks for listening, thanks for your prayers, and thanks for your love!