To encourage those who think adoption isn't an option because of the expense, I'd pose two questions- 1. Why do you want to adopt? and 2. What avenues are you willing to try? A few facts:
1. Adoption from foster care is, generally, free.
2. A large chunk of adoption expenses will be recouped over the course of about 5 years through tax credits and refunds for adoptive families.
3. Many companies offer adoption assistance. Ours didn't, but God provided in other ways.
4. There are many very reputable organizations that give interest free loans and/or grants to qualifying families. A little bit of time on your favorite search engine should yield you plenty of hits.
5. If adoption is your heart, go sit down with a good financial planner RIGHT NOW. There is no fee and you don't have to be wealthy to do this. These professionals are trained to help you reach your financial goals in a responsible manner.
6. There are lots of ways, other than adoption, to care for orphans, support women in crisis pregnancies, support families who choose life in the face of insurmountable odds, and nurture those who need nurturing. You shouldn't feel pressured to adopt nor should you feel guilty if God is not truly calling you to this.
God provided abundantly for us through ways we are still uncovering. (see this link for the story of how God provided.) We aren't rich. Kyle is an engineer and I'm a mom. When we look back at the ways God provided for us at just the right moment, we still tear up. Seemingly simple things like keeping appliances running, keeping cars running, protecting finances, providing 2nd jobs, and the list could grow exponentially. Before we married we were strongly encouraged by my parents to meet with a financial planner. I'll admit, we thought this was ridiculous because we didn't have lots of money. How foolish! What better time to meet with someone? This man was able to guide us in making decisions that would result in our being able to quickly say "yes" after 9 years of saving. It was God who protected those investments for "such a time." If He did it for us, He'll do it for you.
I've lately read many comments from myriad sources bemoaning the cost of adoption and the amount of paperwork involved. I know it's overwhelming. I know there are times when it feels like you're answering the same question 10 times. I know continually getting forms notarized is inconvenient. But every check written, every form completed, every fingerprint taken is just one more opportunity to fight for your future child. It's often called the "paper pregnancy," and for good reason. We didn't get the fun of feeling Alanna kick and play in utero and so all of those papers and checks were our way of connecting with her. Each one just brought us that much closer to her and so it could be done with joy.
The financial costs can certainly be overwhelming to the adoptive family, but let me encourage you, if you are in the "saving" mode, God will honor the time you faithfully save. Waiting time doesn't have to be wasted time. Our 9+ year wait was so that our hearts could be pruned, refined, unified, and broken in ways we couldn't have imagined. God is the Author and Creator of families. He has you waiting because He's writing the story. It's not wasted time, I promise. Keep the financial cost in perspective- you are using the resources God has given you for a human being. I've never heard of anyone complaining about the cost of a car the way I hear of people complaining about the cost of adoption. A car depreciates the moment you drive off the lot. Let me put this another way, how much vetting would you have wanted done on your behalf if you had been a child in need of a home? How much would you have wanted parents who were willing and wanting to joyfully do whatever it would take to bring you home?
By way of personal testimony, I remember calling my dear friend Sarah one night and bawling my eyes out over my desire to adopt and the impatience I was experiencing. Whether she actually understood what I was saying through the tears, I don't know. But, 14ish years of friendship made up for the unintelligible sobs. She asked me to right then get on my knees and she would pray for me. She prayed that I would find joy in the waiting and that I would confess my unbelief and rest in God's Sovereignty for my family and future children. This prayer time was a real turning point and I can now see how God wanted to break my heart of various things before the adoption ball could roll. Praise God for wise friends who know when and how to speak truth.
For those considering adoption but think the financial burden is too great, be encouraged. If this is God's plan for your family, He will make a way.
Ephesians 3:20-21 has been our family's proclamation this year. We believe it, we've been shown its truth, and we have the profound joy of living it.
Now to Him who is able to do
far more abundantly
than we think or ask,
TO HIM BE THE GLORY...