When Brad and I "talked" (I say it that way because it was via texting, so it wasn't really talking) recently about adopting he mentioned some obstacles that we needed to overcome before we could start the process. We discussed those obstacles briefly. The biggest ones are finances (surprise, surprise) and my ability to continue to work.
I've been a stay-at-home mom for the majority of my children's lives. Several years ago the opportunity came up for me to get a part time job. It was perfect because all of the kids were in school and my hours were during the time when they weren't home. I got nervous when summer came along because it would mean they would be home alone but my oldest was capable of taking care of everything while I was at work and it was only for a few hours a day and only a few days a week. Within a year there were some major changes at the office and it became apparent that the office would be closing. So when I had the opportunity to interview for another job I took it. I was so nervouse about it because it would be full time. I remember sitting down with Brad saying I just didn't know how things would work out. How on earth could I work full time? What if the kids got sick and had to stay home? What about field trips or parent meetings or school parties? All those things that I was so blessed to have been a part of in the past. Would I just not be able to attend them anymore? And what about summer? I couldn't leave them all home all day all summer? It wouldn't work! Brad just looked at me and I remember him telling me that mom's worked all the time and somehow it worked. That we would find a way to make it work. And we did. The kids all survived me being away and I was still able to attend things every now and then.
The company I worked for ended up being a not-so-great company. I had a real heart for the clients there and had some co-workers that became friends but the administration was so - for lack of a better word WHACKED that it just wasn't worth it for me to stay there anymore. Several months before I decided to leave I started my photography business. In December of that year I told Brad that I just couldn't take the job anymore. We agreed that I would stop working there and take that month to just kind of regroup. I suggested that I really wanted to see if I could make the photography business successful enough that it would be my "real" job. He agreed to let me try but was doubtful that I would be able to stay busy enough that it ever really be a true means of income. Let me just tell you, God has blessed me over and over again with my little venture. He gave me a talent and passion for capturing the lives and relationships of my clients. I'm so grateful that at 37 I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!
My sessions are mainly in the late afternoons and evenings and on the weekends. I do occasionally have sessions in the mornings though so having a child who isn't in school home with me would be a challenge. That's one of the obstacles that we have to figure out. However, I know it will all work out. Whether that means not being able to schedule sessions during that time of day or having a sitter or friend help me with the new kiddo I'm not sure yet. But just like when I started working before and Brad told me that we'd make it happen, I know we will here too. It is an obstacle but not one that I think is going to be incredibly difficult to overcome. And certainly not one that I feel would prevent us from following through with an adoption. Can you imagine saying, "I thought about adopting but decided not to because it just wasn't convenient with my work schedule." Or "Yeah, I'd love to make that 147million orphan crisis one less but I just wouldn't be able to because I work during the day and can't afford day care."
So that leads us to the biggest obstacle there is and one that I think is probably top of the list for anyone considering adoption. Finances. Why's it gotta be so expensive?! It really is kind of mind-blowingly expensive. An international adoption generally costs anywhere between $20K-$30K. Overwhelming. However, there are some organizations in place that can help with the burden of those overwhelming expenses. Organizations like Lifesong and Show Hope which offer financial aid and grants. There is also the adoption tax credit of up to $13,170 for 2011. Then there is of course good old fashioned fund raising. Many families choose to sell t-shirts and other items to help raise funds for their adoptions.
At this time we are discussing when to start the adoption process. Brad would like to wait until our two oldest children are out of the house. They are currently in 8th and 10th grade, so that would be a good 3 or 4 years. My arguement in waiting is that they won't be able to be a part of the process with us. To which Brad says they'll still be around. ;) True. But I think being home occasionally from college and living in the home during the process are two completely different things. I'd like for the whole family to be active in being the hands and feet of Jesus!
I'm seriously considering starting an account to raise funds. The ideas in my head on ways to do that are whirling around like crazy. I'd love to be able to get a head start on things so that when we do start all the proceedings we at least know where some of the funds will come from. I know a lot of the funds will just have to be prayed like crazy for. It's so hard sometimes to step out on faith not having all the funds to move forward. I've been really thinking about that lately because I know that's a big issue in our situation. However, there is a quote from a speaker at the Together For Adoption Conference that has been floating around and really makes you think. What do we mean when we say “I can’t afford to adopt”? We are saying God won’t provide for His children. Are we saying He’s a deadbeat dad? Not so. He will provide! - Robert Gilenas
In the mean time. We must get our home sold. Prayers for a buyer are so so so appreciated. The sale of our home and subsequent move to something much more modest would help us to make it one less much sooner.