Sunday, 14 April 2013

On Adoption Fundraising


We have dipped our toes in to the waters of adoption fundraising.  We did not fundraise or apply for any sort of financial assistance with Zack’s adoption, other than the Military Adoption Reimbursement (to date, we are waiting 4+ months for our $2K, sigh). 
Back to back adoptions when at least one of us is on the doorstep of military retirement is causing a strain on our finances.  It is unfortunate that the cost of adoption is so daunting – I think more families who could easily afford to add more children day-to-day would adopt if the up-front money to actually get the child in to the home weren’t so high.  There are agency fees, government fees (on both sides of the globe), social worker fees, and travel fees...lots of fees.    
Between now and the time we bring Kyle home we will have to pay our agency (Wasatch International Adoptions) $12K.  This includes the $5.5K orphanage “donation” that we must pay to the orphanage that has been taking care of Kyle for the first three years of his life.  We do not have the option not to “donate” this money.  The $12K does not include our actual travel to get to and from China.  Plus, once we assume physical custody of Kyle, we are responsible for his travel costs, to include an expensive one-way ticket home.  Add to this is the fact that due to military service, we have to have a multi-leg journey home.  Kyle HAS to enter the U.S. in order to get his Certificate of Citizenship.  Once he’s entered the U.S., we have to come back to England because…well, that is where we live and work for now. 
We have created a fundraising profile on Adopt Together.  This gives others an opportunity to donate to our adoption in a tax deductible way.  Adopt Together gives the money directly to our agency, who deducts the amount from what we owe them. Here is the link to the profile if you want to check it out.
We have applied for one grant so far and are on a waiting list to hear something.  We are hopeful that we might get a little bit of assistance because it is a grant fund that is exclusively for military families.  We are in the process of applying for two other grants and for one “matching grant”.  The matching grant is dependent on our ability to raise money, which the organization will “match”.  If they approve us.  We hope to have all of our applications out by the end of April. 
In addition to grants and donations, I am selling Thirty-One gifts as a way to make a little extra money for adoption expenses, and you may see some other things you can buy to help support out adoption on this blog very soon.  We also have a “donate” button up top. 
So there you have it.  I’ve been on the fence on adoption fundraising in general for some time and we’ve taken the plunge.  In my two years in the International Adoption community, I’ve seen some entitled attitudes from some adopting families that have made me hesitant to go this route.  The “we leave in a week and we’re short $10K!  Give us money or little so-and-so will have to live in an orphanage and be without a family”.  Uh…no.  We have the ability to borrow and we’re taking this approach to fundraising early on in the hopes that any amount we’d have to borrow (or take from retirement savings) would be minimal.  Kyle will not stay in an orphanage one second longer than he has to.  As soon as China says “come and get him”, we’re there.  The “you drive a $40K car and you can’t contribute ten bucks to bring an orphan home” attitude kind of turns me off as well.  Actually…”kind of” doesn’t apply.  People have free will and what other families choose to spend their money on is none of my business.  Just like people do a double-take at “you’re spending how much on an international adoption.  That’s expensive!” 
So there you have it.  We’re working hard, trying to tap in to all of the resources we have available to us, and living within our means.  Raising our hands to say “we’ll accept some help” if someone wants to donate has been a little bit difficult.  Maybe it’s a pride thing.  But as a friend of mine said to me not very long ago – it’s not about your pride…it’s about Kyle.  And that’s true. 
The link to my Thirty-One page is on the left margin about half the way down.  My business email is Jill_Organize_Me@yahoo.com.  Contact me there (or leave a comment here) if you have any questions or order directly through my site.  The link to our profile on Adopt Together is here:  http://adopttogether.org/00294/
The Adopt Together homepage also has a great video that explains their really neat program.  So...a long post to make a simple announcement.  We're fundraising.  If you choose to support, my growing family appreciates whatever way you would choose to do that, even if that is simply moral support, good thoughts or prayers. 
On a separate subject, my blog just hit over 10 thousand views.  I am not sure if that is a lot or not.  It sounds like a lot to me.  So…whoever is out there looking at our adoption story, thank you for reading about our family.  And if you do support our adoptions – in whatever way that might be – we appreciate it and hope you’ve gotten something by reading our story. 

Happy Sunday!

3 comments:

Mary said...

I am right there with you sister!
I'm sure we could get a loan or pull money out of our 401k, and we will if we have to. I will have to come back and plagiarize parts of your wording when it comes time to write my own post. ;)

Matthew Lee said...

Jill I completely agree! I have an adoption fundraising idea that I'd like to share with you. Could you email me at mlee@coupaide.com?

All the best!

Matthew Lee

Phil R said...

10,000 views? I'm so jealous! I wish you all the best. We're in the same boat. Second adoption in two years, which we didn't expect to do. Also, doing some fundraising. Have you heard of the book Adopt Without Debt by Julie Gumm? It has lots of great fundraising ideas in it. www.juliegumm.com. (Disclosure: I'm Julie's big brother.) Of course, you, like us, don't have a lot of time left. But maybe for #3? ;)

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