Friday, August 10, 2012

Is It OK to Fundraise for Your Adoption??

Is It OK to Fundraise For Your Adoption?

I’m answering this not so much because we’ve personally been questioned by people, but because I know families who get a lot of flack from others about the fact that they are “asking others” to help raise the money needed to adopt their children. Mind you, we are talking here about children with Special Needs, and mostly children who are older. I haven’t actually seen anyone do fundraising to adopt a healthy baby.

We did recently get this comment on our Facebook Fundraising page:
“If God can't help u. How can we help u. lst allowed God 2 help. Dan we can help.”This came from a complete stranger and I don’t know what gave him the idea that God isn’t helping us with our adoption. I also don’t know if he realizes that God usually helps people through others.

To be totally honest with you, the very LAST thing I want to do in this world is ASK people for money!!! YUCK!! I absolutely loathe it! I don’t like making people uncomfortable, and asking someone to part with his/her money definitely makes them uncomfortable!

This is why until now we have only adopted from foster care. We knew we were to care for orphans, but we never considered adopting children from an orphanage overseas because we don’t have an extra $30,000 lying around, and it would take a LOT of extra work to earn that kind of money above and beyond our budget. So we adopted four children in the last three years from the Georgia foster care system and we paid virtually nothing. Early this year when we decided to adopt again, we figured we’d do it through foster care again….not much paper work…..caseworkers already know us…..simple home study update……no expenses, etc.

But then I started connecting with families who were adopting special needs children from orphanages all over the world. And what really surprised me was that the majority of these families are about where we are economically, or worse off—very basic middle class families, living on simple, tight budgets. And many of them were doing fundraising activities to help them raise the money they needed to bring these children home.

I was humbled to see people humiliating themselves all over the place—on Facebook, out in public, with their e-mail contacts, etc. etc.—asking people to care as much as they do for the discarded children who nobody wants to be bothered with…..asking for a petty $5 gift from people so that eventually…..eventually…..while the children wait in orphanages with sub-par care……the parents could finally raise enough money to travel across the world and give those precious little ones a real family.

But if God was in it, then He’d surely provide the money for these families to adopt!”  Christian people….is this your real view of how God works? Do you think that everything that “God wants” he just “makes” happen?? He’s just going to pour the money down from Heaven? Isn’t this what His CHURCH is here for? Shouldn’t we be spending our lives doing the works of Jesus? Sacrificing our own comforts to provide for the needs of others? Remember the words of 1 John 3:17-18: "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." A light bulb went on in our hearts and minds a few months ago. We don’t have to stick to safe and easy and cheap adoptions. American orphans are not more important than orphans around the world. We shouldn’t make our decision based on what involves the least effort and prayer on our part. We do not have $33,000 to adopt, but our hearts were drawn to two boys, ages 9 and 12—for whatever reason parents’ hearts are drawn to particular children. And we decided that they were worth our effort. They were worth our humiliation.

I’d quite prefer for Norman and I to get second jobs and take out loans to complete these adoptions. I’ll reiterate: I would MUCH, MUCH, MUCH prefer to work more hours and borrow the money than to ask a single soul to partner with us in raising the money we need to adopt these two boys. But if we do that…..if we do it all on our own……then what are we doing to encourage other families like us to take a step of faith and adopt special needs children when it seems a financial impossibility? And what are we doing to raise awareness in the Church and point out to fellow Christians that it is ALL of our responsibility to provide for and care for these children? We feel compelled to do fundraising because we want it in people’s faces that there are children available NOW for adoption, and the only thing keeping them from finding a home, in most cases, is lack of finances.

So we put together a 550 piece puzzle (and after hours of work and dizziness our dog chews up one of the pieces!) and we ask people to donate $5 to get their name on the back of a puzzle piece so we will always remember their kindness.  And then we scour our house and find every small thing of value—jewelry, crystal, etc. etc. and we put together an auction and remind our friends every day to bid on the items (but it seems that these little valuable trinkets aren’t so valuable to other people!) And when we can’t think of anything to “sell” we just copy and paste our tax deductible Donate Button on our page and ask people to read our story and donate “if God puts it on their hearts.” But after three weeks of this, we’ve raised less than 1/33 of our total adoption costs.

But really, while I might sound desperate to you right now, the fact is that I’m not AT ALL desperate about whether or not we will have the money to complete the adoptions. God WILL provide. He ALWAYS does. Just a couple of extra real estate closings and we will have all the money we need. Or maybe He will provide a big donor…who knows?   NO….the reason I sound desperate right now is that I feel sad that more Christians aren’t helping.  Not just that they aren’t helping us…..if it were only we who were having slow results with fundraising we could chalk it up to perhaps not being very likeable, or not having the right kind of friends.  But I see SO many families working so hard to spread awareness about the need for families for these children, and I see the Christian response, and I am just……SAD.

So, we fundraise not really for our own benefit….but because the Church needs to be aware that they CAN adopt, that fellow believers WILL stand beside them and help them bring their children home, and that if they cannot adopt they SHOULD do something to help the families who are willing.

Remember….these adopting families aren’t asking you to support them on a monthly basis. We can all provide for our own children. But getting them home….this is a BIG endeavor…..and one that I hope fellow believers will not miss out on the blessing of being a part of.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Reader Comments

Sorry to all who have left comments on my pages over the last few years. Once I moved my site from Bandzoogle to Blogger, I lost all of them! Please feel free to leave a new comment above!