Money is a huge issue for most families considering adoption. Most international adoptions these days cost upwards of $15,000– not the kind of money people just keeping lying around. Our 5 adoptions cost in the range of $15,000-$23,000. Each. This included agency fees, plane tickets, immigration paperwork, in-country costs, etc. Over $80,000 in 10 years. It seems crazy even to me that on a moderate income we were able to afford to adopt so many times. But bit by bit, it was indeed possible.
Our first adoption was funded by refinancing our home. The providence for that adoption actually began in 1989 when we bought our first house, a fixer-upper, then sold it in 1993 for twice the money. This cash gave us more equity than usual in the house which we built in 1993. Some folks might say that taking out a loan for an adoption is not wise. But as my husband put it, what better thing is there to put on a 30-year loan than an eternal soul? Due to low interest rates at the time, our house payment didn’t even increase. What a blessing!
Our second adoption in 2000 was funded by an unexpected inheritance. The bulk of the inheritance money came on the very. same. day that we needed to send in money to accept the referral of our son. It was amazing. The inheritance also allowed us to make a large payment on our home loan, which meant we owed less on our house than we had before the first adoption. It also funded the purchase of a new van that we needed for our growing family, the one that fits 12 people. The one we still drive. God is so gracious.
When we began discussing our third adoption in 2003, interest rates were even lower than they had been the previous time we refinanced. We checked around and discovered we could switch to a 15 year loan (instead of our current 30-yr loan) AND take out money for the adoption, and only pay a little more each month. We jumped on it.
Our fourth adoption ‘money-story’ is my favorite, because I can so clearly see the hand of God in the timing of it. My husband had a large piece of equipment (a sawmill) up for sale for several months before we even began talking about adopting again. For months there’d been no interest. We were beginning to think we were just supposed to keep the mill.
Then in 2005 we began talking about adopting again. We decided this time around we would go forward with the process only when we had all the money in savings. We talked about ways we could live a little more frugally, and upped our automatic payment into our savings account.
One week later a man came and bought the sawmilld for $8000. A few days later we did our taxes and learned we would be getting back $7000, much more than we’d anticipated. Within two weeks we ha an unbelieveable $15,000 in savings. We looked at each other and knew. It must be time to adopt again. We found out later that our daughter had entered the orphanage the very same week that my husband’s sawmill had sold. It was truly awesome.
With our most recent adoption, in 2007, we had a fair bit of experience with the money showing up when we needed it. We figured that if God was leading us to agree on the adoption, He’d also supply the resources. When we spotted our daughters’ pictures on a list of waiting children, we’d just gotten a tax refund, most of which was still in savings. I was also on the brink of signing the contract on my first book. Not all that money would come immediately, but with the promise of more coming in awhile, we moved forward with the adoption. We were able to pay the agency fees with what we had. Fees were a bit higher since the adoption was for two kids. When it came time to buy the plane tickets (4 on the way there, 6 on the way home) we just bit the bullet and put $10,000 on the credit card. It took til 2008 to pay that off, but within a year of their homecoming there was no more adoption debt.
You might think that our financial circumstances were unusual, that most adoption funds don’t show up that easily. Maybe not. But I know from talking with other families that this happens over and over and over again. God loves adoption. He loves putting the lonely into families. And He loves to give us the desire of our hearts, especially when that desire is so much in line with His own heart.
I’d quote you verses in the Bible talking about widows and orphans, but I’m afraid of sounding self-righteous, and that is not my intent. Anything good we do is only from God. So do a word search for yourself. See what God says to you about orphans. About the lonely. About children. About blessings.
And while we’re on the subject of blessings, I hope that my readers who are adoptive parents will speak up in comments here. I know that a lot of you read this blog and I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve never commented, now is your chance to delurk. Tell us how many kids you’ve adopted, or where you are in the adoption process. And if the story is not too personal, will you also tell how you were able to afford adoption? I know that many people will be blessed in the sharing.
Coming Soon: How we went from “just one more” to adopting 5 times.