Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The money statement

Let me just be up front with you for a minute, adoption, can be expensive.  This is not news to me, I have written the checks for two adoptions so I don't doubt this information.  What I do doubt is this, that this fact, is the real deal breaker for so many people.

If I had to rank the most heard expression when someone finds out I have adopted, it would be a tie between, "why is it so hard to adopt, I mean there are all these children who need homes, why do they make the process so difficult" and "why is adoption so expensive, I mean there are all these children who need homes, why do they make it so expensive?"

Occasionally it is not a question but a statement, and when this is the case it is almost always the money statement.  "Adoption is so expensive, I do not understand why they make it impossible for people to help these children, but nobody can afford that kind of money!" When I look into their eyes, it's as if as they make their statement, they are locking another deadbolt, patting themselves on the back, for a door they slammed long ago.

This is when I usually begin to bite my tongue, I'm passionate about adoption, but nobody ever won over any converts to their way of thinking by yelling at them, YOU'RE WRONG! so I resist that urge.  It is also where I begin to wonder, one, if it hasn't dawned on them that I'm sitting right there, can hear everything they're saying and have actually adopted and, two, what experience in their past made them have such a strong reaction to adoption.

What I try to say, without much success so far, is that's not true!  First, adoption doesn't have to be expensive there are varying degrees of money required to adopt, ranging from almost nothing to more than I could fathom (if say you're Bragelina and want to adopt a baby in a few weeks).

But it can cost a chunk of money, and this is where I get upset, so bear with me.  The most expensive international adoptions are within the reach of everyone who has ever slammed that door in my face.  I am not saying it is within the reach of every person, but this is America it is within the reach for many of us.

Have you ever bought a new car, bought a house, paid for a college education, then you can afford adoption.  I'm not saying that it will be easy, you may have to work some extra hours, cut out all the fat in your budget, borrow money, or apply for grants (yes there really is organizations that will help you afford adoption), all things people do all the time to afford another thing.

But in the end you are not left with something that loses half it's value the second you drive it off the lot, or something that loses it's shine two weeks later, you are left with your child, with a family.

This is what I know, everyone of you with children would never let money stand in the way of their health, their safety, or their presence with you, it's exactly the same for those of us who have adopted.  We are not some high class society, who can write a check for ten grand the way some do for ten dollars.  But we are a group of people who love our children, people who won't let anything stand in the way of bringing them home, not a year without pedicures, not canceling our iphone, not selling our house and buying something smaller.  And if you really felt that passion about the hundreds of millions of children in need of a family, why not open that door back up, undo all those locks, and see what role God has for you.  God will never let money stop you from the path He has from you and neither should you.


Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

Well said, Jenny!!!! This is so true and such a frustrating thing for people to say to us adoptive parents. We are a very middle class family who cut out every single extra in our budget for years. We held 5 yard sales with donated items from friends and family. We worked our tails off and saved, saved, saved. God also blessed us with angels who gave sacrificially as He laid it on their hearts. Adoption is NOT just for the rich, I can promise you that. And to have people say to me, someone who barely visited a restaurant in 2 years during the process that they would LOVE to adopt, but could never afford it....I see red. Thank you for saying this--there are so many who need to read it.

Jenny said...

Elizabeth, such good examples of sacrifices that y'all made in your path to bring home your son, I hope more people consider this path

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's important. We can all make this work, it just takes commitment to this child more than desire for self.
Thanks for sharing.