Thursday, November 10, 2011

How Will We Afford Another Adoption?

Let me start off by saying that I believe if God has put it on your heart to adopt, then He will provide. And sometimes, He asks you to take the step of faith before you have the answers of ‘the how’ (you can read more of my thoughts along those lines here).

As I’ve blogged about previously, this summer we had faced some major financial setbacks, and we weren’t sure how we were even going to make it through July both personally and with Jake’s Kingdom Hoops program. At the time we signed up to adopt we were just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel through that trial, but we weren’t back on our feet yet. However, we trusted that we had heard God speaking to us on behalf of these girls, and we moved forward. As I posted on yesterday, earlier this summer I had opened up an adoption savings account to start putting away extra/unanticipated income to save for a future adoption. Now in case you didn’t catch this, let me highlight that at the point of application, that $319.88 was all we had for an adoption that will cost us somewhere in the range of $25,000-$30,000!!!! About now I can hear the wisdom of the world chanting ~ Fools! Unwise! What are you thinking?!?!?! But, I take delight in remembering that we are not trusting in ourselves to fund this adoption. We are trusting in the One who says that with Him nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26 ). And we believe it.

So, there we were, signed up to adopt these two sweet ones at the end of August…..just coming out of a financial hurricane from the past months…..and starting in on our homestudy update which was going to be the next chunk of money due. Now let me tell you how God is funding our adoption….

Around the end of September Jake decided to start calling the IRS every week regarding our adoption tax refund that we had yet to receive back from Justice’s adoption. With the first phone call they said they hadn’t even reviewed the stack of paperwork (invoices, copies of payments, receipts, etc.) that we had mailed in back in July (after our first two stacks of paperwork in April & June were rejected as not enough evidence of our adoption). By Jake’s second phone call a week later they said our refund had been APPROVED and would be issued within 2-3 weeks. Less than 2 weeks later we had $13,419.11 in hand and we took a big, huge, deep breath and rejoiced – with Him, nothing is impossible! About half of our refund will be spent on paying off bills that piled up over the last year. But, the rest we will be able to put in our adoption fund.

Another BIG chunk of our adoption fund is coming from the extra income that Jake has picked up through his individual trainings. He is working himself to exhaustion with these, but with his efforts we are able to actually put away money each month into our savings (our savings right now is our adoption fund) - something that has been absolutely FOREIGN to us the past few years.

Other than that, some unexpected things have happened that have brought us unanticipated money. These unexpected things are totally from the hand of God, and it just makes me smile that we had no idea these chunks of money would be coming to us when we signed up to adopt. First off, two different churches in Iowa asked Jake to come speak to their congregations regarding our Ghana projects. Jake has been able to share ‘our story’ of how God has opened up our eyes and hearts to the nations with the accompaniment of many listening ears. He's also been able to bring awareness of God’s heart for each individual Christ-follower to reach out to the 'least of these', care for the child that has no family, and visit orphans in their distress, in bold and courageous ways (for some this is adoption!). One of these churches supported our Asikuma projects earlier this year, and this time after hearing about our two girls they decided to give money towards our personal adoption fund…..$2500 to be exact. WOW! For those of you in the adoption process you know this is a HUGE chunk of money - when we opened their check that arrived in the mail we rejoiced with mouths dropped to the floor – with Him nothing is impossible! About a week after that we received another check in the mail from a person who goes to that same church who also wanted to contribute to our fund personally….that person blessed us with $225! We smiled knowing how God moves in the hearts of people when it comes to adoption – with Him nothing is impossible! A few weeks later at a different church, Jake got to share our story again, this time with a small-town basketball camp in the mix. All proceeds from the camp were to go to….you guessed it…..our personal adoption fund. This church is adding in a donation to the camp proceeds to go to our adoption and a check will be on its way within the next few weeks. Whooop whoop! With Him nothing is impossible! Two Fridays ago at the fundraising event, Jake had a chunk of time to share about our Ghana projects and he also included the announcement of our adoption and told the story of our girls. At the end of the night while we were cleaning up a grandpa of a family in our program walked up to me and said something like, “Keep up the good work.” As he said it he reached out to shake my hand and as nonchalantly as could be he slipped me a $100 bill! I was so surprised but I shouldn’t be - with Him nothing is impossible! Even yesterday, I got a text message from my mom saying: ‘Your brother just told me to cancel his Christmas list and use the money we were going to spend on his presents to give to you for your adoption fund’ !!!!! Are you getting my point? We did not expect ANY of these things to happen, but these little chunks of money here and there just keep adding up all into a whopping exclamation of WITH HIM NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Do you believe it yet?

Jake and I are also blessed to be members of a church that ROCKS and is committed to supporting adoptive families financially. Our church gives out GENEROUS adoption grants to families who make an effort to take up fundraising on their own. I don't know if I can fully put into words how awesome these grants are. Our church truly sees adoption for the gospel-mission that it is, and to be able to rely on them so heavily with our funding relieves such a huge burden in our hearts.

Other than that I am also working on a few more traditional fundraising efforts…..I am currently giving out hand-beaded Ghanaian necklaces/earring sets for anyone who gives a donation of $50 or more to our adoption fund.

(Us girls are also wearing these in our family picture on our blog header)

If you would like to do this, you can mail us a check (or give cash in person) made out to us personally to: 315 Ridgewood Drive, Huxley, IA 50124. If you mail a check I will need your address to know where to mail the necklace to. Somewhere on the check note if you have a preferred color. Most of them are multi-colored in options like dark blue, turquoise, brown, red, orange, green, black/white, yellow, etc. I can’t absolutely guarantee what color you will get because it will depend on my current stock, but I’ll try my best. :) Or if you can catch me in person then you can just pick one out!

Also, for the past few months I’ve been working on starting up a sale of adoption themed t-shirts and hoping that eventually I can grow sales into an online store. This has been quite the process, and I’m facing some obstacles…not exactly sure if it will pan out, but we’ll see!

So, that’s the plan stan. Right now, if we include the anticipated grant coming from our church, we have 3/4 of the funds that we will need to pay for our adoption! For the rest we will continue to trust that God is BIG, and that with Him nothing is impossible!!!!

More ideas/resources on financing/fundraising for an adoption tomorrow!


Lori said...

We think that 1+1=2, but in the Kingdom, 1+1=10,000! It makes no sense to the world, but God does way more than we can think or imagine. Praise His Name!

A. Gillispie said...

Wow! What a testimony of the Lord's faithfulness! I just love hearing how He is providing for your girls!