A personal #waitinginhopestory of the emotional and financial and sacrifice of adoption.
My husband Stephen and I have two children through adoption, Lillian (3) and Michael (18 months). One was a failed private adoption turned into a CPS adoption and the other a private agency adoption. As a mom of two adopted children I am often asked about the cost of our adoptions or told, “Oh I could never adopt; it is so expensive.” Ladies, I want to be real and vulnerable with you right now; my hang up with the cost of adoption almost lead us to not adopt our son.
After the experience of Lillian’s failed private adoption and then having her reenter our lives at six weeks old through a CPS placement, we felt we needed a break from the stresses of foster care and felt God leading us to adoption through a private agency for our second child. Long story short, we finally found the perfect agency for us. However, after filling out the initial paperwork we realized the fees were a little more than we had originally anticipated.
Girls, I was angry! Why is it so expensive?! Why had God brought us to this agency knowing we didn’t have the money? Why did we ever take that stupid Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class? We had been doing so good to pay off our debt, to own our cars, to pay cash for every single cent of our two years of fertility treatments, all of this to leave us as a couple in our mid thirties without any savings. I mean seriously $1,000 was all that was in savings and absolutely no personal retirement. We had been working so hard to get out of debt, pay off student loans and our house, and now we were supposed to come up with $40,000-$50,000 to grow our family again? All this while everyone else and their mother just needs a night of romance, no money down, and bam they’re pregnant and have a baby. (I know this thinking is all wrong but that is where I was). So, we filled out our paperwork, turned it in at the end of August, and told the agency it would be at least a year if not more before we would be financially ready to move forward.
BUT, GOD. He had other plans—a baby boy coming in just three short weeks. He was to be our son if only we would say yes to debt.
I don’t know if you have ever struggled with these feelings or if money is the hang up keeping you from moving forward in the adoption process, but I want to share with you something that I wish had been shared with me. God WILL provide. I know you know this. I know you’ve heard it over and over, but if you are like me you want to know when and how. What are your nitty gritty details?
When we found out there was the possibility of a couple who would be a perfect match for us and us for them, we had to make a choice: allow our profile to be shown knowing we would go into debt or pass it up and wait until every single cent was in savings. Man, am I glad God got ahold of me, held my face in his hands and seeming shouted, “Katherine, Katherine, I got this!”
The first thing we did was call my parents and ask for a loan. God had graciously placed them in a position to be able to loan us $20,000 interest free. (This was one of the most humbling phone calls I have had to make to date.) The next phone call, to our friend at the bank; would it even be possible to get a $25,000 personal loan while having no savings? (Again, humbling to say the least, letting a personal friend into your finances). Yes it was! After these two calls we felt comfortable moving forward and having our profile shown. We were chosen by the birthparents and what ensued over the next eleven months was God showing his almighty plan that had been from the beginning of time. With the $20,000 coming from my parents and the understanding we would pay it back ASAP, we wanted to take out as little as possible from the bank.
We looked around at all our “stuff” and began to see God’s provision. My husband sold his truck (which we owned out right thanks to that Financial Peace class) and got a clunker for him to drive in its place. We sold guns, Yeti coolers, jewelry; I made several orders of silhouettes on my Etsy page I had not been pushing to sell at the time. Many of our friends and family came together through a puzzle fundraiser and helped raise several thousand dollars. My favorite provision came through God’s lesson to me on materialism and what really matters. I worked at a high-end jewelry store for several years in college and during the summers while I was a teacher. It was because of this, and only because of this, Stephen and I both owned Rolex watches. Girls, I am embarrassed to even admit to you, I did not want to sell my watch. As my husband sold his truck and guns and Yeti coolers left our house turning mostly HIS worldly possessions into adoption fund money, my clutch on my watch was tight. I had worked hard for it. It was special to me. It seems so silly even writing it now.
I love my children and I would do anything for them, but with adoption it’s sometimes hard to see that side of it all when the child isn’t in your arms yet, when they are just hypothetical.
God began to show this to me, convict me, and began to ask me if I would be willing to sell my watch to save our daughter Lillian’s life. Obviously, my answer was an immediate “yes!” So why would I not be willing to do the same for my next child. I loosened my grip and we sold both watches actually making money off of them (because of my store discount). At the end of it all, God provided in some pretty amazing ways and we paid my parents back in eleven months.
Someone once told me, most people are willing to take out a car loan and think nothing of it, yet what type of investment is a car? Per Dave Ramsey, “it’s the worst investment you can ever make” and yet I baulked at the idea of an adoption loan? An adoption loan is an investment in a tiny human’s LIFE, and we pray it is ultimately an investment in their eternity; so the real question I believe is not what is the cost of adoption, but rather, what is the cost of not adopting?
I cannot imagine my life or our family without our son, Lillian without her brother. What if we had let our hang up with the money keep us from him? I’d be sitting here with a nice watch on my wrist and hole in my family.
I can tell you with certainty there is no way we could have saved $45,000 in eleven months, but with God there was a way as we stepped forward into the plan that had always been—for Michael to join our family just three short weeks after beginning to work with his agency. We sacrificed, God provided and I feel confident to say we would do it all again in a heartbeat.
So, if you are sitting where I was just a short year and a half ago, letting money get in your way of moving forward, I encourage you to seek after God and know that if this is his plan for your family, he will provide in ways you could never imagine. It may require some sacrifice on your part, but I promise that sacrifice will seem so insignificant when your baby is in your arms!
I originally wrote this post in March of 2017. Two months later an opportunity presented itself for us to adopt a precious baby girl. We had not been planning to adopt again for several years, BUT God. So again we have now stepped out in faith saying yes to His call. Because all our costly possessions had been sold just a short 20 months prior we have had to get creative. The one thing of value left, our house. And so through its refinancing we again have been able to bring home our third baby Ruby.
Katherine Pruitt - Nacogdoches Local WiH Leader - Nacogdoches@waitinginhopeinfertility.com