A word from Meghan:
It's the putter patter of little feet, sweet smiles and contagious giggles. It's the play times and bath times and bedtime stories. It's the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights and the cries from a little someone who needs us. That little someone needs us, just like we need him/her. That little someone needs our love, needs our arms, needs our heartbeat...needs US! And us, we need that little someone. We need his/her love, giggles, joy, and tears.
It was over five years ago that adoption entered our conversation as a way to grow our family. We had planned on it from the beginning but knew that the Lord would need to provide us with direction and a timeline. After knowing, loving, growing attached to, praying, and then grieving hard for our daughter Norah Maye, we were left with many lessons learned but possibly among the most important lessons was that God has called us to be parents. He has placed that desire so deeply within us that we couldn't ignore it.
And so the idea of adoption joined our conversation once again and we could not be more ecstatic about pursuing not only our call to be parents but also our call as Christ Followers to care for orphans.
A word from Jonathan:
I think Meghan's words capture our feelings about adoption very well. We are ready to be parents, feel led to pursue adoption and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us.
One of the biggest challenges for me in this process has been the financial aspect of adoption. The costs are pretty sobering and can quickly turn the sentimentality of adoption into an act of faith no matter what your financial situation. The Lord has given me peace about it but I wanted to break the costs down for everyone for three reasons:
- I'm a nerd, enjoy numbers and a big part of my current job is to create investment models for my organization's large projects. Adoption is about as big of a project as Meghan and I have ever had so I thought it made sense to look at it through this lens.
- I want to help give your donation a context. In talking to people about adoption the most consistent question is about the costs to adopt. I will break it down for you. Meghan and I value transparency and we want you to have all the information we can give you so that you can choose whether to help us or use your resources to help someone else.
- I want to answer the normally unspoken questions about finances in adoption, the questions we’re too polite to ask but are all thinking: Where are Meghan and I financially? What have we done to meet this financial challenge? How much are we relying on donations to make this adoption happen?
Adoption as an Investment
A great investment is one where you spend as little as you can to make as much as you can. From this, strictly financial perspective, adoption is a terrible investment. When you adopt you are investing a large amount of cash to “purchase” something that you know will continue to create additional costs for the rest of your life.
The fact that so many of us are willing to adopt anyway tells us that the non-financial or soft benefits of adoption outweigh the financial considerations. In business, this kind of decision is extremely rare and is only made when there are issues of principle at stake. In essence, only the most intrinsically valuable business propositions are ones that have no financial value and yet enable the business to remain true to its core principles.
Adoption is intrinsically valuable and uniquely reinforces the beliefs Meghan and I cherish the most:
- Those of us who know Christ as our Savior are all adopted members of God’s family.
- The cost of our adoption, Christ’s death on the cross, far surpasses our inherent value but ultimately reveals to all of us the principles most cherished by God: humility, love for God, love for each other, and redemption.
This section is going to list, then explain the general costs of adoption and list the costs of several possible scenarios. We are working with Bethany Christian Services who specialize in helping mothers in “crisis” pregnancy situations find homes for their children. I mention this only to say that it’s important to find an agency that treats you and the mother of your child in a manner that is consistent with your beliefs. There is a lot of room in these situations for mothers to be pressured or manipulated into making decisions that they are not really ready to make. Working with an established agency can mitigate this risk.
See the "Adoption Fees” picture we’ve included in the picture gallery to see the breakdown.
As you can see, no matter what the scenario, the financial impact is huge. The minimum cost to us would be $33,250 with the “worst case” scenario coming in around $50,750. That’s a really difficult spread to plan for which leads us to the last question.
Where are we financially
Meghan has added clients and home studies to help us save and we’ve put as much as we can from my check toward our adoption fund as well. We will be taking a short vacation the week after next before we become a listed family at the beginning of April.
The bottom line is that the Lord has blessed Meghan and I financially. We know there are many folks out there trying to adopt who are starting with less than we are and we have not lost sight of that. The simple truth is that we have the means to meet many of the costs outlined above but in any scenario (as you can tell), the financial impact will be significant.
What do we need from you?
- Consider giving financially. Consider where we are financially while keeping in mind others in your life who may be in need of financial support. We simply ask that you pray about where you and the Lord believe your resources should go. We know He is able to provide all that we need in any scenario or contingency. We know that He is the ultimate source of any blessings we have today and that if they were gone tomorrow He would still be faithful. We will rejoice if you feel led to support us and we will rejoice if the Lord leads you to support someone else.
- Pray for our baby and his/her mom. It may be that our baby is already growing in his/her mother’s womb. Pray for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy mother and that she receives the physical and emotional care she needs during this pregnancy. We plan on having an open or partially open adoption which means that she will likely be an extended part of our family in the future. Pray for our relationship with her as well.
- Pray for patience. Waiting is going to be the most difficult part of this for Meghan especially. Keep this in mind when you pray for us.
What can you expect from us?
- Anyone who donates will have a bunting flag with your name on it hung around the border of our baby’s room. We do not take your contributions lightly and we want to have a constant reminder of the people the Lord has brought alongside us through this journey.
- Updates. We will keep this site updated along with Meghan’s blog (www.presentlythriving.wordpress.com). Please reach out to us if you have questions.
If you’ve read all of this, THANK YOU and we look forward to walking this path together!
Jonathan and Meghan