Adoption is hard. It shouldn’t be.
When I was just a little guy, there would often be an additional child hanging around our home. We weren’t a wealthy family by financial measures, but that didn’t stop my parents from fostering children in need of a home, often for indeterminate periods of time. You could say the “pro-life” thing for my family wasn’t just a political position, but a belief in action.
These little ones might stay with our family for a few weeks, others stayed for many months. Babies, teenagers, teen mothers, etc. To this day, when my mother decorates the house for Christmas, visitors find photos of babies in ceramic ornaments on our Christmas Tree. I’m not sure of the exact number, but I feel like at least five or six of these ornaments show up every year. These ornaments are somewhat sacred in our home. “Oh, who’s that? That is one of our sweet foster children from years ago.”
They just needed someone to to be selfless so that they could have a chance at a better life.
This past year, my sister and her husband decided they would answer a calling they’ve felt led to for some time. Already the parents of three wonderful biological sons, they decided to pursue adding to their family through adoption. Assuming everything goes well, they’ll be adding Liberty Jane Holland to the family this year.
If you know anything about infant adoption, this next sentence won’t surprise you. A domestic infant adoption can routinely cost $20,000. Some estimates have it as high as $30,000.
Now, many people would gladly spend $30,000 to do something genuinely good. That’s not the central issue. The challenge is where an average family comes up with $20,000-$30,000. (There is a secondary issue for me personally; why a domestic or international adoption costs so much. I’m working on that…)
So how do you raise the money? My sister and her husband both have great jobs, but they don’t have $30,000 in the “let’s go do something amazing’ fund. We setup a fundraising account online, did the social media push, setup the Facebook page, had the hard conversation about asking people for their support even though that is a difficult thing to do, etc.
As of today, they’ve raised more than $11,000 thanks to the generosity of friends, family, former classmates, churches, yard sales and other means. While that is a testament to others willingness to support the effort, it leaves them a bit short.
Enter – an organization that specializes in bringing the physical needs of the community together with the financial needs of an adoptive family: the Both Hands Foundation. The group formed when JT Olsen, a fundraiser at the time, received a golf tournament sponsorship letter he mailed out back from a friend with a simple message scrawled on the letter; if he were working on a widows home, then he’d have himself a sponsor, but if he was just going to play golf, he could do it on someone else’s dime.
So he decided to start an organization that did exactly that. Help a widow, help an orphan. His first fundraiser to help a family adopt four children from Moldova raised $55,0000. You can learn more about the Both Hands Foundation story here at the link.
So, as you can imagine, we’ll be trying to do the same thing. My sister and her husband committed before the fundraising process started that any money raised in excess of what they needed would go to helping other families fund adoptions. That is still the case. So let’s knock it out of the park.
We’ll be doing a workday May 17th. Mrs. Lena goes to church with my brother-in-law’s parents, and she’s a sweet woman.
I’m asking the people I know to sponsor me. You can do so by mailing a check or via PayPal online (full disclosure: contributions to this effort are tax-deductible). I hope many of you fine folks will consider it. If you’re lucky, I won’t be calling/texting/emailing you asking for your support. But I probably will be, so prepare yourselves. I’ll be giving again to this cause, and I hope you will too.