The cost of adoption can be overwhelming and even discouraging to the point that it hinders many couples from ever starting the process. For many families, including my own, adoption would not be possible without fundraising. It’s intimidating and humbling to ask others for help. So, how do you get over being afraid to ask for help? Ultimately, you need to be willing to be vulnerable, and that takes courage.
When my husband and I announced our plans to adopt, we wrote an open letter on our blog explaining our heart behind why we wished to adopt and invited others to join with us and support us financially. We included a link to our online fundraising page. This first step was hard as we allowed others a glimpse into our hopes and dreams for our family. You can’t control the responses you will receive, for better or worse. But I remember being overjoyed when we received our first donation from a woman who we weren’t that close with, but she had been touched by the gift of adoption in her family.
We proceeded on in our fundraising with confidence, though it stung to be vulnerable at times, and I was often plagued with worry. We bought a house right before we announced our plans to adopt. I worried some people would roll their eyes and scoff and think if they can afford a new house, then surely they can afford an adoption. I desperately wanted to justify our purchase by telling people that although our new house was bigger and in a nicer area, the move actually helped provide us with cash to help towards our adoption because we bought our first home as a foreclosure and spend several years slowly fixing it up. But you know what? I didn’t tell anyone. Because I knew if I did that then I would end up justifying every single purchase in my life and feeling guilty about every purchase.
I had a revelation years ago, which is that when I give, I need to give freely and willingly; it’s not my place to judge. I don’t expect people who are fundraising to stop living. It was my prayer that others granted me the same grace as we fundraised. We saved as much as we could, and ultimately put most of our money towards our adoption, but we still needed help from others, and that help allowed us to not be quite so completely wiped out when our son came home.
It’s also important to remember that some people are delighted to give generously and they want to have a part in creating your family. And on the flip side, understand that people don’t have to give, and you can’t take it personally. One thing is for sure: enduring the fundraising process has made us more generous in our giving. I hope others find the same to be true. We are all in this together.