By nature, I am a do-er and basically a do it alone kind of person. Perhaps it’s because I feel it’s easier to do it myself, or it’s a control thing, or even still an ego thing. Whatever it is, I find it hard to reach out when I’m in need and ask for help from those around me and those in my support system.
These past few months while we have been anxiously finishing the endless sea of adoption paperwork we have also been saving our pennies. As eluded to before adoption isn’t for the faint of heart or for those with tight wallets. It requires you to give of your time, your patience and your money. When we signed up and began the process we were given an estimated budget of costs, and for the most part what we have paid up to this point has been right on budget. That being said, even though we embarked on this journey fully aware of the costs, we were somewhat naive to when these costs would be paid and what the payment structure really looked like. This definitely caught us off guard, and what seemed manageable became a little harder. We have done things to help us save. We recently sold our home (more about that later) in order to downsize our mortgage, we keep to a monthly budget and we set aside every penny from my husband’s consulting. We have really worked to make it all work.
Once we are referred we have one last payment to make in order to process all of our paperwork in South Africa. This large sum will help pay for any costs incurred on their end, legal fees, reports, etc. After that payment we have paid for the adoption or at least the paper part of the adoption. We will still have things to pay for and here’s where my “to fund or not to fund” comes in.
We have reached out to families in waiting across Canada and you would be shocked (or maybe not) to hear that many of them have fund-raised in some aspect throughout their journey. To be honest, I was little taken aback when I heard this, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. People fund-raise for everything be it for a cause, a trip for a sports team, money for a local brownie troupe or even for weddings (if you are from Winnipeg you’ll know what I’m referring to) and no one questions it. I guess people figure others will give if they want and if they can and won’t if they don’t want to or are unable to.
All of this said, we have decided to put it out there and do some fundraising of our own. We have had several people ask us how they can help and we have always answered that we had it covered, but do we actually? Yes, we have paid for the paper portion of our adoption and will continue to save for our trip to go and bring our daughter home, but we certainly don’t have the 10,000 dollars required to make the trip just sitting around. Over the weekend we decided to open an account on gofundme.com. I had never heard of this site before, but my husband had and he had been looking and reading over other adopting families’ stories and profiles. We both said, “well, let’s try and see what happens”. We wrote our story (a shortened form of it), described our goal and how we plan on using the money and clicked ok. We certainly don’t expect everyone who reads our story to give. In fact, just reading our story is an important part for us in this process. It educates people about adoption, about our family’s journey and that is just as important as the money.
So, here I am, as vulnerable as can be asking for help. Not just help in a monetary way, but help in educating people on why couples choose to adopt, on why we chose to adopt. I am asking that you at least read our story and share our journey with someone you know, as it will increase awareness for adoption. If after reading our story you feel inclined to donate we would be forever grateful, but it is not expected. Feel free to share the link to Help us bring Mia’s sister home.
To those who have already given so generously, we are forever indebted to you. With your contribution we will be able to pay for the one-way ticket home for our daughter.