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Let’s answer those questions…

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We have been (officially) in the Adoption Waiting Phase since December 2 [when Courtney became our consultant (our go to lady) through Faithful Adoption Consultants].

Since we have gotten many questions and concerns, I am going to invite you a little deeper into the process, into what we are talking about and praying for and looking at in the way of adoption costs.

Once home study approved, we presented to about 15 birth moms through agencies (situations sent to us from Courtney from these agencies). If any of these mamas choose us to parent their baby, our adoption will cost as low as $38,000 and as high as $48,000, not including travel fees.

VOCAB RECAP: “presenting to a birth mom” = having an attorney or agency show your Family Profile book to an expectant mom, who has {courageously} made an adoption plan for her baby.

Since announcing our adoption in May, we have fundraised and saved about $10,000 but spent thousands on the home study and agency applications, leaving us at around $5,000 currently in the adoption fund. Any money ever donated or put into that account from our own paychecks stays there unless spent on adoption expenses. We are extremely disciplined in that way. There is no way we would use this money as an emergency fund or for anything other than our adoption. Our adoption means too much to us and the people who are generously donating are trusting us. If you have given $1 or $500 already, know how beyond grateful we are! We could not be this close to bringing home Baby Remy without you!

I have spent countless hours applying to grants. I mean, countless. I believe we have applied to 9 adoption grants, received 3 denial letters, and are in the Waiting Phase for the other 6, praying big prayers of provision. Why they would deny us, I have no idea – except that there are so many applicants. One of them even said, “Don’t bother applying if you make more than $150,000.” I thought, “Oh we’ve got this grant in the bag! We make like 2% of that!” Wrong. Denied. Too many applicants. Not matched yet. The other day I asked our adoption facebook group who received grants and how many they applied to — I think 3 people out of the couple hundred commented. One family received $14,000 in grants, and explained how abnormal that is. The other two explained that they each got matching grants (your fundraising through them will be matched up to a certain point) for $2500 and $8000. To say I was a little discouraged is an understatement.

I cannot tell you the amount of nervousness I have had in the last few weeks regarding our fund and its lack of growth. Don’t get me wrong, we have been blown away by people’s sacrifice and generosity and courage. The support we have had so far has encouraged us and completely deepened our faith in humans. Every day though, I pray for Baby Remy and I beg God, “Lord, please provide us with grants. Please, Jesus, we ask for $15,000 in grants. Or God, we pray and we ask for a private adoption. Lord, your will be done. Help me trust your provision.”

I also applied to about 5 different adoption, interest free, loans. Due to our extreme lack of credit (our score is great! we just haven’t had a lot of debt), we were only approved for one and it was a really low loan.

Currently, we are reading this book (again) that I will forever recommend to anyone considering adoption. It is called: Adopt Without Debt. The other night I read this: “There is not one example in the Bible of God calling someone to do something and then using debt as a tool to accomplish it.” I don’t believe that taking out a loan for our adoption is a sin or wrong. Not even 1%. I believe that the heart behind taking a loan out to bring a baby into your home is beautiful and pure and good…not sinful or selfish or materialistic. But that quote stopped me to think, do I believe God called us to this? I do. Do I believe He can provide for us without a huge $20,000 loan? I do. Will I walk in that freedom and trust that the funds will be available when they need to be? Not always, but I am working on it one day at a time.

 A COMMITMENT: TIME TO GET TIGHT AGAIN, and I don’t mean our bods.

Before our big job/life/career transition, we were operating on a very strict budget and have been pretty disciplined our entire marriage (thank you Jesus!). Since we got married  we were putting money every paycheck towards our adoption. Our life was sort of thrown up and tossed around, and so was our budget. God always, always, provides whatever we need, and reminds us what is a need versus a want. Oh my, our needs are slim if we are honest. But we were less than disciplined in the last two months, and we are at that point where it is time to get tight again! At the end of December, going into the new year, we assessed ourselves financially and we strictly set up a budget again. We will be going back to using only cash for spending, aside from paying bills. This adoption means so much to us and we know that it starts and continues with sacrificeOur goals for our budget beginning in 2017:

FIRST, OUR PRIORITIES AT THE BEGINNING OF JANUARY PAYCHECK: >Tithe >Bills paid >$100/month total allotment for gas for both cars >$250/month total allotment for groceries >$200 immediately/month to adoption

If able, we will have these additional Budget Envelope Goals as well as, and here are ways we are cutting back and beginning to save again:

>Grocery spending is going from $400-$450/month to $250/month ($62.50/week). Included in our grocery budget: cleaning supplies, paper goods, toiletries, etc. Back into meal planning. I will find 30 meals that we like and put them in an easy rotation system.

>Gifts for others envelope will go from $40/month to $0/month and I will have to become crafty with what I have. Gulp. I could also resort to not having friends, or maybe just maybe, they will understand?

 

>No clothes buying or eating out all loosey goosey

>No more 3D Crest White toothpaste. We are going generic and coupon-savy, friends. This is the real deal. I LOVE MY TOOTHPASTE. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to brush my teeth. This was a big decision for me. (I know, pity). Generic household & baby items, here we come.

>Tax return: this year, a HUGE percentage of this will go straight into our adoption.

There you have it, friends. We are on the road to saving and paying for this adoption. Go ahead and feel free to ask us how we are doing with our budget and if we are being disciplined or not – accountability is always good. With everything, we are trying to remember that grace is good and covers every bit of this. We will fail and miss it. But we will pick ourselves back up again and remember the goal: bringing home our baby. So, little Baby, wherever you are: we are still waiting for you. We are making sacrifices for you and will work hard to continue putting money into your fund. If you are waiting through an agency, Lord will provide one way or another. If you are waiting through a private attorney, Lord will connect us. We love you.

As we sacrifice and save do you think you are able to donate towards our adoption? We just began working on the 200 Pages for Baby Remy Blessing Book!

We want to make a book with prayer/love letters/wishes from family, friends, and others to Baby Remy by way of a fundraiser! We posted earlier in December (last blog post) about our start of the “Envelope Fundraiser” and this is what it has evolved into by suggestion of a friend! What a beautiful way to donate a page into Baby Remy’s Book of Blessings that we will have made!

Every single dollar given through this fundraiser will go directly to the Agency to aide in the cost of OUR adoption! If given through the PureCharity link, the money can only be accessed by our Agency for our adoption only and is tax deductible and you will receive a receipt!

If every box is marked off and accounted for, you guys will have aided in raising just over $20,000 which is almost half of our adoption expenses! That is just incredible!

How it works:

Step 1: Go to the Facebook Page “200 Pages for Baby Remy” and join the page. PLEASE feel free to invite your friends! (The way it is set up, I will have to approve people. I will stay on top of this as much as is possible!)

Step 2: At the top of the page (a pinned post) there is a chart with the numbers 1-200 (representing the pages of the book). Choose the page you want.

There are three ways to participate:

You can choose the number of a page and donate that amount. If you choose 47, for example, you would donate $47 dollars.

You can ask me to choose a page for you (by giving me a range or knowing that the range is 1-200). If you give me a range of 25-35, you would be given a page in that range. If you were given page 33, you would donate $33.

You can get together with a group of friends (from work, school, church, etc.) and choose a page that way. Some of the “higher” amount pages would be great candidates for this method of donation. So if you and your friends commit to page 153, you would collect and donate $153 as a group.

Step 3: Go to the Remy PureCharity link (you can find the link under the about me page or click the link above) and donate the amount that corresponds to the page you chose! Remember, this is tax-deductible! (If you would prefer not to donate online but want to participate, please do not let that deter you. Email me or contact me on Facebook and I will share my mailing address with you.)

Step 4: PM me to send me what you want your page to say in The Book of Blessing for Baby Remy. You can also handwrite it and send it to me and I will scan it in as a handwritten note into the book on your designated page. Be as creative or not creative (this is usually my category) in this! We cannot wait to put this book together and read the prayers, love letters and wishes to Baby Remy once they are here!

Step 5: CELEBRATE! You just helped in an awesome way!

NOTE: I will try to keep up with the pages being taken on the Facebook page. Please feel free to post on the page “I’m taking page 24!” or I will post later “Page 24 is taken!” It is important to do this so we don’t have duplicates of each page, to help with the fundraiser! If you choose to do multiple pages (which is a blessing but not a request!), please indicate that to me as well.

 

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