Recently, on a Facebook Adoption page I'm a part of, someone asked how to best fundraise for their adoption. I added my two cents (more like 200) and wished them luck.
I thought it was a simple as that. Then I read another member's comment. She said something to this effect, "My husband and I chose not to fundraise or accept charity for our adoption. Instead, we worked really hard, got another job, and saved until we had enough. We didn't want our child to feel like the community owned them."
People, I have been mulling this over for days. I have no judgement...they can pay for their adoption however they feel best. To each is own, ya know?
BUT, the things that I can't stop thinking about are these:
1. "to not accept charity" Recently I was walking down the street and I passed a man holding a cardboard sign. It read, "Will my suffering suffice?" I stopped, tapped him on the knee (he was wearing a hood and had his head bent low) and asked him if he needed lunch. I was on my way to this awesome soup kitchen (for lack of a better term), Our Daily Bread, where our family volunteers once a week. I casually invited him to come for lunch (it is a very non-threatening environment) and he said it cost too much. I told him the price ($1.50 for a plate piled high and a bowl of soup, plus dessert and coffee). He said he couldn't afford it. I offered to pay. He said, "I don't eat shelter food." I smiled, extended a you-know-where-to-find-me good-bye, and walked off. So, why this story? Because I left feeling like he probably wasn't super hungry, or any food would have done--or he was too broken to accept my offer. I can't help but relate that the woman who wouldn't accept charity (or fundraise) must be in a pretty good financial situation, or is too proud to accept money from others.
Truth be told, we are not paupers. We have a beautiful home and a car that runs. We have food in plenty. (SO THANKFUL!) We have a lot, but not a lot left over at the end of each month. My husband is a budget nut...trust me, I know where every penny goes! We accept charity and fundraise with such deep gratitude because we have need.
2. "we didn't want our child to feel like the community owned them" Whoa. Can I just say that. Whoa. I see this in just about as opposite a light as is possible. Oh how I want my child to know that we loved them before we even knew them. Imagine what it will be like to one day tell the story of how many people felt just the same way?!? I tear up at the thought. Friends, you won't own my child any more than I will. Your generosity to us will, however, speak volumes: giving of time, money, and resources, shouts out care, concern, belonging, love! I want our child (still hoping for twins, but I won't write children each time) to know they belong! Our community has really shown up for our family--ownership not implied. I am so thankful for the love I am certain our child is coming home to.
I write this because I want to free up other adopting families who have need. Receiving gifts is a very humbling thing. It makes my heart swell with gratitude to think of the ways God has provided through the generosity of others. We work hard to raise whatever extra money we can (my Etsy shop, for example), but there is still a gap. A gap that has been filled thus far by friends, family, and strangers both in our immediate community and across the globe. We get to give a child a loving home, as well as a story that precedes the day we will meet. That is a win in my book.