Friday, May 13, 2011

Reluctant Husband Syndrome - Question 2


How can I afford to adopt an orphan when it can costs tens of thousands of dollars, and how can we sustain another child once they're in our family?

First I would say that not all adoptions are in the tens of thousands range when it comes to cost.

Domestic adoptions cost virtually nothing if you go through the foster care system.  The average international adoption costs around $25,000, although some may be less.

Ouch, I say, as I hold my ears.  I heard you shouting just now.  “Twenty-five thousand dollars!?!  Who’s got $25,000 lying around as chump change?!”

Well, um, if you’re us, you don’t.  In fact, we are not even what you would call a “middle income” family.  But still, if you add up the cost of all four of our adoptions, we’ve paid around $100,000.  And an enormous chunk of that came from other sources.

What many people new to the adoption community don’t realize is that there are many organizations, mainly Christian, that give sizable grants just because you’ve decided to adopt.

Before we brought home our Haven, we received $12,800 total from four Christian ministries, geared toward helping families afford adoptions.

The rest?  You can start a blog with a Chip-In account.  And of course, you can think up fundraisers.  We always had yard sales.  The last one we had brought in $7,200!  There are 10K sponsored races, golf days, even benefit concerts like we had for our two Ukrainian girls.  But the greatest source of assistance should come from the body of Christ.

From experience, let me tell you the miracle that takes place when a church espouses the vision of what you’ll be doing.  We have seen churches who didn’t “get” adoption, all of a sudden become inflamed with passion for the cause.  We have seen rippling effects, others in the congregation who never considered adopting now want to adopt themselves, and it snowballs. 

If churches don’t have a fund for adopting families, they often begin one—because of YOU!  They may also mobilize the congregation to become involved financially or, like in our case, host fundraisers for you.  Imagine.  You will have become the missionary to your own church!

Allowing others to play a small part in your adoption by giving financially gives them such an incredible opportunity to be blessed.  Also, fundraising for an adoption gives the Lord a chance to show His power, His glory, and His faithfulness to provide for the fatherless.  And provide, He does.

Somehow the money came in for us, and it came in on time.  I put the word “somehow” in italics, as you’ll notice.  Let me introduce you to Mr. Somehow.

Mr. Somehow is the God of the universe.  And this takes me to the second part of the question: How can I afford to sustain an extra child financially?  It just happens…somehow!  How many of you had an “unexpected” pregnancy?  Unexpected to you, but not to God.  If you start with that premise, then you know God will take care of you and that child.  It happens “somehow.”

Mr. Somehow wins our battles for us, right?  “The horse is prepared for the day of battle; but victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31).  We still have to prepare our horse for battle.  If we don’t bring our horse to the battlefield, how in the world are we going to allow the Lord to win the battle for us?  In the same way, if we don’t make a definite decision that we’re going ahead with a particular adoption, how is God going to show His glory in it and provide the finances?

Remember, Charlton Heston had to hold out his staff at the Red Sea so that the Jello could part and the Israelites could cross.  (I think there’s a similar version in Exodus 14:21.)

Similarly, the priests had to step into the raging Jordan River floodwater in order for God to pile it up on one side so they could cross (Joshua 3:15-16).

And of course, would Peter have ever walked on water if he stayed in the boat? (Matthew 14:29)

God’s miracles often require we step out.  This is where faith takes a front row seat.

Husbands, if you’ve been like me—you sweat blood and water at the worry of where the money to adopt is going to come from—you have nothing to fear.  You think, “I am NOT going to tell my wife we can get this child, only to find that we’re out of money in the middle of the process!  I’ll look like a flake and a fool.”

All I have to say to that is, welcome to the ship of fools!  Let this passage bolster your faith:

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Cor. 1:25)

If you really sense God tugging at your heart to give an orphan your home, then finances are not YOUR worry, are they?  In all fairness, please hear me on this: Sometimes it is not easy.  Sometimes you will wonder where you’re going to get the money you need.  But God always comes through.

I want to end on a bit of a philosophical note.  Hardly any Christian would deny that Jesus loves little children, particularly those who’ve been mistreated (Mark 10:13-16).  Do you really think that He’s happy to leave nearly 150 million orphans worldwide in their current state?

Maybe you’ve heard of a book right now that’s taking the country by storm.  Sold in WalMarts, Heaven Is For Real, by Todd Burpo, is about the author’s four-year-old son who was caught up into heaven and describes his experience.  Todd says Colton was obsessed with telling them something:

“He would wake up in the morning and tell me: ‘Hey Dad, Jesus told me to tell you, He really loves the children.’

Over dinner at night: ‘Remember, Jesus really loves the children.’

Before bed, as I helped him brush his teeth, ‘Hey, Daddy don’t forget,’ he’d say, garbling the words through a mouthful of toothpaste foam, ‘Jesus said he really, REALLY loves the children!’”

And let me add, Jesus loves YOU very much, man of God.  He will NEVER LEAVE YOU, NOR FORSAKE YOU!


  1. This is so beautiful. Thank you for letting me be encouraged by this.

  2. Anthony.... your post is truly inspiring... what I have found truly daunting and not clear on many websites I have looked at is the foriegn countries income requirements. RR has the USIC requirement but all it says as far as Russia is family must be financially secure. What exactly does that mean? Are any of us truly financially secure? It seems like a lot of the families that are reaching out to these angels are those families that are full of love.... not money.

  3. Hi, Jenny,
    Thank you for your encouragement about my blog. As for your question, it's a difficult one. In my understanding, the requirements for Russia depend on income, assets, and family size. I know this doesn't give you specific answers. I would advise that you contact an adoption agency that deals frequently with Russia. They would be able to give you the most accurate, up-to-date information. It changes often, unfortunately. God bless you for taking this journey!!

  4. Anthony,

    Thank you so much for starting this blog! You are starting a huge ripple effect and it's going to help so many children find homes because you are leading people by the hand through this process. Thank you for being sensitive to the Lord's leading and allowing Him to work through you. God bless!

  5. And to Jenny,

    We are adopting from Russia through RR and are a one income family. If you have any questions I would love to help answer them!

  6. loved the part where you shared about the priests stepping into the raging Jordan river... now that is real faith!!! :)

    It reminds me of the Lord telling the Levi priests? those whose job are singing and praising, to go in front of the army into battle, with nothing but their weapons of praise. Imagine that! He just wanted to make it clear that He can show His Power in all its splendor... I imagine their voices of praising were scared and forced, but afterwards, it is truly jubilant. Praise Yahweh!!

    Loved the pic of Hailee on the right side of your blog :)

  7. Morning Anthony - you couldn't be more correct! Like many of the folks that adopted in 2010 - we got 'the letter' from the IRS. I had the pleasure of counting up how much we spent on our adoption in 2010 and 2008. Grand total was about 48,500.00 so your figure of 25K is about right.

    I'd ask reluctant dad's citing money - yeah - you're a good provider and all that - but the last time you bought a car - was it a new one? How much did that set you back - 30K? 40K? How about a 3 or 4 year old one for half that? There's over half the cost for your adoption....I'm.just.sayin...

    God hasn't failed us yet - don't expect that He will!

    aus and co.

  8. Just in case their are doubters out there. I wanted to add another "miracle" story about finances and adoption. We started our adoption journey with nothing...some might have said it was irresponsible to commit to something that costs 25K when we had nothing saved for it. Maybe it was, I don't know. But, we stepped out in faith and KNEW we had to GO! God provided EVERY PENNY for our adoption and all in less than 11 months. He will provide. Thanks so much for starting this blog!

  9. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  10. Glory to God in the highest...

    love your wife's blog and faith and I see you are both well suited to each other...what a blessing!


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