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Friday, March 10, 2006
Managing the adoption expense
Funding an adoption is a difficult matter. I am sure many of you out there have looked at your significant other or someone in your life and said, "how the hell can we afford this?"

D did the same thing to me when I told him I felt the call to adopt. At that point I wasn't quite sure. I just knew this was something I had to do.

In my infinite research I started looking for anything and everything that would help. Loans are not really an option for us. I subscribed to a yahoo group about fundraising for adoption. Let me know if you want info on this one because this group is great! I also did my homework on grants. Ahh, the ever elusive "free" money.

I was lucky enough to find a list of available grants. There are approximately 52 organizations listed here. Of those 52 we qualify for 6. Yes, only 6. Actually it is 7, but D refuses to profess his belief in the "creation story." Anthropologist issues.

Last spring I dutifully filled out applications for these 6 grants. I received rejection letters from all but 1. We were fortunate enough to actually get a grant from an organization here in Washington. We are so thankful for their gift.

Anyway, as I find myself getting closer to bringing the boy home my thoughts turn again to the finances. With some odd luck and a whole lot of hard work we had managed to gather all the money needed to complete our adoption. Then came last September. Remember the day? When we heard that we would have to travel back to Russia to see 8 doctors. That put a little damper in the financial happy dance. So here we are. Needing money again. Shocking.

Today I revisited my list of grants. I was able to find one more that we qualify for. 1 that we had applied for, but the people we listed as references never sent their questionnaires back and one application that I have yet to send in.

My question is if there are over 50 agencies out there why do we only qualify for a piddly 6? Our advantage at the 6 is that we are Christian people. Of the 6, 3 are Christian organizations that require you to complete a faith statement or a salvation statement or some other God based form. What about those families that don't have a strong belief in God? Why are they excluded? Better yet... why am I excluded from applying because I am not adopting a special needs child? You can't tell me that my boy isn't going to have issues from living the first 2 years of his life in an orphanage.

Last year D and I made a commitment to each other. When this is all said and done we want to start our own grant foundation. We want to welcome all applicants. Doesn't matter what agency, what religion, what country you are adopting from, what nationality you are, what needs you feel you can handle as a parent or anything. EVERYONE. No more discrimination.
9 Comments:
Blogger Margaret said...
The grants are frustrating. I applied for every one that I qualified for and was quickly rejected. Being single I don't qualify for many. The Christian based ones have a further layer of discrimination in that, even though I am Christian, I don't qualify because I am single. It's subtle, but everything they write mentions "couples."

Luckily the program I hosted through was able to hook me up with a grant as well. It's almost enough to cover my foreign program fee. Thank goodness!

The money is too stressful for words.

Blogger -Jenny said...
The money aspect is really hard. We had 1/2 of the money and it is all gone now, paid out. We still have to figure out how to come up with the second half. We make too much to qualify for any help but just enough to cover living expenses, in normal situations it is hard to save the large amount. Well use our IRA's if need be.

I think that if adoption was a little more reasonable more people would do it. The cost is soo prohibitive. I mean, where there is a will there is a way but it is daunting when you first start and see you need 20-35k. I really admire people who do adopt more and more. It is a hard journey.

Blogger jeneflower said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger jeneflower said...
Thanks for the link. I am going to religiously study that page.

Let me tell you about the grants I know of. We qualify for Maryland's non-recurring adoption reimbursement- a one time only payment of $2000.00 per child. Each state has their own version of this. They say it is for adopting special needs children, but we were told that all post-institutionalized children qualify under special needs. If they tell you that you don't qualify over the phone- ask for an application and apply anyway. We have several friends who adopted perfectly healthy children who got this money because they adopted from an orphanage.

There is another grant at www.nafadopt.org/NafGrants.htm I think both applications should be sent inbetween trips before the adoption is finalized.

Blogger Rhonda said...
I love the idea of setting up something that is not discriminatory. Great idea, Elle!

Blogger Kim said...
We have also applied for many grants. We've only heard back from one- a rejection. My husband is self employed. Therefore when they ask for gross income, it is highly skewed. Our gross doesn't have all of his business expenses, etc. What we live off of every month is so much less than he actually makes- almost half. However, the grants don't take that into consideration. They just look at the overall number. My husband also has creation issues that we are not in agreement over. Is your husband an anthropologist or just enjoys that area? My 11 year old daughter wants to be an anthropologist. The best quote about financing adoptions I have ever seen was, "Bottom Line: If God calls you adopt, He will provide the ransom." We are leaning heavily on this!! He will provide.

Blogger Elle said...
Kim,
I completely agree that if God leads you to He will lead you through.

D is originally trained as an archaeologist. However, being a shovel bum wasn't condusive to starting a family so he is now a financial guy. Huge shift!

Anonymous InSpring said...
When you start the foundation, please let me know so I may contribute. You are a very magnificant person.

Blogger Lauri said...
Lauri here posting from Russia- i get totally ticked at these grant folks and our state has a federal non-reaccuring refund of $2,000 but heres the kicker- for IA you need to apply between before trip 2 and they want documents(parents signatures, complex forms from the judge) from Russia that we are not entilted to until the adoption is complete- as in essence its a complete and utter farce. I also filled out endless grants and we were denied because of faith or for some reason or another- its very frustrating- not sure how we made it to this point and im grateful that we have, and on a wing and a prayer we will make it through and be able to pay back all of our debts.

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