(This is cross-posted on the Adopt Without Debt website.)
I didn’t get time to talk about it on the radio Tuesday, and I know people are wondering how we paid for OUR adoption.
As I said, it cost us about $28,000 to adopt both kids, including travel (2 tickets round trip + 2 tickets one-way home; this was before Ethiopia was a 2 trip country).
We didn’t start down this road without a plan. First, we had approximately $10,000 in savings. Then, as I mentioned, we had just finished paying off our house around the time we started the process.
For the last 2 1/2 years we had been throwing every extra penny we had at the mortgage – to the tune of about $2,200 a month. With it paid off, we could use that money for the adoption. We estimated that the process was going to take us 6-9 months (it was actually 12) so that would mean $13-19,000. Depending on the time frame we knew we might need to come up with a few extra thousand dollars but knew that we could do that pretty easily with some belt-tightening and fundraising.
That was the PLAN.
But, well, God had OTHER plans. About 2 months into the process Mark left his job. Probably seems like a totally crazy thing, but we knew it was what God wanted him to do. On the one hand I was working again and making enough money to support us (thankfully we didn’t have many bills now). On the other hand that extra $13-19k was not going to be there.
And I will admit, I fell off the bandwagon. I said “well, if we have to take out an interest-free adoption loan, we’ll just pay it off as soon as we can”. (Hangs head in shame.) But that didn’t sit right with us. And then God used Dave Ramsey to speak incredible truth into my life once again. (You can read about that here.) And so we renewed our commitment to do this adoption debt-free. It just meant God was going to have to show up.
And we were going to have to work hard.
We didn’t get any anonymous $5,000 checks in the mail and to be honest, this little list is an approximation of how we paid for it. All I know is that EVERY time we needed to write a check (because thankfully the costs are spread out), we had the money.
Budget tightening and savings during process $3k
Severance package (TOTALLY not expected since Mark resigned) $4k
Garage sale $2,300
Mark selling stuff on ebay $2k
Julie’s freelance income (God brought a ton of jobs) $6k
We were down to the wire with the last $3k we needed for travel. We had said early on that one thing we could do, was sell Mark’s car. He worked from home and we knew that we could get along with one car until we could save up cash to buy a replacement. His older Toyota Camry (because we only drive paid-for cars) was worth about $4-5k. But God pulled off a miracle at the last little bit and gave us exactly the $3k we needed from an unexpected source.
This is just OUR story. There are so many more stories of people who have done this all kinds of different ways. Some of them have started with NOTHING saved and God has still showed up big time.
It’s not easy. Debt is always going to SEEM like the easy way out. But if you are willing to work at it, and make some sacrifices, it can be done!