This article is part of the MH4C Writers Challenge. Since I’m taking a little break over the next few weeks, I’ve chosen ten guest articles to feature on this blog. I’d like to see which articles you like the most. If you like an article, please take a moment to ‘Like’ it on Facebook, ‘Tweet’ it, or give it a ‘Plus One’ on Google +. (To the right of the title, you’ll see each of those buttons so it should make your job easier.) The winner of the MH4C Writers Challenge is the article that has the most social media shares.
The following entry is by Carrie Wood. She blogs at Amazing Grace and a Safe Haven.
For about the last 10 years, my husband and I have been debt free except for our home mortgage. We had decent jobs, no kids. We had a small nest egg in savings and retirement funds in the works. We drove older cars that were both paid off. We had basic cable, but no premium channels. We were not overly frugal people, but not crazy spenders either.
Then one day after 18 years of marriage my husband’s biological clock started ticking and we decided to adopt a child from China. For those not familiar with the world of adoption, it’s expensive. But then again, in the great scheme of things, not really that expensive. The adoption of our daughter from China was approximately $25,000; about the price of a new car. However, the process took just over 2 years to complete and the various fees were spread out over many months. In the end our first adoption was not a financial burden. We spent less, we saved more, we added to our nest egg and we still managed to be debt free when our beautiful daughter Grace finally came home in January of 2008.
Right away we wanted to adopt again. However, our financial circumstances were dramatically different this time around. We made the decision after Grace had been home a few months that my husband would stay at home and I would continue to work. Becoming a one income family meant tightening our budget. We made small changes like dropping cable altogether and sticking with our older cars for a few more years and we still managed to emerge from it all debt free.
A few months after bringing home our son, Haven from the Democratic Republic of Congo, that still small voice whispered to us that needed to adopt again. No, God does not typically whisper instructions in my ear, but this time around that is almost how it felt. And in fact this time we believed very strongly that we were to adopt twins. We had no money saved up; we had no more cuts we could make to our budget. We had never planned to have more than two kids. But we have never felt more at peace with any decision we’ve ever made. God spoke to our hearts, so it must be ok. We cashed out my husband’s retirement funds, wiped out our savings and brought home Immanuel and Josias, two amazing baby boys, in April of 2010. Things were tight and the economy had everyone very nervous, but we had four kids under four years old roaming around our house. We had other things to worry about, like hundreds and hundreds of diapers!
Much to our surprise, God wasn’t done with us yet. In 2011 we again were called to adopt, again two children, again from DRCongo. But this time we had no funds to start with. We were getting by, but it seemed we had made all the cuts in our budget that were possible. We couldn’t possibly save up enough to adopt again. But when God calls you can’t just hang up.
So this time out we have done lots of fundraising. We’ve held garage sales, sold handmade items, sold t-shirts, and asked for donations from friends and family. We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of those closest to our family and of strangers from all over the county. Unfortunately, our trip to DRCongo is looming before us and we don’t have enough saved to cover the cost. This time around we will have to go into debt and put all of our remaining expenses on our credit cards. We are taking lots of deep breaths and saying lots of prayers. We are leaning on God to take us through this journey, but we are not certain how that will happen.
What we are certain of is that adopting each and every one of our children was the right, responsible, biblical thing to do. Our children are each gifts from God. He did not want them to grow up without parents. He did not want them to live out their lives in conditions of squalor and poverty. He did not want them to turn into broken teenagers who would be cast out onto the streets to fend for themselves and do anything they had to for survival. He wanted more for my children MORE life, MORE hope, MORE love. And so he called us, and thankfully debt or no debt, we listened. Someday I may have to explain to my kids why we can’t pay for college, but I’ll never have to explain why they were left behind in an orphanage.