Agency fees (includes China Humanitarian Aid, document translations).....$5,915.00
Fingerprints/background checks/Citizenship & Immigration/medicals/copies of licenses.....$4,100.00
Post Adoption Legal Fees.....$950.00
Total Estimated Cost.....$33,075.00
If I think about how much money it costs to adopt a child for too long I either get queasy or angry. The queasy part, well that’s obvious.
The anger, that’s another story. To put it bluntly, sometimes it seems to me like the whole adoption industry is nothing but a racket.
Allow me to qualify that statement by saying this: I think there are tons of adoption agencies, and individuals who work for them who truly care about what they’re doing. We’ve experienced it firsthand. For them it’s not just a job, but a passion to find homes for kids who desperately need them. For most of these case workers they’re not in it for the money, believe me. They put their hearts on the line with the adoptive families and children every day. But they need to eat, and make a living, just like the rest of us.
All that being said, after the governmental bureaucracy and red tape (times 2 for international adoption), a hand out at every turn in the road, certifying documents, then certifying the certifications, etc, etc, it sometimes feels like we’re being scammed. What kind of world do we live in where a whole industry is invented for finding homes for orphaned children?
The obvious answer: a broken world. We live in an imperfect, broken world where there are people who exploit children every day (not just orphans) for personal gain, or worse. People are swindled out of their savings every day - ever hear of a Ponzi Scheme?
But no one subjects us to it against our will. We know going into it what we’re facing and we wade right in. So why do we do it? I would say for our family it comes down to a couple of specific reasons.
Reason one: the call of God. No we haven’t heard an audible voice or seen a 600 foot image of Jesus, but still, we’ve felt the call. In our hearts. The place where Jesus often does His most profound work. Martha and I had our hearts turned toward adoption before we had Courtney, when we were struggling to have a biological child of our own. The seed was planted then and it grew. Adopting Cassidy was like applying a hyper dose of Miracle Grow on it. From that point on our lives were forever changed in a super natural way. God’s call on our lives had brought on some blood, sweat and tears (good thing I always liked that band), but it had also opened our eyes to the dramatic need all across our world, not just in China. There is a tremendous, unrelenting need for families who will step up and care for the widow and the orphan, like we’re commanded to do. Some dear friends of ours have a blog called “One More in China”. Another friend’s is “One More Ladybug”. Yet another is called “A Narrow Path”. Ours is “The Adoption Call”. Seeing a theme here? It’s our mission – our ministry. We’re going to follow it where ever it takes us. For the sake of the call.
Now, before you start believing that we’re this awesome, noble, totally altruistic family, please don't. We’re not. So not. Which leads me to our other reason: we want to. Yes, it’s that simple. It’s an incredible, amazing thing to watch God transform a family of three into a family of four – soon to be five. Simply put, the girls would love a baby brother and Martha and I would love a son. My best friend is taking his son through a biblically based right of passage that he has developed on his own, and I can’t wait to do that for my little boy. Plus, I’ve gotta admit, traveling to China is just way cool. Neat how God matches our calling with our desires, huh.
Yeah, our estimated cost for adoption is over 33 grand. Is it hot in here or is it just me? Please pray for us in this area, because we're going to need His help to cover the cost.
But to stand half a world away and to have this little child brought into your world, perhaps kicking and screaming at first, and to have your heart stolen yet again by this precious little face with dark brown eyes, to watch as your family grows in love and laughter, then to see that child who has become as much a part of the family as if they’d been born into it give their life to Christ, well that’s…….Priceless.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)