This weekend I almost lost hope. I am usually so hopeful in all avenues of adoption, but yesterday (when packing up yard sale items from the sale on Saturday), I almost turned in the towel.
Why? We have been “at this” for two and a half years now and have very little progress to show for it. We have been trying to raise funds in so many ways. We’ve held three yard sales, I’ve made things and sold them, I’ve held three online auctions, and we have done many things “behind the scenes” to bring in funding.
The adoption money at this point is gone. Everything we have made has now been invested into this adoption and we are dry. The magnitude of the cost hit me and it hit me hard. How were we going to possibly afford an agency? (Since now, we are at the point of having to do so.)
None of our yard sales have been huge successes, a couple of hundred dollars here and there that is gone as soon as we make it to pay for the home study, the extra costs of fingerprinting, pet vaccines, drug testing (doctor’s appointments), etc. That pretty much wiped us out.
We have a t-shirt fundraiser in process and I need to order those to get those out, but haven’t had payment on many of them to be able to order those so I don’t even know if that is going to bring in any actual profit. (Although it will be AMAZING to see everyone wearing them in support!)
It just seemed like we had hit a dead end and there wasn’t any forward movement. The $20,000-$30,000 price tag on an agency seems so insane. I understand the “why’s” and the “where’s”. I do.
My conscience still struggles with this. It just seems so exorbitant a cost to adopt a child when there are so many waiting in foster care. I still struggle with that daily.
Yes, we tried foster care. We tried with EVERYTHING we had to adopt a waiting child. Actually, that’s the reason why we moved towards adoption instead of spending thousands on infertility treatment. (We didn’t even go that route.) But after five years of trying to break down that brick wall in our county, after 312 inquiries on waiting kids of all ages, races, special needs…we were at our wits end with the system. We did not receive a single placement in the five years that we were with them.
We learned that we cannot fix a broken system.
When we quit foster care, two weeks later we received a call from a friend in regard to Logan and his possible adoption (at that point it was a big “possible”). Of course, we all know THAT worked out well for everyone. It was (and is) pretty much the best adoption I’ve ever heard of, quite honestly.
I don’t know that we will get that sort of experience with Ruby. I don’t know that her birth mother (wherever or whomever she may be) will want something quite as open. I do know that we will not accept a closed adoption. Why? Because I can’t explain to my daughter why her brother gets to see and know HIS birth family and she does not. I am a huge believer that open adoptions are best for everyone in the adoption triad–especially (and most importantly) the adoptee.
That being said, after two years of trying to network ourselves and really getting nowhere, we decided that we would probably be having to go agency if we wanted to adopt again. Yes, we have mixed feelings on agencies and it WILL take the RIGHT one for us to go that “route”. We are not adopting from an agency that is “adoptive parent friendly” just because that is easier for us. They will be birth mother friendly as well, or we refuse to use them. (Not all agencies are birth mother friendly. If they tell you that, run away…and run fast.)
When fund raising is not working for us (admittedly I’m not a great fund raiser on my own), it makes this cost seem so far out of reach. How will we ever come up with that money? How do we handle the internal struggle with using an agency and spending so much money with all of the available children in this country? So many questions, so many loose ends…
I was over being conflicted. I was over stressing about how we could afford it. I want my children to have the quality of life that I’ve hoped for them since I first thought about having children. Of course I do. We all do.
Our yard sale brought in $500.00 Saturday. A decent amount for a yard sale, and the best WE have done thus far, but not much for a benefit sale. We received a lot of donations which we were (and are) COMPLETELY grateful for, but I was disappointed and hurt that we didn’t get more support with turnout. I was angry. It made it all seem so out of reach. I was at the point of saying, “we just have to say goodbye to Ruby and be at peace with what we have been given”.
But let us back up a bit.
I received a message on Friday from someone saying that she had items to donate if we could swing by and pick them up Friday evening. Yes, picking up things at the last minute is crazy stressful when you have to set up the night before and be up bright and early for customers, but we weren’t about to say NO either.
We picked up the items and thanked this girl for being so kind and donating so much to our auction. It restored my hope a little. Admittedly, I was feeling a little beaten down before the yard sale even started. There is a lot to the reasons why, but I’ll just leave it there.
Shortly after speaking with her, we realized that this girl (Jessica) was the niece of Logan’s first babysitter. The sweet, SWEET lady that kept our son when he was just three weeks old because adoptive mama’s don’t get maternity leave. 😉 That family took him in as theirs and has loved him as family ever since. And here was another one of them offering to help us yet again.
I teared up a little when I realized who she was. God has blessed us so much with them. I knew he sent her my way. I knew it. There was never any doubt in my mind.
Upon speaking with her, we realized that she ALSO is thinking about adoption in the future and she saw us as a blessing to her—I can totally help her along the way when she reaches that point. And there it was. Confirmation. God sent us to meet EACH OTHER. She needed us too.
She showed up to the sale on Saturday to shop. She said she would, but I really didn’t expect it. I mean, she had ALREADY donated. But there she was, digging through boxes to find things to buy in support of our family.
AND NOT ONLY THAT, but she ALSO jumped right in to help me unpack what was left and offering me pointers on how to sell the remaining inventory online. Ha! She seriously just took over and I was so incredibly grateful. I needed it. I needed someone to come in and say…LET’S DO THIS. Right when I was feeling so overwhelmed and so ridden with sadness, this girl shows up. That isn’t coincidence. I never saw it as such.
She bought the wheel set that we have been trying to sell at three yard sales. We had $100.00 listed on them (which was a fantastic price) but they had never sold. She didn’t need them. She and her hubby may be able to use them at some point in the future, but she didn’t really need them now. She still bought them. 🙂 She also bought another $30.00 in clothing and donated another $10.00 to Ruby’s fund.
When she left I was in tears. This girl didn’t know me. She knew of me, but she didn’t KNOW me. Yet, she felt moved to help and she followed that feeling with everything she had. She may never know what she did for me in that moment. It wasn’t about the financial help as much as it was about RESTORING HOPE when I was losing all that I had left. She heard the voice to follow her heart and she LISTENED. She didn’t have to but she did.
The next day as we were packing up the items, I was sorting clothing to sell in lots online (just as she instructed me to do) when I got a text from her asking how much we had left. She asked a few questions and then she asked me how much to BUY OUT all of the inventory we had left.
We shot out a number that we thought was fair because we were really going to be doing this again in the spring–we had so much left. I think she was asking for someone else, but she came back to ME saying SHE would buy it out and the money would go to Ruby. She will sell it herself for us so that we don’t have to worry about that with everything else.
I was floored and I cried like a baby. And then I found it. That hope I had lost. I knew that there were still people pushing for us to bring home this little girl, and the biggest one was our Heavenly Father. There he was showing up again in Jessica and blessing us both.
The next text blew me away.
“When it is time to have a summer yard sale I can do what you did to get things set up. I’ll also add what I have here. If you still need money to help bring Ruby home, the money will GO TO YOU.”
I didn’t know how to even respond to that, y’all. If you know me, being at a loss for words is well…a small miracle in and of itself. But there I was, speechless. I read the text to Corey and he just looked up at the sky and then hung his head. When he looked up, he had tears in his eyes. I knew he felt it too.
So if you are following, she donated, bought $130.00 worth of things at the sale, bought OUT the remainder of the yard sale items, and offered to still have another yard sale FOR us in the summer. I don’t know anything more than this right here about this girl. I just met her Friday. But I know all I NEED to know to see her heart. It was shown to me loud and clear.
Corey and I talked in depth last night about our options. We talked about how we could afford this financially, what we could do to keep moving forward, where we “were” with everything and what we need to do yet, etc., etc., etcccccc. 🙂
Jessica may never realize the magnitude of what she did for us. She says she was led to follow her heart. I KNOW she was. The truth of it is; however, SHE made the choice to listen to that voice. She didn’t have to listen to it. She could have walked away entirely. She could have walked away at ANY point knowing that she helped and we would have loved her the same.
We all wish that we had the strength, the faith, the hope to do it alone. We don’t. We are human and we are fallible. We are imperfect. We are flawed.
Hope is the most powerful thing that God has given us and it is one of the easiest things to lose sight of in our lives. We nearly lost it this weekend. Apparently, we are supposed to keep fighting for this girl.
And we are listening. #bringrubyhome