Some people have asked me about private adoption and the conversation usually ends up at the cost of going this route. Inevitably, I get “the look” – the one that’s like I’ve got 2 heads. It’s true, private adoption is super expensive (just how expensive? see below) and I’ve read California can be more costly than the national average. It’s what has kept us from considering private adoption as a viable option. But, after reading numerous stories of people successfully raising the money through rearranging their budget and having fundraisers, I felt like it was something Andrew and I could totally do.
So, we went over the numbers scaling back quite a bit on our budget (taking a little from here and there, finding a cheaper dog food – you get the idea). We started a specific adoption savings account and we’re saving every month. We’ve also agreed that extra money we get from overtime, bonuses, raises, tax returns, etc. will go to the adoption fund.
With all the rearranging on our part, we will still need to fundraise to cover the costs. Our first fundraiser (almost coming to an end) is selling cape/mask sets. I figured it would be a fairly easy way to get things jump-started on fundraising.
Next, we plan on selling cookbooks which Andrew and I have put together. It’ll have our favorite recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dishes, desserts, and even beverages. It’ll have some Cajun recipes that are so yummy and some crockpot recipes for those busy days. We’re in the proofreading stage now and I plan on having them printed soon.
While I am designing the cookbook, Andrew is working in his shop making the most beautiful cutting boards. He’s made several boards in the past for family members and they’ve turned out amazing. We will probably set up an Etsy shop from which to sell the boards – still trying to work that out. All the profits will go to the adoption savings account.
I also have an Etsy account which is not fully set up yet. Whenever, I get the cookbook sales going, I’ll finish my Etsy page and let y’all know. I will be selling vinyl stickers and stencils. The stickers can go on water bottles, appliances, walls, cars, laptops, etc. Again, all the profits will go to the adoption fund.
We’ve also heard of other fundraisers which seem pretty interesting that we are looking into. There’s one where you help a widow in your community and raise money for your adoption while doing it (definitely looking into that) and we thought having a movie night in the backyard would be a fun idea. So many ideas out there.
Some people have asked about grants which is a fantastic way to raise money for an adoption. Only one catch: you have to make your story sound spectacularly fantastic compared to the thousands of others applying (a not-so-small-task). But, I have made a chart (people who know me well will I am sure say, of course she did) of all the ones we qualify for, the deadlines, eligibility, and requirements. And even though the chances of us actually getting a grant are very small, we will be applying for every single one.
Then there are donations. We have set up crowdfunding sites: AdoptTogether and GoFundMe. The AdoptTogether site is a nonprofit organization that accepts donations to a particular profile which can be used as a charitable tax deduction. Once adoption expenses are incurred, we will submit the receipt to the organization and, if approved, we will get reimbursed. There is a 5% fee deducted from every donation. Then, there is GoFundMe which I am sure everyone knows. There is a 3% deduction from every donation.
It is very difficult for us to ask for help; however, we feel like with fundraisers, we are giving something for someone’s donation/payment. With crowdfunding, on the other hand, asking for straight donations is tough.
Lastly, there are adoption loans. We are trying to avoid this route for probably obvious reasons. Between depleting our savings and getting loans to cover the remaining costs of infertility treatments, we would really like to get through the adoption process with as little borrowed money as possible. With that being said, if we feel we have exhausted all other possibilities, we will definitely look more into getting a loan.
All of it (the fundraisers, Etsy shops, overtime) will be a lot of work but we are willing to do whatever it takes to grow our family. We are grateful for everyone who has given us their support in the short time we have announced our plans to go through private adoption. Your continued support definitely helps motivate us to move forward!