YES! You CAN afford adoption!
“Sacrifice” according to Webster can be described as a “surrender of something for the sake of something else.” This certainly describes the adoption funding process. You have chosen to sacrifice for something precious – your child. Just as each child is unique, so are the families who adopt. This means sacrificial living will appear differently in each family. There are two ways to begin a journey in sacrificial living – downsizing needs and eliminating wants.
Initially you must determine what things in your lifestyle are needs vs. wants. We live in an affluent society which screams at us that BIGGER and MORE are what we deserve. According to A Hole in Our Gospel, 40% of the world’s population live on less than $2 a day and 15% live on less than $1 a day. Americans live on an average of $105 a day. Because of this, it is easy to forget the difference between needs and wants. I submit that this is a logical starting place for sacrificial living.
Once you have completed a detailed budget (which is required for your home study anyway), label your expenditures in columns labeled needs and wants. Ask your family which needs you are able to downsize. Consider the areas of food, transportation, clothing, cell phone plans, and a multitude of other areas.
- Buy groceries on a full stomach & shop at Aldis or other discount stores.
- Shop at resale stores or plan a “freeze” on any new clothes purchases for a specific period of time.
- Change your cell phone plan. Do you really need all that data?
- Keep your vehicle longer or purchase used ones. Ron Blue says, “The cheapest car you can ever own is the one you are driving now.”
- Carpool or minimize trips to town to cut down gas consumption.
- Schedule a meeting with your insurance provider. Can you get a package deal with discount quotes?
Next, visit the areas in your life that you could live without, your wants. This would include recreation, holidays, gift purchases, eating out, and things we do for convenience.
- Plan only “free” family fun nights. Eliminate movies or get a movie from the library.
- Cut your birthday gift and Christmas expenditures in half.
- Drastically reduce how many times you eat out, use coupons, and always get water instead of soda.
- Make your own laundry soap and cleaning supplies. My kids are in charge of making our laundry soap. They shave soap and listen to Odyssey CDs!
- Speaking of kids, enlist your kids to brainstorm about sacrificial living. You will be surprised at what they are willing to give up to bring their brother or sister home.
- Drop the newspaper.
- Cut out bad habits (only YOU know what that is).
- Remember the “power of the little” – even if it’s only $1 a day!
- Read a book about “simplicity” and get more ideas on frugal living.
Lastly, keep a list of the ways you are sacrificially saving. When you apply for grants or write updated support letters, tell what your family has done. Others will see your desire and your commitment to adoption through your lifestyle changes. They will be encouraged to join you in your journey, and it will be a positive on your grant application.
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” Your intentional surrendering of “things” in order to complete your adoption process WILL change the world for YOUR child!
To learn more about affording adoption, watch this recording of Camie’s Affording Adoption Seminar.