Yes, adoption is expensive. Some criticisms we have heard include “Isn’t that like buying a baby?” or “That’s so expensive, I wouldn’t want to pay into a corrupt system.” It is costly, and on paper it basically is like buying a baby. The international systems are often times corrupted and the mountains of paper work are daunting. It is also important to remember that when God specifically calls you to adopt, the price is, in a way, part of the obedience. It is a sacrifice to save and restrict your spending for a few years in order that you can be obedient to God. But we are obeying. Similar to giving money to the poor, it’s not up to you if they misuse it and buy alcohol with it. God tells us to “give freely.” He did not say “give to the needy unless the needy person is gonna be wasteful and probably buy drugs, in which case, keep your 5 bucks and buy whatever stupid thing you want.” Nope. He just said give. So we give. When God says “care for the widows and the orphans” he doesn’t say “Care for them when it’s cost efficient and when it’s most convenient for you.” No! Care for them despite the beuraucracy that you have to file and notarize your way through. Care for them, love them. So we do.
We have been saving for 2 years for this adoption. Right now we have saved up to about 5,000. We had also been planning to do some fund-raisers to scrounge up as much as we could. We aren’t rich folks around here. We were told the estimate in Switzerland for adoption was around 30,000. But we have never worried about the cost, not for an instant. We know and have known God would provide for any cost that we may not be able to meet ourselves. From the start of our marriage when I was working 2 jobs, as a waitress and in a clothing store, while my husband was in full/time school, God always provided. He used those times to teach us a lesson on how to live on less, and to appreciate simplicity. Money to us is a tool and nothing more. It can be used to glorify God, or it can be used to build yourself a nice little earthly treasure store that will rust, rot, wither, and fade…You pick.
We sat in our meeting at the agency (a 2 hour meeting entirely in French, mind you) and by “agency” I mean, an older couple who live in the French alps and have 10 children, 6 of them were adopted and all 6 have varying degrees of special needs. This husband and wife are so passionate about giving life to special needs babies, that they began this agency out of their home in the mountains 25 years ago. (The husband also raises donkeys, fun fact.) So we’re sitting there with these two people who are, without a doubt, the most humble people I have ever met. They were utterly beaming peace and patience and kindness. It was incredible just to meet and to know them.
They explained all the ins and outs of the process, what our chances look like, more paperwork, etc, etc. and then we get to the business part. They said, “We want you to know, we never charge anyone. There is no fee.” (I’m sorry what now????) They don’t charge? NO filing fees, NO form fees, NO agency fees, NO translation fees, NO meeting fees, nothing! They are fully funded by outside donations, so ANY family willing enough to adopt a special needs child can do so through them FOR FREE. All this time we have been thinking this is all gonna cost us around 30,000 and we were just told free. Free! FREE! In that moment I felt somewhere between needing to sit down (but I already was) and complete numbness as if I was dreaming. My husband had to ask (in French) for them to say it again. Yep they really said free. The old man laughed. We laughed. My tears were streaming. We grabbed each others’ hands and were in awe.
Then, as if this wasn’t overwhelming enough, the agency folks said if all goes smoothly once our paperwork is complete, we should have our child home in about 7 months. Before Christmas we could get our new baby. The final bit of news that had tears streaming down my face was that, when we go get her, we get to bring our other 2 daughters with us! They’ll get to meet their new baby sister at the same time we do!
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen those African warriors that do that jumping up and down thing and holler “Le-le-le-le-le-le!!!” But that’s basically what we have been doing every day since we got overwhelmed with all this fantastic news.
When I say God is good, I mean…God is sooooo good. He is real. He is so near. He is whispering to you, “This way, this way. Follow me. Trust me. Obey me.” He has made each of us to glorify Him, you just have to say, “ok God, you can have it all. Take my whole life, I’ll do anything you ask me to.”