Adoption costs quite a lot, that is a well known fact and one of the main reasons people don’t pursue adoption even after they feel called to. But something I have learned through this process is that these costs have a purpose. There are hardworking people that are caring for these children and working on piles of paperwork and helping you jump through so many hoops to be able to bring your child home. I can only speak from our process, but even though our adoption costs seem like a lot of money, it provides jobs for those helping us along the way, a home for our baby girl and her foster family, and a way for our family to bring home our daughter.
With all of that said, the cost of this process was still one of Todd’s biggest fears, but standing on this side of the journey he said “can you believe I was scared about how we would be able to raise the money?” I strongly believe that God places you in a spot where you are not enough, so that He can show that He is.
Through God’s grace, our family and friends raised $45,000 in 8 months. Praise Jesus!
Along with the pictures I will talk about that specific fundraiser, but first a few overall tips that I hope are helpful for those of you raising money to bring your precious child home:
- Y’all. There is no other way to explain how quickly our money came in other than GOD IS OUR PROVIDER. There is no way we can do this without Him but the awesome news is, adoption is HIS heart!! And He moves heaven and earth to put the lonely in families. He adopted us and that is why He puts this love and longing in each of our hearts. So seek His will above all else. He will always come through for His children. His ways are always good. And y’all, He created the heavens and the earth, so $40-50k (or whatever your need is) is nothing to Him.
- If you don’t have a tribe, get plugged in and find one! God created us for community for a reason. Because we are not supposed to walk this journey alone. He gifts us all differently and watching as God provides friends with amazing talents to help us bring our daughter home has been amazingly beautiful and humbling. He uses his children to help his children.
- Talking about talents, God blesses us each with gifts. He uses these gifts to accomplish his will. Whether you make delicious homemade bread/desserts, beautiful art, can watch children while their mama and daddy have a date night, and so so much more! Pray about what gift God has given you to use.
- Use social media to its fullest and tell your story!! People will feel more invested if they know exactly what you are doing! We told lots of details about our steps and how much money was due. We also kept everyone up to date about how much we had raised and how much we still needed to raise. Be transparent with your finances!!
- Be willing to “work for it!” We had countless people tell us that they were very happy to give because we weren’t simply asking but were willing to do whatever possible to raise the funds we needed.
- We were matched before our homestudy was complete and then God simply poured the rest of our money in so we never had a chance to apply for grants, but there are wonderful grants available for adopting families.
- Keep a spreadsheet of where funds are coming from. I am so thankful we did this after someone gave us this advice.
Our T-shirt Campaign
We did our t-shirt campaign through Fund The Nations and highly recommend them! These shirts are seriously SO soft!!!!! Everyone loves them! You get to design your shirt and then you pre-order. They ship the shirts to you and you distribute. We charged $25 per shirt and an extra $5 if they needed to be shipped. This raised about $2,000.
Again, God gives you talents for a reason. I have always loved playing around with handwriting and calligraphy. My husband told me “Hey, people always like your handwriting. Why don’t you makes some signs?” I honestly thought we may make a couple hundred dollars from it, but custom calligraphy pieces have brought in about $6,800. I used social media to promote this and took custom orders. Again, think about something you enjoy doing on the side and see if you can use it to bring money in! People are totally willing to donate when they are getting something in return!!
Our Yard Sale
We really couldn’t have done this without our tribe. They were such a huge help. We all posted all over FB and asked for donations. We had over 65 families donate and it filled 2 two car garages!! Be willing to go pick up donations! Be super grateful for everything!! Sort things into categories and sort as you add donations. We started collecting donations about 2 months ahead of time. We didn’t price things, we all walked around in matching shirts and gave people prices as they asked. We didn’t price anything very high. We made sure everyone knew this was an adoption fundraiser. We opened the sale on Friday night and Saturday until about 2pm. I stayed at the “cash register” the whole time and we always had a line to pay. Have a jar for donations. Have “grab bags” for clothes and tell people they can fill a bag for $5. Sort clothes by sizes. We lined up a thrift store to come pick everything up at 2pm that hadn’t sold. This fundraiser raised about $6,200.
Our Silent Auction/Dinner
This fundraiser raised about $9,300. We made this an event that you had to RSVP to and pay (to cover costs of food). We used a clubhouse that is a part of my parents’ condos so it was free of charge. My husband catered it (he’s pretty awesome) and did a Korean theme. We had 75 people. My tribe totally helped so very much with this too. We reached out to everyone we knew and asked for donations and giftcards and experiences. I am a travel agent so I got a trip to give away and we did a raffle with that. We announced the winner at the silent auction. Having an emcee really helped and took pressure off of us. Also setting items on tables and then “closing” the tables at different times really helps people to not scramble as well as gives you time to figure out winners and add totals. We also had an artist offer to “live paint” the event and then she auctioned her painting off. It was so fun!
Our Puzzle Fundraiser
My husband ordered this puzzle from a Korean artist on eBay who turns his artwork into puzzles. It is a 1000 piece puzzle. This fundraiser raised $10,000. Really use social media for this. You can do giveaways, like use the puzzle pieces as raffle tickets. We did this several times like “if you sponsor a puzzle piece it will put you in the running for a free custom calligraphy piece,” etc.
We posted the following instructions with updates:
This is how it works:
- We had a 1000 piece puzzle, “Spring in Korea,” purchased from a Korean artist.
- We are “selling” each piece for $10. You can buy 1, 2, 3, or 10! There is no limit!
- To purchase you can send money through my paypal, mail a check, or send it through the Square Cash App.
- Once you purchase a piece, we will write your name on the back of one of the puzzle pieces!
- Once every single piece has been “sold”, we will put the puzzle together and hang it in a double-sided glass frame for our babies’ room so that they can always look back and be reminded of who had a “piece” of bringing our child home.
Sweet & Savory Fundraiser
We have a sweet friend who owns a cooking classroom and offered to do a fundraiser night for us. So think about who you know and ask around if they would be willing to hold a fundraiser night for you! This raised about $570.
Fundraisers not pictured:
– my husband buys items at yard sales and thrift stores and resells on eBay. (Again, talents and gifts given by The Lord.) This raised about $3,300.
– We had strait donations of about $6,900.
This was originally posted on Alex Smith’s blog, Bringing Home The Newest Smith.