Ever since I was a young child, I knew that one day, I wanted to change the fate for one child who was born into no family. Over a year ago, my family started the adoption journey which consisted of applications, background checks, multiple interviews and research/training. We learned a lot and because of that, we learned tools to be better parents to our daughter and we learned how to manage our budget better.
The problem with adoption is that it is a business and a lot of redundancy. I understand that an adoptive family should go through certain checks and balances when it comes to proving to be fit parents. But it goes beyond that. It’s A LOT harder than that! I knew it would be difficult but I never imagined how hard the whole process would be. We did the required trainings and planned and worked constantly on ways to raise the funds of $35,000, which is the price from start to finish the process. Our first fundraiser we did okay with a yard sale/pancake feed. The second, we did a little better with a kayak raffle bringing in around $2500, which paid for the balance we owed at the time to continue with the home study. Then, any we did after we barely made a profit. We put in so much time planning, asking for help, and lost a lot of sleep with the fundraising effort. Finally, after 3 failed fundraisers I told the universe/prayed that if our next fundraiser, the Chili Cook-off, didn’t make the money we needed to pay for our next fees of $3750, it would be our sign that it just wasn’t the right time or right choice for our family to continue the process.
After another failed fundraiser, the chili cook-off, I felt heartbroken and like a failure to the child who we were supposed to adopt (we were never matched with a child). At that point, I knew we should throw in the towel but we decided to hold out for a little longer to see if we would get approved for any of the grants we applied for. Then, after receiving denial letter after another, we were done! I then felt guilt toward the people who were gracious to help us through our journey and I felt angry at the system for allowing money to come between the lives of children who need forever homes. I felt sad that my family dynamic suffered from the constant energy it took to plan the next fundraiser. I knew, for the sake of my family, we needed to take a long, or maybe permanent, break from this process. The problem is if we wanted to eventually continue the process, after a year the background checks and fingerprints expire and same goes for the home study. All of those fees, some at a lower rate, are charged again!
I wish I could say that money wasn’t the reason why we threw in the adoption towel, but it ultimately is. We felt that if we decided to continue the process by taking out a loan for $30,000 to cover the rest of the fees, we would only be bringing a child into a financially stressed home. Plus, the medical/treatment that we may have had to pay for to help the child with would have increased the financial debt. It’s a sad day, when it’s cheaper to just keep having babies than it is to take in an abandoned one.
This is how adoption broke my heart. My family and friends and some self-care have started to mend it. And after we decided to finally quit, a huge weight was lifted from our shoulders, just confirming that it was the right choice for us.
Have you had any experience with adoption? Good/bad? I’d love to hear it!