Although the circumstances leading to the decision to adopt are unique to each family, sooner or later all adoptive parents will face the same giant obstacle. Whether adopting domestically or internationally, an infant or an older child, adoption is very expensive.
Several years ago my daughter Lauren and her husband John decided to adopt from Ethiopia. They soon learned that they would need to raise tens of thousands of dollars. They knew virtually nothing about the world of fundraising. However, by the time they had adopted two children from Ethiopia, Lauren and John were experts.
Believing that her experience could make adopting easier for other families, Lauren has written a book, "How To Fund Your Adoption". It's a book with three sections: practical advice, a philosophy of invitation, and a philosophy of gratitude. Any of the three have value not only to adoptive parents, but their extended families and friends too.
1. Philosophy of Invitation:
I wish I had been able to understand adoption fundraising in terms of this philosophy sooner. Asking others for money is difficult, and to me it smacked of asking for charity. I'm sure I speak for many of my generation when I say I was raised to believe that charity was for the very most impoverished, desperate, helpless in society. For anyone else, asking for charity is deeply shameful. Thus when the fundraising began I squirmed at the entire idea.
Lauren realized early on that, in short, fundraising was an invitation to others to join in a great mission - to give a child without a home a loving family to belong to, and to make that family whole. Adoptive parents may find that their extended family will be more understanding after reading Lauren's complete explanation of this philosophy.
2. Practical Advice
Here is the nuts and bolts, the hardware section of the book. Lauren describes her experience with a number of fundraising strategies, and her level of success with each one. This toolkit will equip adoptive parents with knowledge to begin raising adoption money with confidence. The Appendix gives details on websites and grant sources that are helpful. This section is valuable for sparking ideas among family and friends who ask if there is more they can do to help.
3. A Philosophy of Gratitude
My favorite part of "How To Fund Your Adoption", in this section Lauren describes how she learned to overcome frustration and discouragement. Negative emotions, though understandable, are not going lead to successful fundraising. Genuine gratitude for any help, however small, allowed Lauren and John to find joy and celebration in raising the money for their adoptions. In fact this section would benefit anyone who fundraises for any worthy cause.
If you are interested in buying "How To Fund Your Adoption", you can use the button on my sidebar. It's an affiliate button. All of the affiliate fees, 100%, will be donated to See Beautiful to assist other families with their adoptions.
Disclaimer: Lauren Casper is my daughter. I'm very proud of her, but I'm only promoting her book here because I believe it may be of value to readers of Terra Toby. Also, she asked me to! I shared the thoughts in this post with her and she requested that I publish them on Terra Toby. I'm happy to do it.