Today, I opened my email to this question regarding Cliff, and adoption.
"Why should other people pay for you to add a child to your family? That is your personal decision, so it’s your personal bill. I wouldn’t get pregnant then ask people to pay my hospital bill. If you can’t afford to adopt, how are you going to afford another mouth to feed?"
Emails like that are hard, especially when you’re breaking your back to earn your adoption fund. Don’t get me wrong, fundraisers are awesome, and they’re so helpful, and when friends step up to donate items to an auction, or a matching grant…the burden lifted off my shoulders is a great one. But, at the end of the day, I still work for the majority of money that goes into our adoption account. I make items, and I sell them, and I choose to put that money into an adoption fund to rescue an orphan, to give hope to the hopeless. When did it become ok to judge that? If you NEED to be judgmental, why direct it at a helpless orphan, or families breaking their backs to give them homes? I guess I can’t understand being that angry inside.
I’m not expecting people to pay to add a child to my family. If people feel led to help, their help is appreciated immensely, but do I expect my friends and family and strangers to just write me checks? No. But, I have to ask…when did it become ok to ask your friends to buy Girl Scout cookies, and Boy Scout popcorn, and candy for sports equipment for school and discount cards for the football team, and no one bats an eye…but ask people to throw $5 into the pot for neglected children who are waiting for homes, and you’re a terrible person?
Luckily, the people who feel that way are few and far between, at least the people who will voice it publicly and go out of their way to hurt someone who is already hurting. The majority of people are amazing, and helpful, and caring, and even if they have NOTHING to give to help, they pray. They ask you “how are you doing?” they volunteer to sit with you at fundraisers and help you run booths and they just in general offer themselves to you to share the burden with you. These things mean more to me, a fundraising mama, than a check could, so please, don’t assume I’m some terrible person with entitlement issues, that I expect the world to step up and do my job for me, I don’t. I expect my friends to be my friends, and friends help each other. I would do the same for them, we have each other’s backs. Yes, I sell tons of crafts, yes it might be obnoxious to see them all the time, yes you might be really sick of me…but if your son or daughter were on the other side of the world, and they were starving, and they were dying, and they were waiting for you to put together enough money to save them…would you let anything stop you? That’s where I am now, I have a boy who needs his Mama to come bring him home. No amount of shaming is going to stop me from doing that. If you want to help a miracle happen, if you want to be God’s hands and feet, if you want to honor God’s commandment to care for orphans, then I hope you’ll go on this journey with us, but if not…please don’t go out of your way to make it harder than it needs to be.
Fundraising for an international adoption of a child with special needs is a lot different than fundraising for a typical child that is born to you. People who have children with special needs born to them fundraise ALL the time, to cover medical expenses, etc. Adopting parents generally don’t do that, because we had to prove up front that we are financially stable enough to cover any and all issues that might come our way with our new children. The fact that we don’t have $25,000 or more just sitting in a bank account isn’t what makes or breaks our ability to parent! If everyone needed that kind of disposable cash available in order to get pregnant, the human race might die off. J Adoption, especially that of a child with special needs, is basically life abandonment, you’re saying ok…I’m willing to sign my life over for the betterment of another’s. It’s not a life sentence, but it’s a life commitment, and not everyone is willing to, or able to sign up for that. It’s a really, really big deal…so when someone is willing to say YES! I’ll do it! I WANT to do this! It will BLESS my life, and their life, and hopefully the lives of the people around us…we should support that! We should get behind those people and lift them up, help them if we can, because not only does it help that one specific family, it will show other families around them, that might be on the fence about taking the same leap of faith, that it’s going to be ok…they CAN do this, people DO care, and it IS possible!
So, to the person who sent me that email and we both know I left out other, ugly statements you made…I hope one day you’ll open your eyes, and use your words for good, not to inflict pain.